Wednesday, May 24, 2017

7 Shots at Targeting Your Dream Publisher

Ruthy here, still talkin' and walkin' Western because I love writing Westerns and cowboys and strong women who can stand their ground in and out of the saddle.



But I didn't start out writing Westerns. I started out with straight romance with a dash of women's fiction on the side... and there were no takers. NONE. And of course my nose got out of joint, I scowled, caused wrinkles, bought more anti-wrinkle cream and tried to figure out where I was going wrong.

Years ago, New York Times bestselling author Karen White told me "Write what you want... and when someone grabs you, specialize in that until you can spread your wings again."

Brilliant advice. Loosely translated it means enjoy what you do... but keep it in front of editors. When you sell... Specialize in THAT.... and once you're solid enough, it's amazing how many doors just might open up. And I owe a huge bundle of thanks to my amazing literary agent Natasha Kern for the boatload of opportunities she's arranged for me!

Vince Mooney once dubbed my work "Romance Realism" years ago. I love that title! But not every publisher is dying for that much realism, and so I targeted a line I loved, one that was open to new authors: Love Inspired from Harlequin.... And in doing so it cost me an agent (Nicholas Sparks' agent had called me after going over my submission, but when she found out I wanted to work with Love Inspired, she told me she was no longer interested because she didn't work with Harlequin)....

That was a weird night in my house, because two weeks later, Love Inspired rejected three different manuscripts. So I'd given up my shot at having Theresa Park as an agent and I got multiple rejections... Right then I was pretty sure I was just plain stupid.

And maybe I was, but I look back and have no regrets. I don't work well with major constraints and while Theresa liked the proposal I sent her, (which would be published later by Franciscan Media as "The First Gift"), I wasn't ready for prime time. I know that now. And it taught me a lesson: Learn all you can about your target publisher and aim high!

1. Read the line.... I can't emphasize this enough, it seems simple, doesn't it?  But you would be amazed (raises hand in guilt) how many writers NEVER read the line they're targeting because they're so sure they're better than the current authors in the stable.



2. Where do they sell their books? Are they on mass market displays across the country or are they limited to Christian retail and B&N and Amazon? What is their price point? Will people BUY YOU at that price point?


3. Does this publisher take wild chances? 

I love my work with Love Inspired, and they know I love working with them.... because I love the simple folk who aren't afraid to embrace Walmart and Kroger and Winn Dixie and Winco and Wegmans, etc.  But Love Inspired isn't going to take wild chances, so if I'm writing something outside the norm, it's not going to sell to them... So I better have another publisher in mind or be prepared to indie publish some things!




4. Does this publisher already have a voice like yours? 


If so, you probably want to look elsewhere. Why would a publisher with a successful Amish author want to be their own competition? Or if they've got a great Western author, why would they be looking for another? They want to compete with OTHER publishers... not themselves. It's important to examine who they've got doing what so you can be the person to fill a niche they might not know they have until you come along! Harlequin and Love Inspired are the exception to this, and it's a very important exception... They publish more books monthly and annually than any other publisher, and they sell a lot of books... and that means they need a strong stable of authors.



5. Scout the Internet for editor interviews from your targeted publisher

Learn about the editors. Not just one... all of them. If they give you a shot, or even ask for a full manuscript, you want to be able to carry on a conversation with them that makes you sound like a normal human being... this is NOT EASY when you are in editor shock. :) But editors are people, too, and what they want is the Next Big Thing.  Entice them with your talent, but it's plain old common sense to have a clue about the person you're submitting to.... and their team!



6. Keep your online presence stellar. 

I'm not kidding about this. I've seen so many Christian authors, male and female, putting really tacky post-election things on facebook and twitter... and I'm here to say that's pretty short-sighted. First, it's not exactly up there with living your faith and "being a light".... and Second.... EDITORS WATCH. MARKETING WATCHES. If you make it difficult for them to sell your work (and insulting 50% of the population for their voting choices in a free society might make it trickier, darlings!!!!) then you've tied their hands and publishers don't like that. If you're aiming straight at indie publishing, this rule might not apply because sometimes you can raise a furor among fans by getting them on your side... but that's a different blog post! If it's a publisher's money you're putting at risk... Don't give them a silly reason to stamp your proposal with the customary "Sorry, this is not right for us at this time...."

This looks fun! Check out the facebook page, a way to connect with great books and authors this summer!
LINK TO SUMMER BOOK CLUB!

7. Submit on a regular basis. Enter contests with your targeted editors/publisher(s) as final round judges and keep working until it's YOU in the winner's circle! Keep trying until it's your work being requested. Keep your name out there, don't get lax, your work ethic and effort will speak well of you. And when asked to Revise and Re-submit, do it. That's an invitation with so much merit and they've put the ball back in your court to see if you are:

A. Cooperative
B. Willing to work
C. Able to compromise
D. Willing to take direction
E. Prompt and focused

This is not the time to whine on facebook that you didn't get the contract, you worked so hard, and you just wish they saw your brilliance... :)

If you need a further reminder of this, go back to #6. Editors and sales teams watch the people they're considering. They know when you change your website, your blog, how often you post on facebook or instagram, how often you tweet and the list goes on. This doesn't mean you need to live on social media... That's a time drain none of us can afford. Not if we're serious about this career... but what you do post should be done to show you as a genuinely nice person. Three Faces of Eve was a GREAT horror show on split personality. For authors on facebook, simple and nice works better. Remember that even if they're not your "friend", your things can be seen and shared by others. Be smart.

And here's an extra tip: Be open to new opportunities when they come your way. Be ready. Like a bench player who gets called into the game when the star shortstop or quarterback goes out on injury... Like John the Baptist proclaimed... Be ready. When Susan Downs from Guideposts messaged that she wanted to talk to me, and offered me a spot on this year's amazingly fun "Mysteries of Martha's Vineyard" author group, I was able to jump on board... and practice something new to me! Be ready and willing. The good Lord might have given you a marvelous talent, but it's only as good as the work you're willing to put in!



Here are questions for you. How are you picking publishers? How are you targeting them? Come on in, grab fresh coffee and a slice of that rhubarb custard pie.... or the lemon bars, right next to it... and let's talk game prep. You're talking with a former soccer coach here, a woman that knows it's the preparation that makes the day... not the day itself!

