Jess Watkins (AKA snowglobe10) shares the story of how she became a published author!
Honestly, I blame Twitter.
If I hadn’t signed up so that I could follow publishers to keep up with the world of books then I wouldn’t have seen That Tweet.
I had been trying for a few years without success to find a literary agent or publishers that take unsolicited manuscripts. After a while I got used to replies saying that the literary agents didn’t feel that my work had the necessary edge or that it wasn’t quite right for them but I didn’t stop looking and boy am I glad I didn’t! Instead I kept reading, writing and editing as well as continuing to submit my novel. I also posted my work on several writing sites, including Movellas, in the hope that I would get more feedback on my writing so that I could keep on improving it or that a publisher or literary agent would see it and want to publish/ represent me.
So when I saw that Opis Publishing was accepting unsolicited manuscripts I jumped at the chance to send them my novel. The worst part is the wait as it can sometimes take several months before you hear whether the literary agent or publisher is interested in your work, if they reply at all. It was a pleasant surprise when I got back from university to find an email from the editor saying that they would love to read the first three chapters of my novel. I sent them off with a synopsis and tried not to get my hopes up and a week or so later I got a reply with an offer of a three year ebook contract! Once I had signed the contract we started editing and talking about the title. The cover was designed and after several more edits my book was ready to go! All in a space of just under four months! The next hurdle was to get my book reviewed and noticed by book bloggers which I’m still doing. Giveaways are also a good way of promoting your work.
I didn’t always want to be an author. I’ve wanted to be a whole range of things like a police officer, microbiologist and marine biologist. However, it was in my second year of university that I realised I wanted to be a full time author. Up until that point I had only been writing for fun which started with a horrifically bad Lord of The Rings fan fiction that I wrote when I was thirteen.
My advice to those that want to be published is to write. Write, read and edit. Also if people criticise your work try and listen to it and take it into account when you’re writing as having some else’s opinion can be very useful. If you’re sending your work off to literary agents and publishers make sure that you spend some time working on your blurb and cover letter. Everyone gets rejection emails and letters but don’t let them take the joy out of writing! Don’t give up!