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Monday, June 3, 2013

Rising Calm Blog Tour Guest Post + Giveaway: How to Sell Your First Novel

How to Sell Your First Novel
 by Haley Fisher

Well… That’s an interesting question. Because the way I went about selling my first novel is very different from how most people seem to. I knew I didn’t want to self-publish, so I needed to find a company to do it with me. Quite honestly, I didn’t know if my story would be picked up if I tried sending it out to huge literary agencies. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to wait until it was picked up, because I knew it was going to be hard for me to find the inspiration to write the sequels to my book if the first wasn’t being accepted anywhere. As a student still going through college, I didn’t want to deal with that from the get-go.

So I found a smaller company, Silver Tongue Press. I heard about them through friends I had made on a website that was all about books and writing, and I thought that it might be really good for me—someone who knew nothing about publishing at all—to first send my query into a little company that was just starting and wouldn’t require me to have an agent to talk to them. I was very lucky in the sense that, from my description, they wanted it immediately.

Besides having a well-written, well-edited, completed manuscript, I think the key thing in trying to sell your novel to someone new is finding a way to make the description interesting. Whether large or small, all literary agencies and publishing companies are going to want some form of query letter. Most of the time, this is going to include at the very least a summary of the work. You have to make the story sound unique, fun, different, interesting. You have to know why your work is so original compared to everything else that’s being published, which, face it, is quite a lot of books and ebooks. That originality is your selling point.

Being so new at this, all I can really say is that the odds are in your favor. You may not get your work picked up by the first company you send in to, you may not get the biggest agent to fall in love with your story the moment you send it in, but there are so many people out there working for so many companies, big and small, that one of them is going to read the description or first couple chapters of your work and want to be the one who sells it for you.

I'm Haley Fisher, a college student in Kansas, and I've just signed a contract with a company called Silver Tongue Press to publish my first book!

For as long as I can remember I've been an avid reader and an aspiring writer, but the step toward actually getting a book published is an enormous one for me. This is a big deal. And, as I've been told, the next step to being successful is getting the word out that my book exists.

So, though it's not in print yet—it's coming out February 14th—I'd love for people to keep an eye out for Rising Calm. It'll be the first in a series of books about a young girl who finds out her life and her fate are far bigger than she ever realized. At the risk of giving too much away, the most I can tell you for now is that there is magic, prophecy, new worlds, and a cast of characters who I love to write. 

On Cara Weaver’s first day at her new high school—merely the next in a long line of new schools—she meets two senior boys: James Sable and Crispin Calaway. They’re new too; they’ve been at the school just longer than she has, and they’ve never made an effort to reach out to anyone. Until she comes. When her friends find out, they’re awed. But Cara can't shake the feeling that there’s more to James and Crispin than the two are telling.

As the days go on, everything at her new home seems to be going better than it has in any of the previous cities she’s lived in. She loves her friends, gets a job at a bookstore, and even starts to spend more time with Crispin and James. She’s happy. But all that begins to change when she comes to realize that the two boys she’s becoming close to are hiding something. It’s then that she knows her unexplainable wariness of them has been justified all along. But she keeps it a secret.

Days later, when a stranger accosts her outside a small shopping center, Crispin and James arrive just in time to help her. But they seem know the attacker. And instead of running him off, Crispin and James take Cara away, for her own protection.

With little explanation, Cara is told that she’s important and that she can’t go home until the boys have sorted some things out. In the meantime, Cara’s world is being turned upside down as she finds out that there is more to her life than she possibly imagined.


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