Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Unpublished Writers Road: A Guest Post By Kara Stefanowich

I mentioned earlier that I was going to have some guest post appear on my blog and today I just so happen to have one for you! I am bringing you along with me on my journey to becoming a published author; but I am in the early stages. My wonderful guest has been on her road a little longer and has more to tell you than I can at this moment. So now I will step away and let her tell her story.

May I present to you, my readers, Kara Stefanowich!

I began my first novel 'Hostage' about 3 years ago. I had been fantasizing about doing a vampire novel for a long time and finally got up the courage to do it. It took me about 2 years to complete (or so I thought) as I am a single working mother. Upon completion of the Paranormal Romance Novel, I did extensive research on how to submit my work to Publishers. What I found was staggering.

During the project I'd never given it's future a thought. But when I finally started looking into things I found that LOTS more work was required. I needed to write a Query letter, which is NOT for the faint of heart. I'm afraid if you don't get the query written just right, you can forget about an agent ever even bothering to request your manuscript. Also you'll find that you'll also need a cover letter, and a synopsis. These things are often requested by agents. Also an undertaking, might I add. I suggest you do your research on how to write these no matter how good you think you are! You'll be surprised how important it is to get it right!

This leads us to the Agents. There are still some Publishers out there that will accept your manuscript directly from you, but they are VERY hard to find and usually don't have the time or the money to invest in new authors. So you'll most likely need to impress an Agent. Also a very difficult task. Its kind of like a marriage. You have to find the one perfect Agent who's personality and taste in literature blends perfectly with yours! Good luck with that! But this is why this is such a difficult task. There are MANY Agents out there and you may have to send out a MASS QUERY. Which is what I did and am currently still doing. 

After a year of querying and dozens of manuscript requests, I still have yet to find an agent. Many were kind enough to explain their reasons for not accepting the project, others never responded at all. It helps, in my view, to do a mass query send out is beneficial in that respect. They will often be blunt and tell you NOT to write in the first person or that you simply need to get your work edited  before trying to query again. My advise is to TAKE their advise!

I've learned also that topic, genre and timing are of great importance in the world of Publishing, Its a gamble, a roll of the dice. You'll never know what they are looking for at that moment.

Though I still have yet to publish and am even considering self publishing, I have never stopped writing. If you find yourself getting discouraged, just put that angry energy into another project. I expect it will eventually pay off. Especially if you write with open genres...meaning write many genres, not just one. You're sure to strike a cord in someone with lots of options to choose from.

I hope this is helpful.


Kara is one of my dearest friends & I value her advice more than she knows! Soon there will be another guest post by another friend who is a self published author. So keep an eye out!

If you would like to follow Kara on twitter and her blog

Until next time, happy writing! 

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