Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Honest Thoughts On How To Get Published - A Simple Post and a Celebration for My Novel, Monarch

Today as I celebrate the release of my first traditionally published novel, Monarch, I wonder if there's anything I can possibly say that will express my gratitude, excitement, fear, and hopes of finally reaching this point. In my career so far things have happened gradually. There has been no big bang, no rush to the top, nothing that has made me feel like anything earth-shattering has happened.

I get emails sometimes from authors asking how to get published. What's the best course? Is self-publishing the answer?

I want to say to them that there is no outside answer. In many ways it can be about who you know, some luck, a lot of hard work, but I've found for me it has been one thing over and over.


Patience with yourself. All that writing you've done. Do some more and have patience that you'll only get better with each word, page, book. Is it taking years? That's completely normal.

Patience with the industry. Traditional publishing is not broken. It may have kinks that need ironing out, but that will happen. Things change, but publishing will always be around in some form or another. Self-publishing is obviously an answer for some authors, and although I think it's a fabulous route to go, I honestly don't think it's for everyone.

Patience with others. Your beta readers when they take so long to read your book. Agents when they never get back to you. Family and friends when they don't understand what you're trying to do.

As I was writing books a few years ago I honestly looked at my work and knew it wasn't ready. For five years after college I didn't write a word. When I started again I was in bad shape and I knew it. So I forced myself to be patient even though lots of friends around me were getting agents and publishing contracts. And trust me, I KNOW how hard that is to see when you aren't getting anywhere. But, I want to point out that  things have progressed faster than I thought they would and that's the point I want to make today.

You never, ever know when things are going to pick up.

But they'll only pick up if you keep working hard.

For me? I'm very happy today. I feel validated and respected and all those wonderful things that come with publication, but at the same time I'm still just me and I still have huge goals and things I'm working toward. I still need a lot of patience and have a long way to go. I hope that never changes. So tell me, what's your best advice to those seeking their dreams?


  1. Yay, Michelle! Good luck with the launch! I hope a lot of readers get to enjoy your book!

    I didn't think I'd ever learn to be patient, but over the years I'm getting (a little) better at it.

  2. Happy Birthday, MONARCH!

    I haven't grown more patient as I age, but my impatience doesn't last as long because I tire more easily than I used to do.

    Happy Birthday, MONARCH!

  3. When I actually attain one of my dreams, I'll offer advice.

    I wish the best for you and Monarch. I'm looking to finally reading it.

  4. Congratulations!!! Woot!!!

    My favorite quote regarding pursuing your dreams is said to come from an anonymous Chinese author:

    "To believe in one's dreams is to spend all one's life asleep."

    While people may interpret this in different ways, I take it to mean, don't get bogged down by wishful thinking or daydreams or fantasies, and don't forget to pay attention to what is right in front of you here and now in the real world that may be the most important stuff of all.

    -Alex MacKenzie

  5. Yeah! Happy Release Day, Michelle!! Your words today are wise and inspiring.

  6. Davin: I can already tell you're getting better. I think we can help each other with it, too. :)

    Scott: Hehe, that might be the case with everyone!

    Charlie: I think there's a good comment below about loving where you are. Hope you can do that! I certainly keep trying. It's different from day to day, but consistently I'm pretty happy. Happy reading!

    Alex: So, so, so true. I've said something similar on my blog before about enjoying where you are. If you don't you'll never really be happy.

    Valerie, Tina, and Mayowa: Thank you! Your support means a lot. :)

  7. I'll see your patience and add persistence to the list. My advice: don't give up.


  8. Congratulations, Michelle! I'm so happy for you. Yes, it does take patience, and a lot of hard work. You walked the walk, and I hope you have a great launch--and that the sales of your book continue beyond it. You're a fabulous writer! I loved Cinders.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  9. Improvise! Adapt! Overcome! Never surrender! Or something to that effect.

  10. Rick: Persistence is key, too. Combing both of them and you've got it made!

    Ann: My launch has been amazing today! Thank you for supporting and reading my work!

    Chuck: Hehe, nicely said!

  11. Congratulations on your release! That must be a wonderful feeling.

    Hard work and patience are the best ways to go, though accepting it can be pretty difficult at times... especially the low times.

    So, I suppose I'll have to keep plodding along.

    Congratulations again!

  12. Add a dose of 'just keep going' with patience.

    CONGRATS on your novel! I'm excited to read it.

  13. Great news about the launch Michelle. I have to say that while I'm enjoying the "now" I keep thinking of the "later" and it scares me. So I have to force myself to work at working. :-)I am so happy for and proud of you!


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