Writing Lesson 2.14 – A Double-Launch Party…and a PRIZE!

Welcome to my double-launch party!

Stick around; there’s a prize!

My novella just released on December 1st from Black Lyon Publishing. It’s an inspirational romance called Heart Not Taken. For those of you who are unsure, a novella is simply a short novel. It’s too long to be considered a short story, and too short to be considered a full length novel, which is a book usually over 50,000 words. My novella is 25,000 words.

Here’s the back-cover blurb:

When his faith took a hit, high school teacher Sean Heart almost let it slip away. Now, Jordyn Delaney, the landscaper hired to improve his family’s cabin property, could help him find it again — if a dangerous liaison from his past, a mentor whom he can’t forgive, and Jordyn’s own doubts don’t tear up the tenuous love between them before it has a chance to bloom.

Then, in January, Desert Breeze Publishing will introduce The Green Veil, my full-length novel, which is book one in a three book series titled Empire in Pine.

Here’s how I describe it:

One is the man she missed. The other is the man she married.

Lumberman’s daughter, Colette Palmer has understood the industry since her youth — and she’s always loved timber cruiser Manason Kade — even though he only remembers her as a child.  Leaving Michigan to settle with her family in the Wisconsin wilderness, and separated from him by miles and years, compassion compels her to marry another.

Manason longs to plant roots of his own in Wisconsin Territory. But when he stakes his claim and challenges the illegal log harvesting of a rival company, Colette’s husband swears to ruin him. Then one day Manason and Colette meet again. Now, she will have to choose between her first love and her commitment to her marriage vows, while her faith and an empire in pine hang in the balance.

E-book Publishing

I thought I’d share with you a little bit about the process of getting my books published as they are both E-books. Some of you are already pretty savvy when it comes to new technology popping up all the time. You maybe know all about e-books and have read some. But for those of you who haven’t, I’ll explain.

Many publishers are now publishing books two ways, both as regular hard copy or paperback books, and also as e-books — electronic books that look just like the regular book, with a cover and dedication pages and so forth, but are bought for a lower price and then downloaded directly to the purchaser’s computer, E-Book reader, iphone, or other reading device. Some publishers are strictly publishing E-books. To try an E-book for free, or have a look at them, go to Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com and type in “Free E-books”. You can even download their free Kindle or Nook e-reader application to your computer. Not all E-books are free, of course, but publishers do offer them from time to time by way of introduction. In fact, if you visit the site of just about any traditional publisher, you’ll find that they are now launching into E-book production. From what I can see, it is the publishing wave of the future.

Because there are no printing costs associated with producing an E-book, their costs are generally much less expensive than paper books, and thousands of them can be stored on a reading device. This, you can imagine, is appealing to anyone who wants to save shelf space and be able to carry a whole reading library with them in one small device.

Heart Not Taken

As you’ve probably already learned, getting published is a harrowing process that sometimes takes years to accomplish. Sometimes as writers submit material to publishers, nibbles occur, and even big bites, but a publisher may still reject a book for a myriad of reasons. Occasionally it’s just plain bad timing. They may have just signed an author with a similar book, for instance. Editors say that actually happens a lot.

So, rather than be discouraged by the process, I decided to try a smaller publisher that offered the E-book alternative. For my novella this made the most sense, because publishers of paperback novellas are fewer and farther between than for full length novels. On the other hand, the E-book option makes it very viable for publishers to publish these shorter books.

I initially wrote Heart Not Taken for a contest, as a way of stretching my ability into a genre I normally don’t write in very often. The result was that I didn’t win, but I really enjoyed the process and felt as though the story had a lot of merit. I decided to tweak it for a different publisher, and in the end discovered that Black Lyon Publishing LLC was searching for just this type of story for their new Lyonettes line of inspirational novellas.

The Green Veil

This book was read in its entirety by two major publishing houses. This means it cleared the hurdles of the pitch (query), and the proposal. I know it was discussed among the editors in at least one of the publishing houses.

That. Is. Huge.


In the end it was rejected. I received good feedback, so I was not greatly discouraged. (Okay, I guess I was, a little.) But the process of going through that route took almost two years out of the life of the manuscript. (It’s a l-o-n-g process.) That’s when I decided that although I could continue to knock on the doors of the big guys’ houses, I was open to trying a small publisher with less turn-around time. I was intrigued by the quality of work coming out of Desert Breeze Publishing, and by the authors they already represented, so I decided to submit my manuscript, along with a synopsis for my series idea, to them. About a month later, I received a contract offer for the series.

I’d been working on The Green Veil for about five years (including those two years of submitting I mentioned). It’d been re-written and polished dozens of times. And now, going through the process with my editor, it is being cleaned up even more.

The Discipline and Advice

Writing a novel is hard work. No matter how much you love your story, you have to realize that there are always ways to make it better. A novel is made up of words puzzled together, and you have to be willing to change them or cut them out. Stories need discipline to turn out well.

It’s extremely important, when submitting your work to any publisher, to study the markets, and only submit to places that publish the exact type of story you are writing. Editors get peeved when they open a submission, say, for a fantasy, when they’ve clearly stated in their guidelines that they are closed to fantasy submissions. Every publisher has a page on their site that tells what they are looking for and how to submit it. Following their guidelines exactly will get you over the second hurdle in the publishing process. (The first hurdle is to write a gripping story without errors and typos.)

There is much more I could tell you, but I think it’s time to toot the horn, have a soda, and declare the door prize.

Here’s the prize:

Heart Not Taken is a romance, and probably not for younger readers even though there’s no “bad stuff” in it. But if you are an older teen, or if your mom likes to read inspirational fiction, you just might want to win a copy of this book. (It would make a great Christmas present!) Leave your comment or question about E-book publishing below, and spread the word to someone else to leave a comment. As soon as fifteen people leave a comment, I’ll put all the names in a hat and draw a winner for a pdf copy of the book.

Stop in again at aNOVELWritingSite. In the future I’m going to reveal some of the expectations and lessons I discovered during the publisher’s editing process.

*If you would like to read more about my E-book publishing journey, you can visit my Write Reason blog: http://www.naomimusch.com/apps/blog . There, under “E-Book Chronicles”, I tell about many of the steps in the process as I go through them.

About Naomi Musch

Naomi Musch is the author of the inspirational novel The Casket Girl, a romantic adventure of the French and Indian War. She and husband Jeff enjoy epic adventures in the northwoods with their five young adults.

Read more about Naomi.

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