And today I've got a copy of MY FIRST MYSTERY EVER.... 


to send to one lucky person! (Once my copies come!) Leave a comment inside and I'll toss your name into the bakery box from Candy Lane's Confectionery, one of the popular stop-by places in Vineyard Haven! :)

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruthy Logan Herne loves writing stories folks remember, sweet tales of faith, hope and yes... most of all... love. With over 40 novels and novellas in print, Ruthy is having the time of her life and loves to chat it up with readers and writers from all over the world! Friend her on facebook, give her a shout out on @Twitter or stop by her web page ruthloganherne.com or her blog www.ruthysplace.com




142 comments :

  1. Ruthy is it you that says "write what you love"? I'd say you finally found your niche, writing what you love to and finding that perfect publisher :-)

    I have to agree with Vince about the "Romance Realism" when it comes to your writing. That's what I love about your books. You don't shy away from messy lives, but you show the grace of God and how He can put those lives back to order. I also love the character growth you show in all of that messiness. A true journey I love to take along with your characters, makes the road of life much less lonely :-)

    I got nothing to add about publishers since I don't write. But I can see how having a good one will be a huge help to authors & finding the right "audience" for your work. :-)

    Please toss my name in the bakery box while I look for some crumbs in there to savor...you will leave some right? ;-) Thanks Ruthy!

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    1. First.... thank you for your beautiful words, Trixi. Gosh, they mean the world to me, to all of us.... and if we didn't have readers like you, our jobs would be useless. THANK YOU. You bless us, every day.

      And I do love seeing people cling to faith and strength enough to climb out of disaster... To rise above. That's the kind of realism that speaks to me, and I'm blessed and thrilled that readers love it, too!!!!

      Your name is in the bakery box! :) And Candy Lane's Confectionery makes amazing CREAM PUFFS!!!! :)

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  2. It is important to make the most of opportunities that come your way. They may not pass by again.

    Count me in thank you.

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    1. Mary, a football player once made that point on national TV and I never forgot his message... he was on the bench and one of the "starters" got injured. The coach put Tiki in the game... and he said "What if I hadn't been ready? What if I got an attitude because I wasn't a starter, and I didn't put in my "all" in practice, in preparation. What if they called my name and I wasn't ready?"

      And that made so much sense to me, not to shirk, but to always be ready.

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  3. Hi Ruthy. My goal for the day, get to sleep before you get up.

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    1. I slept in til five because I'm up until almost ten at night right now and I don't like it one bit... but it's planting time, and busy and the sun's up until nine o'clock so I expect you got to bed before I hit the ground! :)

      And that's a DREADFUL goal for the day, by the way. ;)

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    2. I could never go to sleep before ten at night. Could never be a morning person.

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    3. I try not to aim to high, Ruthy. It ups my chances for success!

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    4. Well... There's that. 😎

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  4. Ruthy, your post is truly inspiring. Just what I needed to read as I await word on my submissions (prayers, anyone?). I love the cover of A Light In the Darkness!!

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    1. Elaine, praying for your submissions... and if they don't get grabbed, lovely lady, stay in the game. We just keep writing, keep working, that's what it's all about. Having faith in ourselves, and in God's will, and doing the work so that when that call comes... we can say we're ready!

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    2. Isn't that cover great???? I love being part of this team of authors, we're going to chat about mystery writing over the summer, and honestly, it is so much fun! I would not have guessed I'd like it so much... and yet I do, and maybe it's the book set up from Guideposts, four delightfully middle-aged women, working together to solve mysteries that seem to have a way of cropping up on that delightful island!

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  5. Ruthy! Great post! I can see where you need to do your homework about the wants and needs of a publishing house. I love your comment on that you need to "be ready". I think that is good sound advice for anything in life, as we never know what lies in wait around the bend.

    I absolutely LOVE the cover of A Light in the Darkness and would love to be entered into your giveaway.

    Many Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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    1. Cindy, you're tucked into the bakery box!!! And thank you so much.... When I was new I didn't do the homework as well, LOL! That's experience and a great agent helping! But it is an important aspect of gaining readership and a foothold in this business. It always makes me sad when someone gets that first book or two out, and then stutter steps.... because that's when we need to be the most ready. And maybe it's not for everyone, I respect that. But being ready is clutch... so we keep writing!

      And that cover is beautiful, isn't it??? That lighthouse? OH MY STARS!!!! I want to inherit a lighthouse!!!!

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  6. RUTHY, I think this may be my most favorite post you've ever written! (I know. I probably say that about all of them.)

    Your words are so encouraging. Thanks for your honesty and for all the insight and practical tips. LOVED this!

    I adore your cover for A Light in the Darkness. A mystery -- oh, boy! You are amazing. :-)

    BTW, I think I told you I had to have more of the Staffords. Ordered 'em today. They should be on my doorstep on Friday. (Your books, anyway! Lol)

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    1. Cynthia, I saw that facebook post, and I laughed and cheered! Thank you for buying them! The books... not the cowboys, LOL! :)

      And thank you for your kind words today, you are such a blessing. Practicality is such an important baseline for this crazy business. We might write romance and fiction, but we live in the real world of paychecks and mortgages... so the balance of work is crazy important. Being ready.... Oh that John the Baptist was one smart, courageous soul!

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  7. Hi Ruthy! This was a fantastic post and one I'll read over several times. You nailed #6. I've stopped reading several authors because of content I've read on their Facebook page. These days, I'm tying to be more like Glynna by writing more and staying away from FB. I'd love to read your first mystery...yay you! The cover is gorgeous.

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    1. Jill, thank you so much! I love the cover, too, and the crew at Guideposts (Susan Downs, Joanne Simmons, Jessica Barnes and April Frazier) have been marvelous to work with. And the team of writers is the best. What a great bunch of gals, so this is a wonderful opportunity for me!

      And the facebook thing... I had to bite my tongue (and still do) because I won't get into things on facebook... but I have to think they don't realize the effect this can have. Or maybe they do and don't care?

      I honestly don't know.

      But I do know that three of my editors have said they "watch" from afar, that they read Seekerville, and they check websites and they browse facebook and Twitter.

      Which only makes sense because their authors represent the line, right?

      Tucking your name into the bakery box!

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    2. There's times I really regret following an author on FB or Twitter. One that I really loved kept tweeting during the elections and then about their opinions on general topics that I found annoying. Exhausting. I don't want to even buy her books anymore because now I see an agenda w/her characters.
      It's kind of like looking up an old celebrity that played downhome wholesome parts to learn they've cheated on 9 of their 7 wives. I wished I'd never looked them up.

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    3. I never put anything even remotely political on Facebook. I won't even "like" something that is political, even if I agree with it. I just don't want to do that on FB.

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    4. Me, too, Sandy. I usually "unfriend" those who post a lot of political junk.

