Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guest Blogger - Supriya Savkoor

So When’s Your Book Coming Out?

I hear this question all the time. At least a few times a week actually.

About nine or ten months ago, I let the cat out of the bag to friends, family, and the world at large that I’d been working an international suspense novel and eventually hoped to get it published. A lot of folks presumed that meant I was right on the verge of fame and fortune. As it turns out, I’m not that much farther along my journey than I was in January.

I did finally complete revisions on my book, Breathing in Bombay, with a lot of help and encouragement from fellow writer friends (who also helped pick apart every loose plot end and misplaced comma to whip my work into its final shape). I’ve submitted queries to a dozen or more agents, received a few rejections, piqued the interest of a couple others, and have yet to hear back from a handful. I’m told this is an above average “strike rate” for most authors. (Not sure what that means but it’s supposed to be good.)

Fact is, the publishing world is harder to break into than ever. Traditional publishing companies are taking fewer chances on authors without a proven track record and, as a result, it’s more difficult finding an agent than even a decade ago. I know too many talented writers, with many more books under their belt than I have, who have been seeking an agent a lot longer than me and accumulated many a rejection.

But finding an agent is only the tip of the iceberg. The agent then gets busy trying to find a publisher who will buy the book and eventually get it into its publishing schedule. Finding a publisher could take as long or longer as finding an agent; it could take a year or more to get the book published. Some publishers only put out one or two titles a month and so, for example, most locked up their print run for 2011 months ago.

So what’s an author looking to get published to do? I could twiddle my thumbs and wait to hear back from a potential agent but I also know that writing my little heart out and actively pre-marketing myself and my book are necessary. So for starters, I’ll start blogging again. I’m about to launch a new blog with other cross-cultural authors at Novel Adventurers (http://noveladventurers.blogspot.com/). And of course, I need to finish writing the first draft of book two, which is in progress.

After all, once I find a publisher, I may be expected to produce a book a year (maybe faster than that) and then, who knows, there will be all those promotional events like book signings and conferences, right? One can only hope.

Supriya Savkoor is a former newspaper reporter and magazine editor turned mystery writer and freelance editor. Her international suspense novel, Breathing in Bombay, was awarded the 2010 Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America Scholarship for Mystery Writing. It’s the first book in the Across Black Waters series, which brings together her twin passions of writing and travel. Supriya is based near Washington, DC, where she lives with her husband and two children. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. You can follow her progress on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and beginning October 4, on Novel Adventurers.

1 comment:

  1. Wishing you only the best, GF. I'll shout it from the rooftops to help you get the recognition you deserve.

    Good luck in the new venture and I'll stop by launch day to say howdy and post links and such.


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