Where do I go now? (Getting published and all that nonsense)

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Where do I go now? (Getting published and all that nonsense)

Hey all, I finished the first draft of my first attempt at a proper novel, Cigarette. I put a few chapters on here around Christmas time and they seemed to get a pretty good reception, so I went quiet for a while and wrote about 60,000 words in 3 weeks.

I've let a few people read it, the verdict is good, most people have told me they loved it, and I'm very happy with it. I've let it settle for a while before I start a redraft. I've just been wondering, where do you think I should go from here? I'm just kinda looking for a range of opinions.

- Should I get a second draft, let more people read it, then try and get it published? And how would I go about doing that, for those of you with any experience?

- Or should I self publish? Is that still taboo? Where is it good to do it?

- Or should I cool my jets for a while and just worrying about writing more and more?

Any input would be great, sorry for the long message, I hope someone can help me out or offer their own experiences, every little helps.

Thanks everyone!

I would definitely do a second draft. They're dreaded, I know, but it helps to trim the fat. Having never been published myself I don't know which direction to point in that area. You've written some wonderful stuff and I wish you much success. Rich


Posted something a second ago there but it didn't seem to go through, odd. Thanks for the confidence boost! :) I'm working on a second draft now and I'm really noticing a lot of trimming, making everything a lot smoother and just generally flowing better. It's dull but it has to be done I guess, I'll take it slow, thanks for the advice. Anyone else have anything to offer? Every little helps :)


Ah, you must learn to love the redrafting process, young jedi. Don't be tempted by the dark side telling you one draft is enough. One draft is never enough if you want to master the force that is truly great writing. (Excuse the cheesy Star Wars references, I haven't a clue what's come over me.) Here's a link I stumbled across the other day. http://thebookdoctorbd.blogspot.com/2010/08/ive-finished-my-first-draft-... You'll be pleasantly surprised how your work develops through the redrafting process. Best of luck, and let us know how you get on.
That's a fantastic link pesky, thanks, it's really helping. I'm loving how it's coming along but it's just hard seeing it all again so quickly, so I'm taking it slow bro. I'll keep you all updated, might post more of Cigarette on here once I'm done with the second draft. In terms of Star Wars, would you believe that I've never seen any of the original trilogy? I've been meaning to fix that. Maybe some day, haha. Thanks for the advice and encouragement. :)


Why not try the Indie's? (but not mine, please, we're swamped!) - they're often a much better bet than The Big Boys, and kinder, too :) UKA has extensive (publishing) resources, although I haven't been through it for ages, so some links (and, indeed, markets) may well be defunct. Indies come and go with astonishing speed sometimes. Anyway --> http://genres.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=Content And there's no shame in self publishing these days, either. Good luck!
Thanks Andrea, that's something I was thinking of too. I kinda wanted to get published by a bigwig but I suppose everyone does, haha, maybe it's an impossible dream, going for the indies or self publishing might be a better bet. Thanks a bunch for the link, I'll check it out. Thanks for all the responses everyone, you're a great help.


Thanks Stan, I'm hoping my second draft will be the last one needed, but I'm going to show it to a few more people once I'm done that and depending on how that goes, I might go for another. I think I'll try and get my hands on the Yearbook when I'm home for Easter and have a bit more money on me. I've been tempted to go to a vanity publisher just to be able to see my work in print, I think it'd be a nice feeling, and maybe I could shift a few copies through word of mouth, but I suppose all in all I'd rather have a 'real' publisher (indie or not) snap me up. I'll take the big steps once the second draft is done and dusted, and in the mean time I'll keep working on other things on the side. Thanks for the advice, and best of luck to you too. :)


Hello there MM, congratulations on the completion of your first major draft of your first novel. You have to ask yourself several questions before you proceed on your re-drafting. Keep in mind you already probably re-wrote it three times if you count all the changes already done. Only you can answer these: Am I happy with what is now completed, RTF, 1" sides, Times New Roman? Do I wish to make this a career? Am I prepared to write regularly each day without fail? Do not pay anyone one cent to publish (Vanity) unless you wish to self-publish; Get going: Today's competition almost demands an agent-- Google agents re your novel content and send 10 of them a Precis on your book, include your background, reason for publishing, knowledge of content and what your future writing intentions are, as well as one copy of your first chapter (do everything through Internet---much cheaper than snail mail). Resources: Google "Piers Anthony Internet Publishing" for invaluable free info re Internet Publishers; Go to Library and check out books on subjects similar to yours, get their names and check on Internet what these publishers require in their submissions. You may have many more questions, but work on the above. Remember to develop your own style. And try not to re-vise so much, you MAY lose the intent of your story flow. Sometimes the first completed version is the best. Cheers, Richard LP
Richard L. Provencher
I'm doing the rounds with my self-published children's picture book and finding that Waterstones are most obliging with signing events and community activity events. Thank God, because they're the only book seller on the high street these days. I met a writer also doing the rounds and he told me he made more money in self-publishing than not. What happened was, he self-published 2500 copies of his book and sold them all, then he was picked up by a very good publisher who offered him a 10% deal. The long and the short is that if you treat the book as something you're prepared to market, you'll get a deal if it's well received and you're good at selling. Maybe something will come along that will have publishers fighting for its rights, but for the other 99.99% of unsolicited material, it's very difficult to support, especially with the depression (if this is a recession, my name's Wilbur the Wolf). I say publish and be damned. It will strengthen your will to continue writing, fine-tune your sales technique and give you a goal to sell the books as a marketeer. the hard part of writing a book is selling it. that's why publishers are there, but the market's changing and 26% of all books sold last year were self-published. All the best Richard


Wow, massive thanks to both of you, that's a lot of valuable information that's going to take a while to digest, haha, but it's really helpful. I'll definitely look into all of that, you've all helped make things much clearer for me, and I think I know where I need to go once I've finished my draft. Thanks again to everyone for all the advice, you all really know your stuff. :)


Mudkip, you can self publish your book with Lulu and all you pay is to purchase your own books, and that is at a discount. Since Xmas I have published six books with them and have just recieved a cheque for my sales. The process is not too complicated as they guide you through the complete process from start to finish. You even set the price of your book. I can now publish a book in less than one hour. Select the free ISBN and free distribution, and your books will still be available on Amazon after a few weeks. I was completely satisfied with the quality of the books and even though they have not made me rich, they are selling. I would though advise you to ensure that your book is as near perfect as you can het it, as Lulu have no input into the contents. Hope this helped. Below is a link to my Lulu bookstore. Take a look and see what you think. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/HULSEY
I've been considering Lulu as well, if I don't have any luck with other publishers. It looks pretty good, seems straightforward and stuff, It'd be good to go for just to see something of mine in print, I think it'd be a nice little confidence boost. Thanks for the suggestion. All the best with selling your books on Lulu :)


Forgot to mention, Biddles (http://www.biddles.co.uk/) do (or used to) reasonably priced short runs (100 copies min). They're very good, friendly and reliable, I've used them myself. http://www.ukauthors.com
Following research and masses of anxiety I self published a local book called Memories Of Finedon. I had spent six years interviewing local people, following great personal loss. The first print run of 500 books were sold in under a week. I have to say that I think it was the vast content of memories that sold this book. I was simply the scribe! If I had been waiting for a publisher I am certain I would still be waiting. I would say follow your dream and don't ever give up. Best wishes Audrey
Thanks, I'll check them out too :D


Well done on the completion of your first novel! I haven't read any of Cigarette yet but will go away and find it and let you know what I think. Alex


That would be great galeforce, thank you :) There's a few chapters on here, just the first draft, but a few got cherrypicked so that inspired me to give it a real go. I might put up some more of it and update the old chapters when I'm done the second draft. Thank you for the interest!


Hey! All the advice given seems great, but I must warn you - a second draft will not be the only one needed! I have to warn you that, if a publisher does take you on, the editing process will be a long game of tennis between you, yourself and the editor, and no matter how many times you go through your manuscript, even at the twentieth draft, you'll still find the odd comma that's gone astray, or that you've used the same adjective three times in one paragraph, or a character has done or said something in chapter three that doesn't tie up with a development in chapter twenty, or need to rewrite a whole chapter that you suddenly find yourself unhappy with, etc, etc! Or maybe that's just me! Anyway, the best advice I can give you is to find a friend or relative who is great at spelling, grammar, etc and get them to proof-read it for you - they'll also be able to bring up any plot points or flaws you won't have noticed because you're too close to it. Invaluable before you go near a publisher or agent! Anyway, best of luck, and keep writing! J x


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