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    5. These are such good points. Silence can be our best friend. But I have gotten some great character ideas, LOL!

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  8. Ruthy, This is one of the things I love about you, you have all the wisdom and common sense of a mother, sister and best friend rolled into one.

    *Live your faith, be a light-yes! don't lose your focus and don't get sucked into useless time wasting disagreements
    *Be ready-we never know what opportunity will come our way when we are well prepared
    *Others are always watching-not only do we need to keep watch over our words because of others, but God is listening too

    I can't wait to take a trip to Vineyard Haven and take a walk down Candy Lane to the confectionery shop. you know I have a sweet tooth! The cover on The Light in the Window is beautiful! I want a copy, how will it be marketed? I have always bought Guidepost through the mail, will this line of books be in stores?

    Thanks for the dose of wisdom this morning, great way to start the day, being mindful of who we are and Who we are to model our behavior after.

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    1. Tracey, you mentioned a GREAT THING!!! Guideposts doesn't market through stores, it's mail order and this whole series (24 books, 3 by me, The Mysteries of Martha's Vineyard) will be available through their mail order service... and the link isn't live yet, I just chatted with Susan Downs on Monday and she expects it any time. It's scheduled for June (of course folks that are already on their mailing list have gotten the heads up already, so that's what I'm doing!)

      There is a product services e-mail: GPSprod@cdsfulfillment.com

      But I think we should be seeing a direct link to these sweet mysteries (and I love, love, love the characters!!!)come out soon!

      And thank you for your wonderful words. I see the three points you made as huge in life... and huge in writing or most any career. To be a light.... Be ready... Know that others watch and take their cue from your/our actions.

      I hope you love the new series, Tracey!!!

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  9. Great blog, Ruthy, packed with info! So many truths...

    Glad you mentioned FB posts. I've been inwardly hurt by all the negative political comments on FB. Some of the people I always admired have been too vocal and hateful for me. That has changed my opinion of them. Sadly.

    Also Rome wasn't built in a day. So for those just starting on this journey, you can take one step at a time. I can be easily overwhelmed if I think I need to do it ALL and do it today.

    Although, Ruthy, you do have the energy of twelve women...so you can do it all and do it today! :)

    Love your stories!!! Thrilled about your success!!!

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    1. Laughing about the all in a day, because isn't that the truth? And there's so much to learn, Deb... AND HUGE CONGRATS TO DEBBY GIUSTI FOR MAKING THE PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER LIST WITH "PLAIN REFUGE"!!!! I am so excited for you!!!

      And you're so right about the facebook stuff... arguing on facebook isn't smart. Or reprimanding others for not sharing your opinion... or saying hateful things. I saw so many things from folks (some on my friends list, but many who are not) who don't realize that others see you in a feed... and that reality should keep us on the sharp look at how we are.

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    2. And here's another thing about facebook: If you are being two distinctly different people, folks will figure it out. You can't have it both ways forever, and it might cost you.

      I promise folks that I'm just me. I'm the same person in person that you see on facebook and twitter. I'm the same person in church or in town (messy bird's nest hair and all!) that you see on Twitter... I'm conservative and fairly libertarian and mostly nice and I love God, babies, animals and my family and my country.

      With a dash of snarky realism.

      :)

      That way there are NO SURPRISES when they see me say something on Debby's feed, or my sister's feed or my daughter's feed (many of these feeds cross-pollinate like a good hybrid corn! ) They get the same Ruthy no matter where I am.

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    3. I am always reminded of a Michael Jordan quote when asked why he didn't get involved with politics.(he was politically liberal but not outspoken about it).
      Jordan said, "Republicans buy shoes, too."

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    4. Great quote, Mary, and so true!

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    5. Thanks for the shout out, Ruthy, about Amish Refuge making the Publishers Weekly Bestsellers List. Color me tickled pink! :)

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    6. Jordan's remark is wonderful! Love!!!

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  10. Great post, Ruthy! It had crossed my mind about stuff posted on social media, but I hadn't thought to the point that people check it out to see what you've written. That's an eye opener, but it makes sense. Thanks for that tip!

    I'm at the point I think I don't know who I'm targeting. I think I just need to write, see what comes out, and then decide. But that seems backward. If you've got someone in mind, you know how to gear your story.

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    1. Sally, I don't think that's backward at all. I think we need to practice and kind of figure out our voice and our story-telling... and then we can see who it fits more clearly. That kind of makes sense, doesn't it? So don't hurry yourself to pick... But smooth those edges and round things out... and when you feel like you know yourself and your writing, then pick a spot and start targeting. But if anyone disagrees on that, please jump in here! I'm open to suggestions, too!

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  11. Ruthy, do you have a separate FB page for fans and one for family? I ask because I notice you post a lot of family and everyday pics.

    This is such a great reminder to be flexible. I have 3 historicals that aren't a good fit for my targeted publisher so I'm trying to write a new ms just for them. I'm LISTENING this time.

    Thanks for the encouraging post.

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    1. Connie, I don't. Some authors do, but I decided at the beginning that I wanted people to see the real me... and if I have family/friends who don't want their pics public, I respect that, but most of my daycare families and my family think it's fun to cross-share... and you get the family farm in there, too. :) I'm sure someone would say that's a horrible idea, but that's how I make sure that it's the real me everyone gets. No back door or over the garden fence snarky Ruthys.... just the real deal.

      Remember that old saying "Is it easier to tell the truth or try to remember what you said?"

      There's a lot of solid truth in that. :)

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    2. I have a personal page and a fan page, but I just about never use the fan page. It just gets to complicated to keep up with both of them.
      The fan page though, is the landing site for book launch stuff. My publisher has access to it and can help run Facebook parties. They need me to have that page.

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    3. I should get an author page. But right now I just have the one site. I do, however, guard the little ones in my family. As much as I would love everyone to see how adorable they are, I am cautious because I don't know all the folks who are my "friends" on FB. A few writers have had problems so I keep the little ones out of the spotlight, so to speak.

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    4. Deb I totally get that. We're all different and my family is so huge that messing with two sites wouldn't work and once ally daycare families were on my site, it all kind of melded. Nothing wrong with caution.

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  12. Oh, Ruthy, EXCELLENT ADVICE from someone who has been in the trenches and knows what she's talking about, so this is definitely a keeper post, my friend!

    One of my favorite things you said is: "Years ago, New York Times bestselling author Karen White told me "Write what you want... and when someone grabs you, specialize in that until you can spread your wings again."

    Keith always accuses me of writing what I want (super spiritual, super emotional, super passionate books) rather than what the market wants (toned-down spirituality or threads, less romantic passion), but I'm now seeing that as a challenge instead of a restriction, so I've been having some fun with it, which is key for writing, isn't it?

