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 Bri Clark, author of the romantic fantasy novel, Glazier (Astraea Press).
I did the whole query letter; find an agent, got 150 rejection letters thing. Two times, I had a partial ms request both times they said it was a great premise but needed more work. And guess what they were spot on. I did that for about a year. Worked on my magna opus Glazier a total of three years before it was contracted with Astraea Press and released July of 2011.
However, Glazier was not my first published work, Familial Witch was and Caffe’ Seduzione shortly after. These are two novellas that I have contracted novel length sequels for now. Eternal Witch and Mafia Seduzione.
The thing about my road to publication was I did what everyone else was doing. I followed the blogs, wrote, rewrote query letters, had a very neat excel spreadsheet of the agents I sent to. Oh yeah I’m anal organized. I even had columns for the dates when they received the query and how long it took them to respond. Then thought when I wanted to scream and yell Nay!! after yet another form rejection I could post that it took them 6 weeks and one day not the 4 they claimed. No exactly professional…and it wasn’t working for me at all either.
Why… you ask cause it wasn’t my way…the Bri way…the Belle way. I’ve lived my whole life making my own path then sashaying down it in a pair of wedge heels.
I’m known as the Belle of Boise because I’m a sassy southern belle living in Boise ID. My whole life I’ve always achieved what I sought. So I took all the knowledge I gained over three years and on a spur of the moment whim went to the Idaho Book Extravaganza, took some workshops, met and made good friends/ mentors in Aaron Patterson, Vincent Zandri and Maryanna Young.
I told them that in the next year I’d attend IBE as a published author. Guess what--I am. By then I should have 4-5 books released. The Indie publisher route with Stone House Ink and Astraea Press is where I have found my path now. Working with these houses has been some of the best experiences in my life. Stone House Ink suits me well in that they do it their own way…forging their own path in publishing. Astraea Press provides the support system and guidance I need in the form of a large group of other female authors…and Phil. Sorry Phil you know I love you.
Would I work with an agent? Totally. Would I go the traditional route? Absolutely. Would I leave my publishers in the dust my wedges drum up? Heck no!
If there is one thing I am it’s I’m loyal to a fault, like a tick on a coon dogs back my Paw Paw always says.
Bri Clark is a real example of redemption and renewal. Growing penniless in the South, Bri learned street smarts while caring for her brother in a broken home. She watched her mother work several jobs to care for their small family. Once her brother could fend for himself, Bri moved on to a series of bad choices including leaving school and living on her own. Rebelliousness was a strong understatement to describe those formative years. As a teenager, her wakeup call came from a fight with brass knuckles and a judge that gave her a choice of shaping up or spending time in jail. She took that opportunity and found a way to moved up from the streets. She ended up co-owning an extremely successful construction business. She lived the high life until the real estate crash when she lost everything. She moved west and found herself living with her husband and 4 kids in a 900 square foot apartment. She now fills her time, writing, blogging, leading a group of frugal shoppers and sharing her southern culture. Her unique background gives her writing a raw sensibility. She understands what it takes to overcome life’s obstacles. She often tells friends, “I can do poor. I’m good at poor. It’s prosperity that I’m not used to.” Bri and her husband Chris live in Boise. Bri is known as the Belle of Boise for her true southern accent, bold demeanor and hospitable nature.
Bri boasts several positions in the publishing industry. An author, professional reviewer, blogger, and author platform consultant she enjoys all aspects of her career from the creation of story to the branding and marketing needed to make her books successful.
Her latest book is Glazier, a romantic fantasy adventure novel with espionage, genetic powers, underground bases and a ginger beauty with memory issues that take you on a ride that begins in Vermont and comes to a head in Egypt.
You can find out more about Bri at http://briclarkthebelleofboise.blogspot.com/.