I am pleased to participate in the Ruth Silver's Aberrant Blog Tour.
Ruth Silver attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication in the spring of 2005. While in college, she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories. Her love of writing led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading, photography, traveling and most of all writing. She loves dystopian and fantasy young adult stories. Ruth has been actively writing since she was a teenager. She currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.
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Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Ruth!
Ruth has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.
A Journey to Publicationby Ruth Silver
I've gotten a lot of questions about how I managed to find a publisher and get published. Hopefully this offers some insight if you're looking to get published or considering sticking your foot in the water.
Publishing a book is a long process. Aberrant isn't the first novel I've written. However, it is the first novel I decided to pursue getting published by an outside source. Why? I felt that it would reach a broader audience by having a reputable publisher behind the book. My first novel, Deuces are Wild, I decided to self-publish through the new company at the time, Lulu. By now if you're interested at all in self-publishing, you've probably heard of them. Everything was do-it-yourself. Including the editing, cover design, publishing and promotion. I didn't bother promoting Deuces are Wild. I wasn't doing it for anything more than having a book published and saying "look what I did!" Which was very cool when I was in college.
Now that I'm 29 though, things have changed. As a writer, I've grown. I can more easily accept constructive criticism and am open to suggestions and recommendations from an editor. At 20, that would have been harder to accept.
Finding a publisher isn't likely to happen overnight. It starts with writing a query letter. A query tells the publisher (or agent) what your book is about, why they should read it and what makes you marketable. For example, if you're writing young adult novels and you work as a librarian in the young adult section - that would make you marketable because you know your audience. The query letter is something that needs to be edited and not just thrown together. It should be well thought out and tested to only a few publishers (or agents). The reason for this is because if every response is a rejection, there might be some changes you need to make to your query.
Make sure you understand and recognize the genre of your book. Is it a Young Adult, New Adult or Adult novel? If your book is dystopian and young adult, you're going to want to query to a publisher (or agent) that is interested in receiving queries in both of those genres. If they hate horror, don't send them a query on your horror novel. They won't ask to read your manuscript and you'll be wasting both of your time. Also don't ask them for a recommendation on who will accept your manuscript or why they rejected it. Don't get discouraged. Remember all you need is one yes.
Once your query is written, you can join organizations like SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) which isn't overly expensive and a great resource. They put out an updated book every year with agents and publishers, what they're looking for and how to submit your query. Some publishers won't accept e-mails. Others only want your information copied and pasted into an e-mail, no attachments. It's a lot to sort through, may even take weeks to send out and don't expect a response overnight. Everything that happens in the publishing industry is at a snail's pace. Also remember to jot down every publisher (or agent) you send your submission to, along with the date. This will help you keep track of how long it's been and who you've received a response from. It will also keep you from sending it to the same agency twice.
If you're looking solely to query an agent, check out agentquery.com which offers a free resource of literary agents with their details information on query submissions.
Plan to write a query letter and submit it to five to ten publishers (or agents) at a time. Wait a few weeks and as you get either rejections or they ask to read your manuscript, you may want to adjust your query accordingly. If you've sent out fifty requests and there is no interest, it might not be your book but either who you're sending the queries to or the query letter itself.
Also recognize what the market is selling. Right now the market is oversaturated with dystopian novels. I've heard this from two agents when I was querying back in 2012. Agents already have a ton of dystopian novels and may not be looking to add another one to their list. Publishers often don't want to compete with their top selling books for a similar novel and may be turning your book down because of it.
Put your best foot forward. Never query to an agency that tells you "no unsolicited manuscripts/queries." Unless you have an agent, your manuscript/query is unsolicited. Always send a finished manuscript, when asked. Don't start sending a manuscript before they ask (unless it's part of the submission guidelines). Also never query before your manuscript is complete. Edit, rewrite, and edit your manuscript again before querying. It's a good idea to ask someone else to look it over as well. There are forums that offer beta readers where you can send them a chapter or the entire novel and receive honest feedback.
Before you sign a contract, read it over and understand the fine print. How long is the publisher holding the rights to the book? What rights are they holding (print, digital, language)? It's not a bad idea to hire an attorney before signing any contracts. A reputable agency won't mind you taking a few days or weeks to understand what you sign before you scribble your name on the dotted line.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Ruth!
The Grand Prize winner will have a choice to win one of win one of the following:
- A signed copy of Ruth's latest novel, Aberrant
- $25 Amazon Gift Card
- A character named after you in the sequel
The Second Place winner will have a choice of the two remaining prizes.
The Third Place winner will win the remaining prize.
SERIES: Aberrant, Book #1
AUTHOR: Ruth Silver
PUBLISHER: Lazy Day Publishing
PUBLICATION DATE: April 17, 2013
PUBLICATION DATE: April 17, 2013
GENRE: YA Dystopian Fantasy
In the future dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.
With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.
To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.
This giveaway is open worldwide (prizes that require shipping available to US entrants only) until 12:00 AM on May 1, 2013.