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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    1. Julie, I think you're correct, the key is to write what we love... but also to be flexible and to develop new boxes so we're not totally boxed in.

      I love the flexibility of writing, and I remember balking at the thought of being just one writer, one brand way back when I started because I love so many different things... How perfect that now I've got those opportunities to spread my wings! There is not one of my series or publishers I don't love, and we've had great fun together....

      Karen's advice was marvelous, and she's one of the nicest people on the planet. So stinkin' normal. So when she talks, I listen. I never worry about the next big thing, that's not why I do this... I do it for the one heart that needs it... and I'm thrilled that they pay me to do it.

      That, right there, is enough.

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    2. So you're saying I SHOULD try and publish that gothic romance?????

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    3. Right after the Zombie Apocalypse Amish mass-produced, darling. 😁

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  13. Ruthy, I'm so excited to have guidelines for targeting publishers. Thank you. Until your post my method has been to look toward authors I love to read who write books in roughly the length that I'm able at this point in my writing life.
    This week I'm so wired about organization, business plan, and polishing that I feel super charged and your post was perfect for me today.
    By the way, Trey has taken up residence in a little corner of my heart. Sigh.
    Blessings!

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    1. Barbara!!! I'M SO GLAD YOU LOVE TREY!!!! ISN'T HE THE BEST?????

      For those of you who don't know, Trey is the hero in "Peace in the Valley" the third Double S Ranch book... and a wonderful story of overcoming the unseen.... I just love that story!

      And you are welcome for the guidelines... I thought that since I've worked with all of these publishers (and a couple of others on novella projects) it was time to talk about them as individual entities. If we learn to target then we learn to write more specifically. That's a great way to polish our work!

      And I'm returning your blessings back to you!

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  14. Ruthy - I can't believe you would have ever been at a point with no takers. Who wouldn't want to read a Ruthy book? I guess we all start somewhere. I have a dream publisher - they actually requested two of my manuscripts a couple years ago. Never heard back from them so I just keep plugging away. To quote Cinderella (sort of) Someday my prints will come! Until then I read every Ruthy book I can get my hands on.

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    1. P.S. Forgot to say I gave my mom the Double S Ranch Series for Mother's Day. She was thrilled with the covers!! Imagine how she will feel once she actually gets them read.

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    2. Hahahahah! I love that, "Someday my prints will come"! Laughing!!!

      And gosh, we all (or most of us) start that way, don't we???? Sure, we do. And Connealy made fun of me back then, too. :)

      Keep that dream publisher in your sights. And keep working. You know me, that's always the key: Write, write, write. And when someone tells you that writing every day isn't important, my guess is they either don't want the competition... OR... they don't have a clue.

      Now that might work for a few specific authors... but I think getting into the practice of production is clutch to success.

      (My bossy side talking!)

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    3. I love that you gave them to Mom! I hope she loves them!

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  15. Oooh, lemon bars!

    Thanks for such a wise and insightful post, Ruthy! It's going to take me a while to digest all the nuggets of information. I do wholeheartedly agree with you about being wise in your social media use. Even on my personal Facebook page, I can count the number of political posts I've made on one hand (usually along the lines of "Hey, we have a cool country that lets us get out there and vote on stuff, so go do that!"), because no matter what I say, it's going to hack off half my friends, and I don't need that in my life. Some authors are uber-political, and as a reader I find that off-putting. Nope, on social media it's pretty much all funny posts about my kids (and those guys are a gold mine!).

    I do have a question. Should an aspiring author research publishers and base their agent decision on that, or is it best to find the right agent first, and then let their experience, knowledge, and connections guide you to the best fit as far as publishers go? I admit I don't know much about publishers yet; there are a couple I know I wouldn't be a good fit for due to the length of my MS, but that's about it.

    Can't wait to read your new book!

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    1. Amanda, I can throw in my two cents on your question. I actually found a publisher before I found the perfect agent. So I would advise doing both searches at the same time. You never know which you might find first! :)

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    2. Amanda, I agree with Missy. I'd be searching and submitting simultaneously... Julie found our agent first... then a contract. I got my contract first, then an agent, so it can go either way. And I don't even want to say how many times I was rejected by agents and editors... but the trick in this business is to change things up, practice, practice, practice... and never stop getting your work out there.

      Prayer, patience and persistence!!!

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    3. Thank you! I guess I hadn't thought about the possibility of finding an editor prior to finding an agent, since most of the conventional wisdom recommends an agent first. I shall expand my search!

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  16. Oh, Ruthy! Such great advice! I especially loved the advice about being careful what you put on social media. I stopped following so many "friends" because of post-election rants that were over the top. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some people were just nuts. I think the same can be said for editors. I always find it a little disconcerting when I begin to follow an editor from a publisher I might be interested in and the only thing they tweet is very politically charged and negative or bashing certain groups of people because of their beliefs or opinions. It definitely makes me think twice about wanting to work with them. They, too, should be careful what they post because everyone is watching!
    Congrats on your newest book!

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    1. LeAnne, that's such a good point. I'd never thought of that. Most of my editors don't do facebook for that very reason, but you're right, I've seen a couple of others who do, and it was disconcerting.

      I remember years ago I was judging a contest and the person went on a Bush-hating rant starting in the Houston airport and my first comment to her was: "You have just angered 50% of your possible readership. Can you afford to do that? Is it in your best interests or the book's?"

      We have to think neutral and ecumenical even if we personally go one way or another. I think the skill in being a strong writer is getting your points across in other ways...

      Thank you for your wonderful feedback!

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  17. Good morning, Ruthy!

    Congratulations on your new release with Guideposts. What a gorgeous cover! Great advice today, as always. I'm with so many of you when it comes to Facebook posts by authors. I've also been turned off by political and social agendas. It's seems like a no-brainer, but people surprise me.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the agent of your dreams. In true Ruthy fashion, you kept moving forward despite your disappointment. Your career certainly reflects your persistence. Thank you for sharing with us today.

    Happy planting, Ruthy!

    ~ Renee

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    1. Aw, Renee, thank you! What kind and wonderful words to hear because we just had a flat tire on the farm tiller, and I'm pretty sure that "someone" thinks it was my fault... Welcome to spring on the farm, LOL!

      And look at us, in agreement! It's kind of like food... binging, bad. Moderation, good!

      Delete
  18. Lots to think about here, Ruthy! Thanks for sharing!

    You're actually the second person to reference Karen White to me this week.

