Sunday, May 23, 2010

On My Way…

Good day my loyal followers,

Today I would like to share with all of you the current status of my journey to published Feather Spade.

Before we get into that, you all have to know and understands the steps to getting published. As many of you know, publishing can go about various ways. One of them and certainly the easiest (yet, I think, also the most troublesome) would be self-publishing. Now why didn’t I choose to self-publish? First off, you need money to self-publish, second, for any profit you obtain you have to file a tax form (not a big fan of those…) and last, but certainly not least, because I wanted to work hard like my heroes and mentors in the business. I wanted to go out there and show the world that no matter how tough it was, I could demonstrate persistence and I could be patient. I have always been able to accomplish anything I set my mind focused on. No matter how hard it is.

I was also inspired by a great novelist and philosopher, Ayn Rand. Her quote “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.” That made me realize that if I want to get published all I need is to take my first steps, down a new road, armed with nothing but my ideas. I have to go out there and find a way to publish Feather Spade. I’ll have to work harder than I ever have, but it will be worth it. When I look back, at all that I have done, I will feel accomplished at last.

Now, one of the first steps you should take before setting out to become a published author is to find a guide that fills you in, not only on what is happening in the publishing industry, but also advices you on how to present yourself before potential agents. So, how do we do that? My advice is to go out to Barnes & Noble (or if you prefer going online, and buy a copy of “Writer’s Market: Guide to Getting Published”. This book will be your personal guide and advisor. It has different sections that explains all about publishing and the business. It is divided in different sections, so let’s say you are writing a non-fiction novel; there is a specific section in the book that will talk about publishing non-fiction. It will help you if you are planning to publish a: novel, short story, magazine article; whether it is fiction or non-fiction.

But how do we get an agent? I am going to be honest, getting an agent is not a walk in the park. You have to present yourself like a professional. Before skipping to and typing “literary agencies” consider the following:

1. You are (most likely) unpublished.

2. You have no idea how the publishing business works.

3. You don’t know what a query letter is.

First, pace yourself, you have all the time in the world to become published. You just need your trusty guide, serve yourself some coffee (preferably Colombian), and browse through the (next guide and advisor you should get your hands on) “Writer’s Market” – before we go on, let me just say that every year the book is updated to change and add publishers and literary agencies, so make sure that if you are starting your journey to getting published this year (that being 2010) you should look for “2010 Writer’s Market”. Now that we have covered that little tangent, we can browse through the pages of this book full of information on not only what makes a great query, but also what makes a well-written book proposal and synopsis.

Inside the pages of this book you will find the names of literary agencies and publishing houses (and what they are interested in representing and publishing). Each agent has his or her own preferences in which genre they would like to represent; so please don’t send an agent that is exclusively looking for short non-fiction what you think is the next Harry Potter.

I began my journey to publishing in early 2007. I queried many agents, some answered and some did not (the latter happens often, trust me you won’t hear a beep out of them). I had to stop in order to focus in my rising medical problems. It’s 2010 and I’m ready to begin my journey to publishing Feather Spade again.

My desk is teemed with rough drafts of query letters, open “Writer’s Market” books (all with several lines dyed with highlighter). The characters that make up the universe of Feather Spade sit beside me as I attempt to write a query to an agent that I have found (and I have researched thoroughly and have found he or she has a great interest in publishing what I have to offer). I’m still researching a couple more agencies, it’s only a matter of time before the first query letter flies out of my apartment in Miami to someone very important, to decide whether he or she will be the one that helps me bring you the adventure that is Feather Spade.

I will keep you updated, thanks for following me.

Your writer,

James Fenix

Words of a Phoenix

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