A to Z Challenge – P is for Publishing

Hi all,


Cute-Cats-cats-33440930-500-313The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that there was no post yesterday. O is apparently for oops! This has been a rather crazy busy week and while I had meant to post when I got home from work yesterday I got the chance to go and catch up with a friend instead and it turned into a much later one than I’d expected πŸ™‚ So, please accept my apologies and this cute kitty picture (go on, no one can resist kitties surely?)

Anyway, we shall ignore that wee blip and move on! Today P is for Publishing – yup the big one! I’ve been very lucky to have several works published, and while that still sometimes feels a little surreal to me I thought I would share a few things about the process. The main learning point for me was that while being accepted for publication is one of the most amazing feelings in the world, it is just the tip of the iceberg. When you start writing then being published seems like a shining beacon, something to aim and strive for – which of course it is! But there’s also an implication that when you do reach that point then that’s it – you’ve made it. In actual fact, it’s just the first step in a great deal more hard work.

The first time I got edits back from a publisher, well let’s just say there was a lot of red all over those pages πŸ™‚ A wee bit intimidating to start with, but once you get over the initial shock being able to get professional editing and feedback on your work is absolutely invaluable, and is only going to make you a better writer. Then there’s promotion. Another terrifying process to start with, and something I do sometimes still struggle with today. Perhaps it’s the ‘English’ in me, but I always find it quite hard to ‘big myself up’ – it feels like I’m being vain or arrogant if I’m telling people how great me and my book are πŸ™‚ (well, not that I would say it like that, but you get the general idea!)


There’s also perhaps the slight (and you know it’s slight) hope that your book with magically become an overnight sensation, and let’s face it the rational part of you knows that isn’t going to happen. It takes time and effort to build up a fanbase, to build up your craft, and to make any impact in the market. The best thing to do for that is keep going, the bestselling writers didn’t do it with their first novel. If you are still waiting to be published, hang in thereΒ  – when you do get there, enjoy the feeling, but don’t get discouraged if it’s not the be-all and end-all straight away.

Take care x

9 responses to “A to Z Challenge – P is for Publishing”

  1. I’m so glad you commented on the difficulty of talking yourself up; I really struggle when people ask me about my writing, because I never want to brag or come off as annoying, but I genuinely do want to gush about my work and never shut up about it, haha πŸ™‚

    Here’s hoping you have a Happily Ever After with publishing, Shelli, and that all your hard work pays off!

  2. I would hate to big myself up I don’t mind telling people what I do but prefer they make their minds up but then that prob doesn’t sell as well hehe! So I’m being new to this you get your publisher to edit or do you get independent editor? If so what’s the best route to find one?

    1. It is a tricky one, I’m not good at pushing myself so try to build up a following by generally chatting and sharing things and hopefully when it does come to release time then people may already have an interest in what you’re doing. Plus I do much prefer the actual chatting and interacting with people to just promo stuff πŸ™‚ With mine, I am with a small publisher and they have in-house editing- it’s one of the reasons I choose to go with a small pub rather than looking into self-publishing as the professional editing I get there would cost me a lot if I had to pay for it myself independently. Not to mention the cover artists and the help with promotion.

  3. Shelli, I’ve been enjoying your alphabetical blog posts and this one just hits the mark for me: says it all like I wished I’d said it. Anne Stenhouse (2 novels out and yes, there was red…)

    1. Thank you Anne – and oh yes, mine was probably more red than black on the first one!

  4. People will forgive anything if you show them a picture of a kitten! πŸ˜‰

    Publishing is a daunting process, whether it happens through a publisher or through self-publishing – but you’re right – all those notes from the editor make a stronger writer!

    1. That’s what I’m hoping – cute kittens can get you away with a multitude of sins πŸ™‚ Thanks for your comment, I do always appreciate the editor notes – just that moment when you open up a document and it’s covered gives you that ‘eek’ feeling lol.

  5. Hello, Shelli

    I’m going to be looking to have my first published in the very near future so this is very important information for me. I’ve saved your blog under my folder, Blogs I Love, so that I can revisit it often.

    Happy AZing…

    1. Glad it was helpful for you Felicity, and congrats on your upcoming publication πŸ™‚ Feel free to drop me a line if I can help with any other questions, always happy to chat with fellow writers x

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