    Do you remember how many books you'd written before your first contract? Once you were 'discovered' were you able to pull a lot of those out for publishing?

    Congratulations on your new book!

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    1. Jackie, I love Karen's books! She's a longtime friend from Georgia Romance Writers and a great writer. A genuinely nice person.

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    2. I got to know Karen when I saw her book in a contest gosh... 15 years ago? And I went all fan girl on her!!!! I love her (and her work) to pieces. And she's one of those writers who has jigged and jagged as needed. I love that. No sense cryin' 'bout stuff... Jes' get along. :)

      I had 14 books written before I got the call. Seven of those have been published, five deservedly went AWOL and one was re-written as "The Lawman's Second Chance" for Love Inspired... So that was wonderful, right? Like money in the bank!

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    3. Ruthy and Missy, thanks for getting back with me. I'll definitely learn more about Karen.

      Ruthy, that was wonderful about "The Lawman's Second Chance." You've really encouraged me today. Thanks!

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    4. Well I love you like crazy. πŸ˜„

      Delete
  19. Hey, Ruthy!

    I'm supposed to be writing, but I just HAD to sneak over here and absorb some of your wisdom first.

    I loved all of your points, and #4 hit home. Before I was published, I had an appointment at the ACFW conference with an editor from what I thought should be my dream publisher. But since I write Amish stories, and Bethany House is Beverly Lewis's publisher...well...let's just say the editor was very kind. That's when I learned that publishing houses aren't likely to compete with themselves!

    And point #6 - Oh. My. I once watched a video a fellow author did on Facebook where she tore down other authors - not by name, but it was embarrassing. It was a blatant attempt to keep her readers loyal to herself...but I won't be reading any of her books.

    Our online selves need to be at our best. This is the only place most of our readers meet us, and we only have one opportunity to make a good impression!

    Stick my name in the box! I can't wait to read a Ruthy mystery!

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    1. Jan, that is such a perfect point... We need to be at our best online. Tuck the snark aside (unless I'm teasing Mary, and then it's okay. Expected, actually! ) :)

      I saw an author do a similar thing about a book... again "shielding" it, but it was clear to me what she was referring to... and that's just wrong.

      Beverly Lewis and Bethany House... I think it's actually part of her contract that they lock her in and others out... that's she's exclusive to them and them to her. You don't see too much of that in the trenches, but when people get such a strong following, it's more common.

      And it does make sense. Why compete with yourself?

      I have Mattie's Pledge on my sideboard... I haven't read it yet (and I know, book 3 is coming out!!!) but I've got it next on the list. I just wrapped up Debby's.... You ladies do such a beautiful job with your stories. Thank you!!!

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  20. Good morning Ruthy, Love this post. Brings back so many memories. smile. You are so right to be ready. Love how you've been willing and ready to take on all of this exciting opportunity. Happy writing dear friend. So proud of you.

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    1. Sandra, I'm proud of you, too... and so happy that we found that friendship years ago and that we've been able to cling across the miles. You have a sweet heart and a big soul.... And you've given me lots of great advice over the years. I love you to pieces.

      Delete
  21. You are an amazing woman, Ruthy!!! I love your advice, (and I love how well it dovetails with my advice tomorrow!) but most of all, I love how tenacious you are! You inspire me, truly. If I'd almost landed Nicholas Sparks's agent and then got three rejections immediately after from the same publisher that scared away Theresa Park, I'm not certain I could have shrugged it off the way you did. You are an amazingly strong and God-believing woman, and I love that about you!!! :-)

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    1. Well, it sounds like I shrugged it off NOW... in the re-telling, LOL! But then I figured I'd made the biggest, dumbest mistake of my life.

      And yet, look how wonderfully it turned out? I've had so much fun with Love Inspired, with my readers and building a readership.... and I love working with the Waterbrook crew, and the folks at Franciscan were marvelous and I can't say enough about the gals at Guideposts. I am so blessed...

      So I didn't really shrug it off then... I cried my little eyes out, no doubt. But then I just kept right on writing, figuring someday that door would open for me. And it did!!!

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  22. Wow, you really pulled through there. I've been considering possibly getting an agent because I need to do something to publicize my books. I've been sending queries to about every Christian/clean agency that'll take an unsolicited query, but maybe it's time to go big or go home...

    And thank goodness I don't have any social media. Don't have to worry about any past mistakes there. And if I ever do get it- well, the golden rule will have to be forefront in my mind. Even if someone on the internet is wrong...

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    1. Boo, the Golden Rule should be everyone's Banner Pic on facebook! That would be an excellent idea. And yes, approach agents, see what people have to say. I got a slew of rejections, and that was expected... but when they started becoming more personal, and with advice, I knew I was closer... no one takes the time to offer advice to someone they either don't like or don't anticipate making the grade... and that was a big step forward!!!

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  23. Good morning Ruthy! What a great post. I'm filing this away for (hopefully not too distant) future reference!

    I especially love the point about online presence. I've stopped reading certain authors or watching certain actors because of their extreme unprofessionalism online. Sure, there are ways to thoughtfully add to the dialog about what's happening in the world, but more often than not it's just tantrums and noise. It's a great reminder to think through what I post online and when in doubt, don't post!

    And I had never thought about whether I'm a similar voice to an author already published by a line I'm interested in. What a great point to consider!

    I can't wait to read your mystery!!

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    1. Megan, "tantrums and noise" is a good way to put it! I always hate seeing those posts and just try to skip right by them.

      Delete
    2. I love that term "tantrums and noise"!!! I may steal it. The similar voice thing is brought to us through our agents... first because we need to see what publishers don't have a strong author in X, Y or Z... WF, Romance, Westerns, Small Town, Amish, etc... And because when we do those major proposals we have to be able to compare our work to a similar author... and that's a lot harder than it sounds!

      And you're right, I've turned off actors/shows because of things people felt the need to say.

      I watch shows for entertainment.

      Not advice.

      I've got six kids, plenty of advice here!!!!

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  24. Great post, Ruthy. I like what you said about being prepared just in case.

    Please enter me in the drawing. I love Guideposts books and I can't wait to read this one. Is your book the first one in the series?

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    1. Sandy, yes! A Light in the Darkness is the first book in the series. I had a window of time and it worked out for me to get that one done... and then to be able to jog through my other contracts and now I'm working on book #9... "Swept Away"....

      I am having so much fun it should be outlawed, Sandy! And that being prepared is just plain solid advice, right? Girl Scouts!!!

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    2. I'm glad your book is first. I love reading the Guideposts books. A friend of mine used to write for them. I plan to read this whole new series! Can't wait.

