• diwalkerbooks

Blog turns 1 - and I missed it!

I missed the first birthday of my blog. Only by a week or so, but still...

There's been a few things going on - lockdowns, isolation, remote learning... (which has led me to the over use of the ellipsis...)

Amongst all of that, I just haven't thought about writing. Then two things happened yesterday and here I am, early on a Saturday morning, when I can't go anywhere because of isolation, back at my writing desk.

First thing: I received a message, through my website, from someone I do not know who politely asked me how I was going with Adelyn's story. The writer of the message reminded me that I had left it at a crucial point and how long would it be before I added more to it.

Second thing: I had a wonderful zoom conversation with Kelly, @peachesandcreampages about writing, getting published and finding motivation.

So, when I got up this morning I felt just a little bit motivated to get back to writing - something - and whilst I don't have the headspace at the moment to work on Adelyn's story, I did feel like writing a blog post and that's when I realised I had started this a year ago - in a lockdown.

How the time flies.

The conversation with Kelly happened after I had read her Insta post about sending out a manuscript and the rejection that follows. At the end of our conversation, she said I should blog about it so, for what it's worth, here are my thoughts.

If you have a compete manuscript that's in the best shape you can get it - send it to publishers.

Let me expand on that.

Do some research, find the publishers that publish the type of manuscript you write and who are accepting manuscripts, and follow their guidelines. Some will want the first 30 pages, emailed, double spaces, specific font, and will give you an idea of how long it will take to respond. Others will want you to submit via a portal and include the first two chapters... Follow their rules. They are quite particular.

Most say - if you haven't heard from us in 6 months then we are not interested (maybe not that blunt but you get the idea).

If you are looking for an agent first - well - I'm not sure if that will lead you anywhere. I tried to find an agent for a year with no success. The upside of their rejection is that they do write some lovely words of encouragement rather than silence. (I did find an agent for my second book - but that was because I had published one).

For the truly brave, if you don't have an agent, and the publisher you want to submit to won't accept manuscripts you might try this. Just send it in anyway. Find a contact email - and send it. Not the whole thing - just enough to entice them. I did it once - heard nothing, so...

At the end of the day, it's not personal. They get heaps of manuscripts. And it's a lot of luck. Your manuscript has to land at the right time for the publisher to be looking for something new, who has the capacity to slot it into their schedule and who can see its potential.

So, Kelly, and anyone else out there with a manuscript ready to go - just send it. Send it to half a dozen publishers or more, and just see what happens. I know one thing for sure - it won't get published if it remains sitting on your computer. And don't forget - self publishing - that's where I'm heading...

Happy birthday, Blog.