Showing posts with label getting published. Show all posts
Showing posts with label getting published. Show all posts

Small Book Publishers Fill the Gap

Oh, boy. In 10 years I've never missed a post publishing, but I did on the first of this month. Between family and work, my life is a bit out of control. I'm working hard to reign it in. To make up for the first, here's an interesting post for those who are having trouble getting a major house publishing contract.

One of your primary concerns as an author is to get your book published. While self-publishing is a viable option, many authors still strive to be traditionally published.

The problem though is getting your manuscript past the acquisitions editor of a major publishing house. And, while I always say nothing ventured nothing gained, getting published by one of the “Big 5” publishers isn’t very probable for a new author.

According to Book Business, the Big 5 are: Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan. (1)

And, while you may have a better chance with one of the Big 5’s imprints, getting published will still be a tough goal to achieve.

So, what do authors who want to be traditionally published do?

Simple, they submit to small publishers.

In an interview with her local paper, Edmond, Oklahoma, Vivian Zabel said, “There needs to be something between the major publishers who won’t accept anything and the vanity or self-publishing entities.”

Taking the ‘bull by the horns,’ Zabel created her own small publishing company, 4RV Publishing. It’s put out 115 quality books over the last 10 years.

Zabel went on to say, “4RV looks for authors who fall through the cracks at major publishing houses.” Larger publishers look for the “marquis authors.” Because of this, 4RV gets to find some great stories.

To read about 4RV and get an idea of how a small publisher works, check out Zabel’s interview at:
Small Publisher Fills the Gap Between Major and Vanity Publishing

This post was originally published at:


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children's author and children’s ghostwriter as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move. You can find out more about writing for children and her services at: Karen Cioffi Writing for Children.

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Getting Published - 6 HOT Tips

There are a number of articles and posts discussing whether it’s important to have a degree in writing in order to be successful in your writing career.

The articles that I’ve read all agree that it’s NOT necessary. But, there are at least 6 essential steps you will need to take to reach the golden ring of publication.

Below is a Powtoon with those 6 HOT tips!

For a bit more details on each step, stop by:
Writing - 6 Essential Steps to Publication

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children's author and children’s ghostwriter as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move. You can find out more about writing for children and her services at: Karen Cioffi Writing for Children.


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Reluctant E-Mail Signatures May Not Be Courteous Signatures

Your E-mail Signature: 
Choosing Courteous and Great Marketing 

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson 

In a public e-mail to her clients, someone near and dear to me (an expert) said most people look at the first two lines of an email. That’s it. They aren’t interested in fishing through pages of post-signature blather. People need to have ways to learn about you, not reasons to put up shields.” She advised three or four lines, tops. Boy, did that set me off. So, these people we send mail to are in such a hurry that they’d rather spend time looking up in dozens of places for the information that could just as easily have been in the contact’s e-mail signature?  Here’s my rant—er . . . rebuttal:

 My old friend, I so disagree with this. 

For one thing, there are no fast rules. Much depends on the genre an author writes in. Another depends on the author’s personality. But more than either of those, a complete signature is a courtesy to the person an author is corresponding with. Put that word in caps! COURTESY!

There is nothing more annoying than getting an e-mail from someone who doesn't have proper contact information in it. And the trouble is, depending on what the recipient plans to do with the email, it is difficult for the sender to know exactly what will make the life of that contact easier. Will she need your website address? Will including your Twitter moniker help her in some way? Won't the repeated visual of your book cover to your contacts help your branding? And if your contact has seen your cover before, will it hurt her that much to see it again? Especially considering that old marketing advice based on research that people need to see something seven times before they act on it.
And don't you––as someone whose business it is to help authors--want your authors to sell as many books as possible and to get as much media attention as possible? In the PR world the winner is the person who makes it easiest on the gatekeeper to do her job. It is a busy world. She doesn't need to be searching for information, especially information that could easily go into a signature.

To arbitrarily tell anyone how to sign their emails without any idea of the tone or purpose of the email seems very presumptuous to me.

I hope you will give your authors this alternative view. Many authors are already far too reluctant to get the word about their books out there. Telling them to arbitrarily limit information in their signatures may encourage their reluctance to do right by their books—and their own careers.

Hugs, [Yes, hugs. Even rants are mostly designed to help rather than make enemies!]


Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a former journalist, retailer, and marketer who started publishing how-to books for writers for the classes she taught for UCLA Extension’s renowned Writers’ Program. Members of the California Legislature named her Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment. Learn more about her how-to books and her creative writing at  Learn more about book promotion (and avoiding being the reluctant book promoter!) in her The Frugal Book Promoter and the rest of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers at

The Path to Publication

When I began writing my first novel in 1996, I really did not think I would ever be published. But it was a cathartic experience, and it was something I needed to do to prove to myself that I could write a novel.

I started researching my second book in 1999. After about ten years of rewriting, polishing and collecting rejections, Cowgirl Dreams was published. I’m not telling you this to discourage you, but to encourage you.

That first attempt has yet to be published, and I am so glad it was not then. I did the best I could, but in going back and doing the rewrites (it will be the fourth in my series), I find I’ve learned so much about the craft of writing.

I met both of my publishers at writing conferences hosted by Women Writing the West. Since Cowgirl Dreams was based on my rodeo-riding grandmother, I thought that might be the best place to look, and it was. The first two books in my series were published.

At another WWW conference, where attendees can set up appointments with agents, editors and publishers, I pitched the idea of writing a series of magazine articles about the old-time rodeo cowgirls of Montana. As I was leaving, one of the other editors in the room jumped up from her table and caught me at the door. “I couldn’t help overhearing your pitch,” she said. “Make an appointment with me.”

I did, and Globe-Pequot Press offered me a contract to write a non-fiction book. When my first publisher closed down, I asked if GPP was interested in my third novel. They were and also picked up the first two books to be republished with new covers and new editing.

Dare to Dream was launched this week, the newest novel in the “Dreams” trilogy. The non-fiction book, Cowgirl Up! will come out in September.

My message to aspiring authors is this: do not be in a hurry to get that first book published. Have patience, study and practice the craft of writing, get feedback from critique groups or partners, and get it professionally edited (especially if you are self-publishing). You do not want a book out that is riddled with errors and flaws.


A native Montanan, Heidi M. Thomas now lives in North-central Arizona where she blogs, teaches writing, and edits. Herfirst novel, Cowgirl Dreamsis based on her grandmother, and the sequel, Follow the Dream, won the national WILLA Award. The next book in the series, Dare to Dream, has just been released. Heidi has a degree in journalism and a certificate in fiction writing.

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