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    3. Sandy I hope you love it! It's a delightful concept and wonderful authors.

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  25. Ruthy, this is great and something I haven't thought about enough. Please enter me in drawing.
    Back later,
    KB

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    1. Done and done and thank you!!!! I'll be here!

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  26. Thanks Ruthy for this great post. I have an idea of where I would like to have it published. I am not ready yet to submit. this helped me for when I reach that stage, Please put me in the candy box for your mystery.

    I am under a tornado watch here in the mountains of NC. Which is wrecking havoc with my body. May not be able to read or write today, but the Lord is good.

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    1. Tornado watch!!!! Wilani, I can handle blizzards, but tornadoes scare me... you stay safe, my friend! And I admire you knowing that you're not ready to submit. I sent stuff in before I was ready and luckily they forgave me .... but looking back, I kind of cringe! But it's all good and I really admire your tenacity. And your kindness!

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  27. Ruthy, I'm so excited to read your first mystery!! Me! Me! Pick me!!

    I love what you said about being ready. Not only does it keep me writing, but it has me prepared for whatever wonderful opportunity God might toss my way :)

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    1. Sharee, I'm putting STICKY GLUE on your name! :) What a perfectly wonderful way of putting it... it gets us prepared for whatever wonderful opportunity God has in mind! Go, GOD!!!!

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  28. Wonderful advice, Ruth! I really needed this dose of encouragement today too. I clapped my hands like a giddy schoolgirl when I read number six. YES YES YES! I have unfriended/unfollowed so many people on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram because of their hateful posts. I respect their opinion, but there's a time and place for everything, and slamming people and political groups on social media isn't it. I'm speaking about more than just authors too. Sometimes editors and publishers are just as bad, and it can put a bad taste in your mouth and make you not want to work with them, which is sad. Excellent post!

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    1. I'm with you Stephanie.
      I unfollowed an agent not long ago and within a few minutes, she FOLLOWED me. So did she see that I unfollowed her? IDK.

      Life is too short, and there is too much bad news and hate out there already. I don't need to fill my life with more. I crave happy posts.

      Delete
    2. Stephanie, I agree... And while it's calmed down, the minute something good or bad happens, it erupts. It's like we forgot the "Everything I ever needed to know, I learned in kindergarten" essay... To share. To be kind. To be quiet. To use manners... :) Just because we've got the podium to say something doesn't mean we should say it.

      And Connie, how funny is that? And yes, they probably have themselves tagged when unfollowed. I don't believe in peace at all costs... there are battles which must be fought. But there's also old-fashioned decency.

      That's never out of style!

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    3. Connie - Yes, definitely agents too. When I was querying them, I paid a lot of attention to their posts on social media because it helped narrow down the list of the specific ones I wanted to target. I was very fortunate to be accepted by one who shares the same values as I do. It really does make a difference.

      Ruth - Couldn't agree with you more. I tend to stay off social media when there's something big going on (like the presidential election last year). Not that I don't respect different opinions, because I do. It just hurts my heart seeing my friends and family at odds with each other and saying hateful things they can't take back. Plus, it helps my blood pressure if I stay away from the bickering. LOL.

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  29. It's also important to target wisely with some publishers going down or being acquired. Color Me Devastated about LIH.
    I also agree with Ruthy about the whole social media thing. We should be careful, not just because we're writers, but because we want to be decent human beings and present our best selves. I went off Facebook in Lent in part because a younger millennial relative was savaging a lot of the things I believe in. At that point, it was either go dark or tell him to shut up. When I came back on, I avoided his posts. Not worth it. My husband has a saying, "You're right, but so what?"
    We should be our best selves on Social. There's truth to the old question, "Would you say it to their face?" Unfortunately, some people would.
    Back to targeting publishers, which I suppose is part of being a good business person. It's more efficient than just bumbling around and sending anything to anybody. When we used to use postage (remember that?) it saved money and time. Now that we're digital, yay, it saves time, time that we could be writing. If we get that part of our lives down to a science, we should have more time to write the books we're marketing.
    I have to go do errands. Maybe back later.
    KB

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    1. Kathy, I've learned that blocking updates from some people on FB is the best way to decrease that kind of stress. :)

      Yes, I love digital submissions!

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  30. Ruthy, what great advice! I especially agree about not posting divisive things on social media. I've seen things on Facebook that made my jaw drop. I wanted to shout, "NOOO! Stop right now!"

    I know I've said this in email previously, but let me just say it again. I LOVE your mystery cover!!! The lighting is gorgeous. And I can't wait to read it!

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    1. Missy, I love that cover, too... and who doesn't love a lighthouse???? The crew at Guideposts did a great job with all of this. I got a sneak peek at Janice Thompson's cover and it's BEAUTIFUL... but the fun is in the relationships between these four cousins, reunited after fifty years... and the fun begins!

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  31. RUTHY, as a reader I've wondered how an author connects with their publisher. This is an interesting post. Congrats on your mystery! It's my go to genre.

    Please toss my name in the bakery box.

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    1. Caryl, your name has been added to the box, and I might have had to sweep out a crumb or two... but I brought fresh Creme Horns from Candy's bakery, so we're good!!!! :)

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  32. I always LOVE a Ruthy-post, and this one is no exception!! Excellent words of wisdom, Ruthy, and one of your comments is now written on a paper beside my computer. Ruthy said: "The good Lord might have given you a marvelous talent, but it's only as good as the work you're willing to put in!" YES!!!! LOVE that - - it spoke right to my heart, so thank you!

    I am SO excited you have a Guideposts book coming out!! Love that cover - - anything that features a lighthouse captures me right away!
    Please toss me in for your drawing!
    And I'm sure working with Susan Downs was a treat - - I just love her - - such a sweetie.
    Thanks again for sharing this excellent advice with us - - adding to my Keeper File (at the front!) and now enjoying coffee and a lemon bar you brought. Yum!!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Patti Jo, Susan is wonderful... and I'm not saying that in case she reads this, I've been blessed with so many nice editors and marketing personnel across the board.

      I'm glad you love that saying, it makes so much sense to me! God gives... but then he expects us to make the best of those gifts he's given!

      I knew you'd love the lemon bars... they're amazing!

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  33. P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to DEBBY GIUSTI!!!! :)
    Setting out a birthday cake decorated with frosting flowers - - since Debby likes flowers and plants, I thought this would be appropriate! :)

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    1. How sweet of you, Patti Jo! Your baked goodies are always delicious...and you're so right! I do love flowers and plants!

      Enjoy my birthday. Okay? Make it a special day!

