Doreen M. McGettigan is the author of “BRISTOL bOYZ STOMP”
[Tate; November 2011]
Thank you for the opportunity, Leanne to share with your readers. I just love the creativity and inspiration here.
I thought I would share something that really confused me when I started to look for representation and publication for my book.
I [quite naively] thought because I was a writer; I had written for numerous newspapers, I would be scooped up immediately. Funny right?
I wrote my book, read books on querying agents, outlining, editing and the list goes on. I started a blog to document my process. I researched agents and publishers. I rewrote the entire book and still the rejections piled up.
A very good friend of mine, Molly, was a puzzle book writer. Crossword puzzles, word searches etc…For many years she was with one of the largest publishing houses in the world. Imagine my shock when she suggested that I think out of the box. “The world of publishing is changing rapidly,” she told me. “The traditional houses are refusing to acknowledge serious new outlets for publication even exist.” She told me she had been self-publishing for the last twenty years. I was stubborn though, I wanted to be with a traditional publisher. I was not sold on the fact that self- published authors would not still be shunned for years to come. Molly passed away a year ago.
So, after yet another re-write, more querying and an ever growing rejection pile I was stunned to get a request for a full read. I was offered representation. I was happy dancing all over the place. Then came the details and the devil truly is in the details. To be honest, they sucked. Another simple bit of advice Molly shared with me was to never, ever sign away my rights to my work. The contract sat on my desk. I wanted it so badly. To top it off I received another offer. It also sucked badly. I was so confused.
When I first started querying my book, I received a request for a full from Tate Publishing. I had seen the name, and knew their reputation was questionable.
I sent the book to them anyway. I expected they would offer publication and then proceed to rip me off.
I was looking into self-publishing and it was so expensive. This was only a few years ago but it was before the e-readers. I would not spend all that money [even if I had it to spend] without hiring experienced editors, designers and of course marketing experts. I would love to self-publish; it was just too expensive at that time.
Then I received a phone call from Janey Hayes, Acquisitions editor for Tate Publishing. I was defensive. About twenty minutes into the conversation I realized she had actually read my book. I asked her so many questions. My gut was telling me this was the company for me…but I was so scared.
You see my book is the true story of the random road rage murder of my brother. It is personal, very personal. He was beaten to death by seven men because he was driving too slowly. So many things were so wrong with the crime itself, the investigation, the trial and just the way we were treated. I was compelled to tell the story. It was too important to screw up the publication.
Those offers sat on my desk and I struggled with my decision. In the mean time I decided to do some research on Tate Publishing. I was a newspaper writer, research I can do. It turns out the negatives came pretty much from two sources. One was from someone that just was unhappy his book did not sell and another was a writer who was rejected by Tate.
I continued to struggle with the decision and it came down to the contract. With Tate I maintained all of my rights. When I call, a person answers the phone. When I e-mail I receive an answer within a few hours. And I tell you their editors are brutal. Brutal but very professional and once I got over myself and let their words in I realized they were quite talented.
Tate is not a self-publishing company. They are an independent publishing company. Independent means they have all services under one roof. You first go through editing then cover design, conceptual editing, audio and e-book editing and so on and so on. So far I am thrilled with my experience. The process could
be faster but honestly I’m quite happy it’s not. I am ending up with a book that I believe is the best it can be.
My personal opinion is my friend Molly, at the age of 85, was brilliant. She had been paying an agent 30% for years. She was paying an agent who was too busy to return a phone call. Traditional Publishing Houses are like old republican men. They are so stuck in their ways. They have to be right, fighters. They are fighting themselves into oblivion. I believe a few of them are scrambling now to catch up and honestly I hope they can.
If I’m being really honest I would say if I was an agent, I would start looking for a new career. The middle guy is always the first to go.
Facebook author page- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bristol-boyzStomp/113804488656243
Book Trailer- http://www.youtu.be/_6ApR_tV63Y