by Patricia Kiyono
In another two months I'll be knee deep in Christmas preparations for our family. But in the writing world, the holidays begin much earlier. The publisher through which my first seven books were released has a July 31 deadline for holiday books, and even though I started the story in May, I was nowhere near finished by July 31. So I had three options: A, self-publish, B, save the story until next year, or C, find another publisher with a later deadline.
While I don't consider myself totally inept using my computer, I don't want to spend time learning all the ropes for self-publishing. I know several GRRWG members have been very successful going this route, but I don't believe this is what I want to do. Saving the story for next year is an option, but since I had already written most of the story I decided to shop around. I queried two other ebook distributors who have released books by writers I know, and found their deadline was in September. So I decided to finish the book and submit it elsewhere.
For some reason, once I made my decision, the words stopped coming. I had to make myself sit down, turn off the internet and write. I found a critique partner online who read each chapter as I sent it – sometimes two at a time, and she gave me immediate feedback. I got two other writers to read the whole thing once it was done and give me feedback about the flow, and my 26 year old daughter was fabulous at keeping my characters dialogue true to their age, and not my age.
So with a lot of help, I got the story submitted, and I actually got a contract for Christmas Wishes from EsKape Press, hopefully to be released at the beginning of November! But I don't advocate doing it the way I did – I really, really hate being last minute. It's kind of like doing all your Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve!