How to Get Published is a continuing feature at The Book Bin where we ask authors to tell us their publishing stories. Was it a rocky road or did it come easy for them? Did they start with an agent and get a NY publisher interested in their book or did they self-publish? What words of wisdom do they have for all of us who would like to be published one day?
Today’s guest is Christine Norris, author of the YA fantasy novel, The Mirror of Yu-Huang, published by Zumaya Thresholds.
I saw my first book published in December of 2005. Since then, I’ve had four others published, including the most recent, The Mirror of Yu-Huang, and they were all different, publishing-wise. When I was shopping my first book around, I was a total newbie, knew NOTHING about publishing or agents or any of it. I must have made a hundred mistakes and given some agent or another a few laughs. Eventually that book found its way to a small publisher in Pittsburgh, which has since been sold to a Canadian publisher, Lachesis. They also published the sequel to that first book.
Over time, I gathered a little more savvy, meeting authors and hanging out on writer’s forums and learning. I tried again to get an agent for the first book in my Library of Athena series, and had some luck getting them to read parts of it, but no offers. Eventually that book and the sequel sold to Samhain Publishing.
But, then, as so often happens in publishing, things didn’t go as planned. I submitted the third book, The Mirror of Yu-Huang, to Samhain, but they didn’t accept it, because they were taking the publisher in a different direction, focusing more on Romance and less on YA or YA without romance—which sometimes happens in publishing. So I had a series book and no publisher. And a panic attack.
I put out a call for help to my friends at Broad Universe, a great professional group that focuses on promoting women in speculative fiction (www.broaduniverse.org ), and asked if anyone would be interested in looking at this book and taking a chance on a third in a series book. Liz Burton at Zumaya offered to look it over, and thankfully she accepted it! And the rest, as the cliché goes, is history, and so far, so good.
Looking back over the publication journey, and seeing how far I’ve come, I really see how I’ve grown. I know so much more about this business now, and I see how it’s changed. Just five or six years ago, most agents weren’t taking electronic queries, now they almost all do. Ebooks are huge, when just a few years ago they were like some underground movement. I wonder where we’ll be in another five years!
Christine Norris is the author of several works for children and adults, including the Library of Athena series and the Zandria duology. When she’s not out saving the world one story at a time, she is disguised as a mild mannered substitute teacher, mother, and wife. She cares for her family of one husband-creature, a son-animal, and two felines who function as Guardian of the Bathtub and Official Lap Warmer, respectively. She has also done several English adaptations of novels translated from other languages. She reached a new level of insanity by attending Southen Connecticut State University Graduate School’s Information and Library Science program, so that someday she, too, can be a real Librarian. She currently resides somewhere in southern New Jersey.
Her current book is a YA/Fantasy titled The Mirror of Yu-Huang.
Visit Christine on the web at www.christine-norris.com. Connect with her at Twitter at www.twitter.com/ cnorrisauthor and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Norris/131776641000.