Think Getting Published is Easy?

publishing

I’ve written a novel. The main character has MS (big surprise), but that’s only a subplot to the story, which is about self-discovery, perseverance, family, friendship, love and redemption.

I never intended to be an author, and how I came to write this is a long story in itself, but I enjoyed the process, had the assistance of an editor along the way, and I think the end product is pretty good. Most of the people who have read it certainly think so. Who knows? Maybe this can become a second career if working regular hours in an office  becomes impossible. A guy can dream, can’t he?

But I have to get one little detail out of the way, which is getting the damn thing published, and I don’t mean self-publishing. When I finally got the manuscript finished after so many edits and revisions I lost count (at least twenty of them), I figured the hard part was over. Little did I know.

I assumed all that needed to be done was to send the manuscript out to hundreds of publishers, who would see how brilliantly I write, and fall all over themselves trying to sign me. My literary agent, who has been in the business forever and whom I trust, quickly disabused me of that idea. In today’s competitive environment, you need more than talent. You need a social media presence.

Oh shit!

Just hearing the term “social media” makes me cringe, primarily because I never believed in it, didn’t have time for it, and didn’t want to be bothered with it. E-mail and texting was more than enough for me. Unfortunately, social media numbers are necessary because the assumption is you have a built-in network to market the book to. So whether I liked it or not, I had to jump on the bandwagon. And until a few days ago, I thought I did.

The laundry list of things I needed to accomplish when this odious chore was first presented made my sphincter pucker. I needed to max out the number of friends allowed on Facebook, which is 5,000. At the time I had less than 100. This took me the better part of three months to accomplish.

But that wasn’t enough. More was required, the list of options long, and starting a blog was the least objectionable of the choices. That, dear followers, is how this blog got started. Not that I have any regrets. I enjoy doing this and have met some fun and interesting people along the way.

I also needed at least five endorsements from published authors, which took as long as it did to achieve 5,000 friends.

Those three accomplishments got me to the point where I could sit down with my agent and hopefully move forward on the publishing front. That meeting occurred on Wednesday, and the good news is that we are going to actually start the process. YAY! 

The not so good news is getting started means I also have to create a web site (ka-ching!), and get my Linkedin presence more robust than Facebook. By the way, Linkedin does not have a follower limit, so I presume I’m looking at having to get in the 10,000 range. I currently have 103. And while all that is going on, I need to get started with Instagram.

In addition to this, a marketing plan that can be sent to publishers along with the manuscript needs to be developed, which demonstrates how wonderfully connected I am, shows all the writing groups I am affiliated with, and lists more endorsements than I currently have. That presumably will occur once the web-site, Linkedin and Instagram are in full gear, along with Facebook. Getting the blog numbers up would also be helpful.

I walked out of that meeting with mixed feelings. I was happy that we are going to actually move forward with this, but all the other stuff? It’s completely foreign to me. I think I will become enthusiastic and have fun once I get into it, but right now it feels like I’m sitting in the dentist’s office waiting for a root canal.

I know my agent is right, because once it does (hopefully) get published, the foundation to market, sell and get the word out will be in place, and the news hopefully spreads like a virus.

Still, all of this for a freaking book? If I’m going to go invest all this time, money and aggravation to get the platform up and going, it sure as hell means I’m going to have to write more stories. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Wish me luck.

 

Author: Steve Markesich

I am loving husband, a doting father, a Red Sox fanatic, an aspiring novelist and MS advocate. Feel free to check out my stevemarkesich.com web site.

22 thoughts on “Think Getting Published is Easy?”

  1. I do “wish you luck” and sending nothing but positive vibes your way. I am very willing to do with ever else I can to help – so just hit me up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck!
    I love the quote, “Don’t look back…you are not GOING that way.” It got me through starting a business. My passion, or just a lame idea I would repeatedly ask myself. Still plugging away year 5. Starting a blog soon and have no clue what I am doing.
    You Got This!
    P.S. I will be showing my budding author this awesome blog post. Not to discount her aspirations, but it addresses the realities of becoming an author. Thanks, Steve!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I knew there was a reason I didn’t keep working on that book after NaNoWriMo in November. 😉

    But, honestly, good for you! This speaks volumes to your dedication and perseverance, my friend; I’m happy to have gotten to know you! I anxiously await updates of your progress, and might even consider joining LinkedIn (finally) to support your cause. Every drop in the bucket, right?

    I am already on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (though I hardly use the latter) if you need any more assistance there. Carry on, my wayward son, there’ll be peace (rewards) when you are done!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I second the exhaustion motion from angelagagz, I had no idea that all that media is now a requirement for publication! I’m barely on FB (have no idea about all those other things you mentioned- no wonder people are constantly “connected”!). Good luck , you’ve put in the work! 🌟

    Liked by 1 person

      1. your post made me think…I might check into those other media platforms if only for some leverage – if I ever needed it (and I have something in mind). I don’t know how ‘Invested’ one has to be to keep up ONCE you have the following.

        Liked by 1 person

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