Publishing the Life Voyages Series
When I finished my first book, Voyage of Life, I was reluctant to let anyone read it. Hum? Why write if you won’t let anyone read what you write. How does an author know if what they write is any good? Maybe our first efforts need work. Thomas Wolfe’s first novel, Look Homeward, Angel (1929) was a disorganized 1,114 pages before the publisher was able to help him turn it into a classic.
Slowly, I began to research the business of publishing my first book, Voyage of Life, and encountered a stream of advice and offers, for the right price, to show me the way. Fortuitously, at a conference I was attending, I had dinner with the keynote speaker, author of books on how to write, and she told me two things that stuck with me.
One was that the minute you turn to the dark side of publishing, 85% of your time would be spent there and not on writing. YIKES! I enjoy my writing time. How can I let go of the peace and satisfaction of finding just the right word, or phrase, the spiritual trips down memory lane calling out descriptions of scenes and characters, the miracle of a story coming together, the sleepless nights, pulling the car over to make a note?
The other thing she said, which I latched on to because it granted me precious time before I had to begin serving my sentence on the dark side, was that agents and publishers are often looking for authors who write more than one successful book. Thus, I made a commitment to write more novels, and ideas for future ones are piling up.
Now, with the completion of my fourth novel, A LOVE DIVIDED BY TIME, another one I am proud of, I have decided to put myself out there. I feel like a young man starting a new career, enduring the frustrations of rejection, learning so many new things, facing moments of truth.
I have launched a search of agents and traditional publishers, armed with the knowledge that, To Kill a Mocking Bird, was rejected over fifty times. I have been in a reading marathon, searching for authors who have written books in a similar genre and writing letters in search of testimonials. I abandoned working on my next novel, The Attic, and am about to search through thousands of agents to find ones I can approach for representation. If that fails, I will search for traditional publishers who might be a good match for all my books and launch them as a Life Voyages series.
Wish me luck!