by Ron Vitale
I'd like to welcome guest blogger T. Michelle Nelson to the site. She's the author of the Lily Drake vampire series and her first two books in her series, Life and Death of Lily Drake and 'Til Death Do Us Part, are currently available for sale. Read on and learn what she thinks is the hardest part of writing a book and then getting it published. It's a fun read and I couldn't agree with her more!
There isn’t a set answer that every author will tell you. Many might say writer’s block, marketing their book, editing or publicity. As a newly published author, I was shocked to find out all of the work that went into getting my novel out there and being able to sell books. Fortunately, I really enjoy most of the background work. Most of my life I’ve been employed in sales, human resources, customer service fields, etc. I like working with people. I also love to learn every aspect of an industry, and the publishing industry is like no other. It has been interesting, fun and rewarding. And yes, at times exhausting. So to answer the question, “what is the hardest part of getting a book published?” - You may laugh. To me the most difficult part of the process is writing the dreaded query letter.
If you’re a writer, you know what this is. If you aren’t, let me enlighten you. It’s basically a letter that you polish to a shine and send out to people who get roughly a bazillion of these same types of letters every day. Not only does yours have to stand out, be absolutely perfectly written and sound interesting, but it also has to sum up your 90,000 word manuscript into a paragraph or two.
That’s right. In a nutshell, you have what amounts to about twenty seconds to grab that agent or publisher and make them ask for more. If it doesn’t sound all that tough yet, then let me explain further. I’m a long-winded kind of gal. I like to really explain things fully. Cutting 90,000 words cut down to a few sentences is nothing but torture for me. I’d rather have bamboo shoved under my toenails.
So, to all you aspiring authors, let me give you a bit of advice. A writer friend once told me this, and it actually helped out a little bit. When you go to write the dreaded query letter and you’re trying to sum up your novel, imagine that guy who does all the Hollywood trailers. You know the one I’m talking about - the guy with the deep voice who starts talking as the commercial fades in. Imagine what he would say if your book was made into a movie.
“For Lily Drake, slaying vampires is easy. Dating them is the hard part.” You wouldn’t believe how long it took me to come up with that. As I read over this article, I don’t even understand how this task is so difficult, but trust me, it is. And if you need help, don’t look at me, I totally suck at it.
T. Michelle Nelson is the author of the Lily Drake vampire series. The first two books in her series, Life and Death of Lily Drake and 'Til Death Do Us Part are available in paperback and e-book anywhere books are sold including your favorite online bookstores. T. is currently working hard to finish her third book.