      Love you!

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    2. May I have a piece with flowers, Deb??? My favorite!!!

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  34. I'm so glad to see you're publishing a mystery! I love clean mysteries, not too terribly dark, and they're not all that easy to find. Not only do I love to read the mystery genre, but I'm also working on writing a mystery series and recently my short mystery was accepted for an anthology.

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    1. Dana! Congratulations to you! That's such good news!!!! I've had so much fun with this, that I just SMILE every time I think of it! Bless Susan for thinking of me!!!

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  35. Thanks for this eye-opening post, Ruthy. Your FB comments hit home with me. I've unfriended so many people during the elections. I don't need that kind of stress in my life!

    Would love to win a copy of your new mystery!

    While I'm not even close to be thinking about a publisher or agent, I will bookmark this page and return to it when necessary. I did finish my first scene that I won here during Speedbo. Sending that out was a stroke-inducing moment for me! Of course, I thought of a million things I needed to change! Arrghh!

    Love your generous spirit...the energy I get from this post through osmosis will certainly keep me going in my writing journey!

    Blessings,

    Marcia

    p.s. Congratulations, Debby, on your PW bestseller hit!

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    1. Marcia, hey! I agree about the facebook stuff... Stress is never welcome here, either. And when it comes to politics, oy... you're bound to be disappointed now and again so we shouldn't get too crazy! Elections are funny that way.

      And sending you energy hugs... It's so nice that we all get to work on this together, isn't it???

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  36. Ruthy, such great advice! I am new to this entire publishing scene and am so excited to glean from your experiences. Your daughter, Beth, is actually editing my first draft right now and she is the one who directed me to this site!

    I was wondering how one can get started connecting to different literary agents, publishers, etc. I think you raised a great point about getting to know the publishers and focusing on the ones that may need your voice. When did it click for you that you found your niche? Was it after you started selling or was it while you were writing?

    When folks ask me what kind of novel I am writing, I keep going back to the same premise. My novel tells the story of love and dreams that I hope to share with my future children some day. I don't know if it fits into a specific genre except that I wish to inspire hope and wonder through stories of self-discovery.

    Thank you again for sharing and I wish you continued blessings in your endeavors!

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    1. Kristin! So nice to meet you, and welcome to Seekerville! If you e-mail us your snail mail address, (e-mail it to Seekers@seekerville.net) we'll send you a welcome packet!!!

      Okay, first, I love working with Beth Jamison. She's been a great help to me, and she's edited books and novellas for many of us here. She's solid! (and we're related, so I kind of like her anyway... ) :)

      Boy, connecting: There is no easy way. If it's romance, some folks use Romance Writers of America for advice. I was a member for years... And if it's Christian fiction, ACFW has some good information, but these days Kristin, with the internet, there's so much information out there... and that in itself gets confusing.

      The first thing I'd do is give yourself time. Read/study/check things out. Come on over here on a regular basis, and glean from our archives... but also, check out the authors you really like. Who publishes them? Who represents them? Those are great clues right there!

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    2. Ruthy, thank you so much for your feedback! I will definitely keep on the lookout. You are so right that with the internet, there is so much great information out there. The trouble, like you said is that it is so confusing trying to sort through it all!

      Even just having a few resources and group affiliations is a great start. Thank you so much also for your advice about reading, studying, and researching the authors. That definitely helps me find a direction.

      I am really looking forward to Beth's feedback. Anything to help me improve the product is a wonderful gift! Best wishes!

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    3. Feedback is a wonderful thing. After I got over being insulted... BIG GRIN!!! It helped a lot.

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  37. Awesome post, Ruthy. Thanks for sharing your insights. I'm feeling encouraged to keep my head 'in the game' and finish my next manuscript while waiting for another opportunity to pitch. Congrats on your new release!

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    1. Heidi, thanks so much! And yeah, keep that head in the game... it's not always about talent... it's about talent and being the last one to throw in the towel. ;)

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  38. Thank you for your great advice. It was very helpful. Congrats on your first mystery. Please throw my name in the box for a copy. I love your stories.

    Your advice about too much opinion on the internet is so true. People with day jobs should know that bosses and future bosses check there too. It not only reflects on you, it reflects on their businesses too!

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    1. BETTIE.... You named something that I should have thought of, thank you so much! Because employers DO that very thing.... And if you're a menace on facebook, why would they want you in the cubicle down the hall? Or if you have no tolerance for anyone other than your own ideas, who wants to tie themselves to that for 40 hours/week? GREAT POINT!!!!

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  39. Hi Ruthy, loved this post. So full of great advice!

    Here is my quandary. I read Christian fiction. Love it in fact. But I am not writing Christian fiction. I'm writing sweet romance. I find it REALLY hard to find Sweet romance novels to read and study. Who publishes them etc


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    1. Jess, I've had trouble locating sweet romances, too. Hoping someone has an answer for us :-)

      Nancy C

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    2. Jess, there isn't much out there anymore. I put Clean and Wholesome and came up with this GOODREADS list: CLEAN ROMANCE and it appears you were born about 125 years too late! OOPS!!!!

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    3. I knew I should have been born back then!! I'll just write the best book I can and let God place it where he will!!

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  40. Ruthy! Congratulations on your mystery! Soooo cool.

    Very helpful tips and advice. Your point about not sharing political views -- I wish every writer would take that to heart. I have canceled newsletter and blog subscriptions for exactly that reason. When I want to read political opinions, I have other sources :-)

    In regard to finding publishers who don't already have a writer with a voice like yours, what do you think of the oft-repeated advice to pitch something by comparing what you write to another writer? I've never been comfortable with that ...

    Nancy C

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    1. Nancy, I'm not a fan of the comparisons or "comparables", but they're part of the industry now... and I'm always a little puzzled that it's the author hunting them up... I would think that Publisher A marketing would see Publisher B's author ranking on bestseller lists and getting notice and then check out what she/he's writing... and then keep their eye on the slush pile for something comparable....

      So I'm not sure how that's come around to the author hunting them up.

      Who's got time to read a gazillion books?

      Now some writers do read a lot. When I do, it's usually non-fiction to keep myself up on world events and attitudes. That probably sounds weird, but I think it helps keep my stories "headline" friendly.

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  41. Ruthy...great post! I am always so inspired by you, but this time was exceptionally so.

    Totally agree on #6. And not just because those reading might be potential readers. I just want people to be kind to others, even if they don't agree with you.

    I sometimes feel like there's tremendous pressure to do everything. But I like the idea of seizing the opportunities we have and being patient while we wait.

    go ahead and put me in the drawing.

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    1. I am in total agreement on the niceness factor. The Thumper rule. The Golden Rule. Or the 10 commandments!!!! :)

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  42. Such a helpful post, Ruthy. Thank you so much for the advice and tips. I'm printing this one out. And congratulations on your newest book! I love mysteries - everything from Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden to Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark - and now Ruthy Logan Herne! Can't wait to get a copy of your book to place on my "keeper" shelf with the others.

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    1. Laura, you just made my day because I've read ALL OF THOSE AUTHORS And love them! And Cherry Ames!!!! :) I loved mysteries so much!!! And these are such sweet mysteries that I fell in love all over again. I honestly had no idea how much I'd enjoy this project!

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    2. Dear Laura, I love Trixie (I wanted to be Honey, and I kept all my copies of my TB collection) and I love Agatha Christie. Tommy and Tuppence are my favorite. So, yes, I also cannot wait for Ruthy's mystery.

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    3. Tanya, if we ever meet up in person we need to allow at least a couple of hours to talk about old books and old movies/television shows :-)

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    4. Ruthy, I don't think I ever read Cherry Ames, but if I ever get the chance, I will!

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  43. Hi Ruth:

    James Patterson said that he does not write realism. He rather writes so his readers believe it is real. You may have done the opposite! You write realism but make you readers believe it is a romance!!! I think that's harder! (Try making a romance out of hospice or a double mastectomy!)

    I can't wait to read your first mystery. When is it coming out and where can I buy it? It's not one of the many books with the same title on Amazon.

    Vince

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    1. Vince, Guideposts does their sales through mail order, just like their magazine. They'll post a link soon (it won't be on Amazon) and then I'll share it in the Weekend Edition. You can sign up to get all 24 or just the ones from certain authors.

      And you are so stinkin' sweet, my friend. I've always held your words close to my heart, and I think you're kind of right, Vince. I go into a story knowing these people have to get their acts together or there can be no romance, but their problems are crazy real from the start.

      I've never read a James Patterson book. I can't read suspense or thrillers. My brain starts spinning what ifs and I can't sleep, so I stay away, but I know he's a crazy talented and prolific author.

      But I've always been a fan of realism authors, Herman Wouk or Michener type things, as well as romance authors... so I guess it works, right?

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  44. In one odd coincidence, I want to say that I have a good recipe for lemon bars. The coincidence is that I got it from Karen White.

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    1. Send me that recipe! I love to play with lemon bars. Did you know that everyone in the world thinks they have the best 1. Lemon bar recipe or 2. Carrot cake recipe.... and they're generally so similar that it's funny!!!!

      I'd love to try it, Walt!

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  45. I guess my book that Amazon bought is an example of writing what I want. However, I wonder if the other projects I've tried to do are also the same. I've got other historicals with different locals and I've also got contemporary suspense.

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    1. Walt, I think writing what we want/like works well... until it doesn't. And then having the flexibility to flip ourselves, to take a different road, is a smart thing.

      If the dinos had adapted... well. You know how that all came out.

      #nomoredinos

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  46. Dear Ruthy, You're publishing a mystery? Squeal of excitement. I love mysteries, from my first Trixie Belden to Carolyn Hart and others. My oldest daughter is even named after a character in a Dorothy Cannell mystery. Oh, that's right, you were talking about publishers. I just keep writing away, and more will be submitted to the publishers soon. I've ordered several, in paper and on Kindle, in the line in which I'd love to get published, and I'll be reading them soon. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Tanya, that's exactly how I did it... I just kept writing. I had no money so I took piles of books out of the library. I studied romance authors because there weren't any Christian fiction books in our library, and the few I'd stumbled on (OLD...) were so slow and dull that the people didn't feel real.

      So off to the library repeatedly and writing every day... I couldn't afford conferences, until my first ACFW (where I got to meet Seekers in person!!!)

      Keep it up, my young and talented friend!

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  47. I've been putting a lot of thought to publishers and traditional publishing, since I want to start writing a book that I plan to traditionally publish this summer. Also I'll probably need and agent... and an editor...

    Yeesh, If I had only known how much trouble this whole writing biz was before I started writing I'm not sure I would have gone through with it.

    Easy way out indeed...

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    1. Nicki, LOL! It is a complex and fairly small world... which means as we go, we trip and fall and everyone sees it... and that's okay because we all do it!

      I waited so long to be able to do this... I am truly living my dream. I wonder what life would have been like if I'd earnestly started at your age? But things were quite different then...

      I love the opportunities that await you!

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  48. I've been blessed to write what I like. Historical romance with a strong suspense/villian thread. Hope to keep doing it for a long time. :)

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    1. Pam, isn't that a wonderful thing???? I hope you do, too... For all of us!

      I love this writing gig!

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  49. Great advice! I'm saving this one!

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  50. Ruth, This post is so timely. During the election it seemed some authors forgot to think before they post. Boy, did it get ugly. I've also seen the whiny posts. so unprofessional. I loved your insights into doing the research on editors. Becoming friends with editors can open doors that might otherwise be closed to us. Great post.

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  51. Hi Ruth and congratulations on your mystery! I can't wait to read it. The cover is beautiful. Your books so inspire me because I "live" the stories with your characters. Writing different types of books for various publishers...this is such great information that I will be re-reading. Blessings to you and thank you for your post.

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  52. Good morning Ruthy. It is "raining cats and dogs" here in Kentucky and reading your post while drinking my coffee is a great way to chase away the gloom! I can't answer your specific question since I am only a reader but you have given all of us great info. Your A-E tips apply to any job or any endeavor but KEEP YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE STELLAR is the absolute best. I used to teach computer classes at our library and I often offered Resume Workshops. I always stressed that employers search to see what you have posted on social media. Same for students applying to college. Their online presence will be checked!
    Thanks again Ruthy and I hope that you keep writing what you love. Please toss my name into the bakery box from Candy Lane's Confectionery!
    Blessings and Happy Memorial Day weekend.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  53. This is a timely post indeed. I was so pleased that I sold a book, I went off and wrote another inspired historical. Only for Harlequin to close the Love Inspired Historical line as soon as I finished it. So now I'm sitting here looking at this lovely ms. that I need to find a home for. I have no idea what to do with it, but I really want to publish it. It's a dilemma.

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  54. Excellent advice, thank you Ruthy!

    Congratulations on your first published mystery novel! How exciting! I love all your books and would be thrilled to have my name in the box for this one.

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

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  55. Congratulations on the new book! I look forward to reading it!

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  56. Congrats on your first mystery! I hope you have a fabulous day! :D

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