Today I talked with Barrett and Lori L. Lake. Barret and I chatted over Gmail and I asked her advice on publishing and publishers. Barrett is known to cut through all the gobblygook in my head and give me a reality check. As I was talking to her about what different publishers offer, she told me that's not what I should be thinking about; what I should be thinking about is whether or not my manuscript fits their submission guidelines. She is always patient with my questions (and I have many!) and my concerns. Actually, she  must think I'm manic or something because she often ends our conversations by saying "deep breath." 

I had emailed Lori Lake and she offered to call me. She said when talking publishing there is too much to cover to do it via email, and boy was she right. She was a wealth of information! We discussed the major publishers and many of the smaller presses, how books are formatted from paperback to ebook, the price of publishing paper backs, and whether royalties are paid on the cover price or the net price. She shared her wisdom on writing and editing and I found that we were like-minded regarding many of the issues that arise for writers and editors. We had a great talk. She mentioned pros and cons. She was honest and straightforward, and very easy to talk to. 

Over the next few days I will allow this ocean of information to ebb and flow inside the tiny nutshell I call my brain. During that few days I will read over my beta readers notes and finalize my manuscript. Then I will make my final decision.

Stay tuned!

I want to share my experience from book completion to publication for those of you who someday are destined to go through the same (but different) process. So, I finally finished my book, and as it is presently in the hands of my beta reader, I am using this time to research publishers. How am I doing this, you ask? Probably backwards, but that's how I do most things. 

Here are the steps I'm taking: 

Step 1: I surfed the net in search of publishers of lesbian fiction. Lori Lake has an excellent, comprehensive, alphabetical list of GLBT publishing links at

Step 2: After looking over Lori's list, I decided to contact one or more authors whom I met personally at the 2012 GCLS and elsewhere, who have published with the companies I was interested in. If authors were presently under contract with a publisher I did not ask them to speak about their publisher unless I was prompted to do so by the publisher. For example, on the Regal Crest website, Cathy Bryerose, owner of Regal Crest, encourages writers to "contact our authors, especially those who have been with us for a long time. Find out what they have to say and why they continue publishing with Regal Crest." So I did. 
          You might be wondering how I decided which publishers I was interested in. As mentioned earlier, I attended the 2012 GCLS and met people. I signed up to be mentored and was mentored by Affinity. Erin and Julie were very generous with their time. Very generous. They were kind and warm and I liked that. At P-town I met Kelly Smith, publisher and editor-in-chief of Bywater Books, and she too was kind and encouraging. I also met some of the authors who publish with Bywater who were also all very kind and friendly.
          Basically, I am going on gut instinct. Did I feel comfortable while talking with the aforementioned? Were they easy to be with and welcoming? What have I heard about individual publishers? Are they generous with royalties? Do they provide opportunities for publicity? Also, I read their books and because I have a Masters in English and am a certified copy editor I have a sharp eye for detail. Do their books have typos or is their editing first-rate? That is a pet peeve of mine. I get very frustrated when reading a book with numerous typos. I don't want my audience to experience that. And I don't want typos or other mistakes to reflect negatively upon me as an author.

Step 3: Wonder, Wait, and Weigh. So, I continue to Wonder who I should publish with, as I Wait for my beta reader to finish my manuscript and am also Waiting to hear from the authors I have contacted. As I Wait I also Wonder what other authors I should contact. Finally, I have been spending time Weighing the pros and cons of the publishers I find myself interested in. 

With that said, I will continue to update my blog accordingly.