How to Get Published is a continuing feature at As the Pages Turn where we ask authors to tell us their publishing stories. Was it a rocky road or did it come easy for them? Did they start with an agent and get a NY publisher interested in their book or did they self-publish? What words of wisdom do they have for all of us who would like to be published one day?
Today’s guest is Dorothy Thompson, author of the relationships anthology, Romancing the Soul (Zumaya Publications).
By Dorothy Thompson
Once upon a time, it was every author’s dream to be published by the Big Six. Thoughts of living in mansions and money to burn, not to mention the PRESTIGE of being published by a NY publisher, just seemed to be at the top of the list. One such author I know quite personally thought it was the right move for her new book she had just put together but yet hadn’t published. Yet. The author had a friend who recommended her agent who had gotten her into the Big Six and the author knew she was on her way.
The agent accepted her manuscript and was about to go on the Big Six Hunt when she had a few suggestions for the author’s book. She told the author that in order to get NY to publish you, you had to make a few changes.
The author knew what she had to do. Based on the agent’s suggestions, she had to cut the book in half and take out the really good parts. “My suggestion to you,” she said, “would be to cut the book in half, make each shorter and do away with the out of the norm stuff.”
The author started cutting and it was about halfway through when a light bulb went off. “Wait a minute,” she said, “if I do this, I lose the whole focus of the book. Am I supposed to go by the Big Six’s rules in order to get a NY contract but give up on why I even wrote the book in the first place?”
See, NY has rules. It has to be “their” way or the highway for reasons that makes sense to them, but not to us. They want to be able to sell the book and that was the bottom line.
The author stopped cutting. And fired the agent.
You probably see where I’m going with this. That author was me. Yes, I had a chance to have my book being represented by the Big Six, only I just couldn’t do it. Let me explain. Romancing the Soul is a collection of true soul mate stories I collected from people all over the world. Not one of those stories could be cut. The agent wanted me to take out the non-normal stories of people believing their cat was their soul mate, or their aunt was their soul mate or something other than “what was normal” had to be cut. But you see, this was the essence of the book – to help people realize there was more than one kind of soul mate and the reasons behind it. Had I cut it down to only boy/girl relationships, it would have been just like all the other books out there. Sure, it might seem a little different, but this is all based on scientific fact and beliefs I knew to be true and was trying to show the world why they should think it to be true, also. My book would have lost its soul to the almighty Big Six and how would I deal with that?
I couldn’t and didn’t and instead let it sit….but…I was a member of an online group and was telling them this story. I added that I knew this book would sell even if I had to put up a card table in my front yard and sell them that way. What I didn’t know was that there were publishers lurking in the group. Elizabeth Burton of Zumaya Publications was one such publisher. She emailed me offlist and told me to send her the whole book, that she wanted to publish it.
Zumaya Publications is a small press. What I believe makes them stand out from anyone else is that she fully believed in my book. I’m sure there are lots of other small presses who will tell you that in order to get you to send them your book, but over the years since the book was published, I had a gut feeling about Elizabeth and I was right. She had my back on everything and that’s all I could hope for.
This was back in 2004 and no, the book hasn’t made any bestselling lists, and it’s hit or miss as far as sales go, but I’m happy with that. The true fairy tale ending in this story is when you find someone who truly believes in your book and is sending you reminder emails to get that next book to them pronto, that’s the real fairy tale. I’m happy to say the next book in the soul mate series, The Soul Mate Triangle: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Soul Mate Triangle will be published soon. ;o)
Dorothy Thompson is the compiler/editor/co-author of Romancing the Soul: True Stories of Soul Mates From Around the World and Beyond, as well as other relationship ebooks such as How to Find and Keep Your Soul Mate and 101 Facts You Never Knew About Soul Mates. Her relationship columns have appeared in eNotAlone, SistersDiva Magazine, MindBodySpirit Magazine, Singles Cafe, SinglesStop, Innerself, Single Again, Free Spirit Centre, Holistic Harmony, SpiritualMinds, Self-Growth, Into the Mystic, Romance Stuck and many other relationship ezines as well as The Eastern Shore News and The Daily Times, both Gannet Publications. She has been featured in the supermarket tabloid, OK! Magazineas well as appearing as a special guest on many radio programs including Lifetime Radio, Single Talk, Cuzzin Eddie Show and A Book and a Chat.
Her many upcoming projects include a self-help book titled The Soul Mate Triangle: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Soul Mate Relationship (due to be released by Zumaya Publications in 2013) and several other books in various stages of production.
Dorothy is also CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book publicity and social media. You can visit her website at www.PumpUpYourBook.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pumpupyourbook and Facebook at www.facebook.com/pumpupyourbook.
Dorothy lives on the beautiful island of Chincoteague, Virginia.