IWSG and C. Lee McKenzie is here to chat

Today is the first Wednesday of May, which means it’s time for the Insecure Writers Support group. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. This month’s co-hosts are Eva Solar, Melanie Schulz, Lisa-Buie Collard, and Stephen Tremp.

InsecureWritersSupportGroupToday’s post isn’t so much about my insecurities. Instead, it’s a thank you to all the wonderful writers who have helped me with my journey. The writer/blogger community is so supportive and I’m always blown away by their kindness. So many have answered my questions, given advice, offered to read my stuff, and so much more it’s nearly impossible to list everything. As a way of saying thank you, I’ve started a monthly giveaway on my blog. The goal each month is to giveaway five books by incredible authors. Click on this link for May’s giveaway. This is also my way of saying thanks to bloggers and fans for stopping by to say hello whenever they have the time. I know everyone is busy and I really do appreciate the time you take to stay connected. All of you are important to my writing career and I want to say thanks. If you are an author and are interested in offering one of your books for the giveaway, please send me an email to tbmarkinson@gmail.com.

Great Time LockOne of this month’s featured authors in the May giveaway is here to share a little about her publishing experience. Please welcome C. Lee McKenzie. Enter here for a chance to win a copy of her novel The Great Time Lock Disaster.

How Hard Is It To Sell Your Books to Publishers?

This is a question a lot of authors ask. It never seems to be one that non-authors ask. And that’s because if you’re not a person who writes books, you don’t understand what it means to make a book sale.

I have to admit that I didn’t really understand that either.

Here’s why.

I did almost everything backwards. My first sale was easy. I only queried a couple of times before an editor asked for a full, and then offered me a contract.

“So how hard can this publishing business be?” I asked myself. Even my second book went quickly from the writing to the sale. And then my publisher and the editor who “got” me vanished. That was something I hadn’t expected.

I also hadn’t expected that my third book would be turned down several times. What? I was a published author. Shouldn’t that be credentials enough for a quick third book sale?

Answer: No.

So there I was with those two first books I needed to promote a lot because I was alone out Lee20here waving banners and pointing at my work. I soon realized my writing time was cut in half; a fourth book took a back seat while I promoted book one and two, and queried book three.

By the end of that year, I was able to answer my earlier question about how hard publishing could be.

Answer: “This publishing business is darned hard.”

I did finally find a home for book three, then book four, but I now know that’s no guarantee anyone will embrace book five. Wish me luck because a lot of what happens in book publishing is having your manuscript land on the right desk at the right time. Luck is a huge factor, but persistence and writing well are equally important, and that’s what I’m working on every day.

What’s your publishing experience?

  1. Easy
  2. Hard
  3. Discouraging
  4. Exciting
  5. All of the above

alligatornew100 double-negative100 Princess of Las Pulgas100 SOTE_Cover100 suddensecrets100

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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26 Responses to IWSG and C. Lee McKenzie is here to chat

  1. I haven’t a MS completed yet but from all I’ve read about publishing makes my head spin. It is damn hard work getting published. Thank you for this post. Good to hear the truth from someone who has gone the route. ❤

  2. chrysfey says:

    It’s funny because it’s been All of the Above. I’ve been querying the first book in a series for many years with no luck. That’s the discouraging part. But I published my first eBook on the first try when I sent it to a small press (The Wild Rose Press), and every manuscript after that was accepted too. That’s the easy part. Actually seeing my work in eBook format Is the exciting part. And the hard part? Yup, marketing on my own.

  3. melissamaygrove says:

    I never knew that about you, Lee. That’s interesting.
    Break a pencil! LOL
    IWSG #134 until Alex culls the list again.

  4. melissamaygrove says:

    Sorry, TB! Didn’t mean to overlook the host! >.<
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  5. All of the above! Being published doesn’t guarantee the next one will sell. I’ve held my breath every time I’ve sent in a manuscript to my publisher.
    Glad you’ve had so much support, TBM. This community is awesome that way.

  6. Liesel Hill says:

    I agree with Alex. Definitely all of the above. But once you get a handle on things–understand how the business works and how the game is played–it becomes more exciting than anything else. 😀 I also agree that this community is phenomenal! 😀

  7. The writing community is so generous with their support.

    My answer is all of the above as well. Nobody has a completely smooth ride of it. But I think that’s a good thing, in the end.

  8. People assume that the only way to go is uphill. I wish that were true. Sometimes you’re lucky and things are easy, but not always. Not just with publishing.

  9. lilicasplace says:

    TBM, thanks so much for starting a monthly giveaway on your site. I’ll be sure to pass by often. I didn’t realize you’re on WP too. I’m following you now. 🙂 Thanks for the visit and comment on my blog today.

    Lee, I haven’t published anything yet except for an article in the IWSG Guide, but I’m going to go with 5, and the 1 is if you have a lot of help! Sorry that your first two publishers ‘vanished’. Have a great night. Eva

  10. I love reading about the different paths authors take on their journey to and beyond publication. You never know what’s around the corner, do you? I’m still interested in traditional publishing, but in the meantime, I’ve published several short stories through a small, e-publisher. It’s a good way to learn about marketing and make connections.

  11. Someone told me when it was taking me forever to get published that we all pay our dues, whether we pay it before or after we’re published. I think we pay them throughout our careers!

    My blog

  12. So exciting to see Lee here today! I really enjoyed hearing about her experience with getting published. It is definitely a difficult road without any guarantees. I am glad she has found homes for her books and wish her the best of luck with futures books. 🙂

  13. I would have quit years ago without blogger/writer support online. “Normal” people just don’t get it. We have to stick together.

    Love Lee. Love her books. She is so good at spinning a tale and painting a world around it. And she’s smart. I used to get mad at published writers who complained about the difficulties of juggling marketing/writing/selling…but now I understand how true it is. And you’re only as good as your next book, so it feels like the pressure is never off. But still, we’re blessed. We’re doing what we love and that should count for something.

  14. so many ups and downs, right??? I thought once I got agented, BOOM, instant sales. So much work goes into revising and then all the other stuff, like hitting the trends at the right time, finding the right editor. All we can do is write that next book!

  15. We have a great community. Publishing is hard. I always find myself looking up new agents and publishers to send things to, while some manuscripts are harder sells than others.

  16. Kimberly says:

    All of the above for sure. It is hard and exciting and heartbreaking at times but the writing community is always there to support. 🙂

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