Friday, March 13, 2009

The Process: Writing, Querying, Self-Publishing, Marketing ...

Susan McGeown
Faith Inspired Books

Address: 3 Kathleen Place, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 Phone: 908-704-8437

"Quality Women's Fiction and Nonfiction With Heart and Soul"

Sues’s Books:

  • Rules For Survival (Women’s Contemporary Fiction)

  • Recipe For Disaster (Women’s Contemporary Fiction)

  • Joining The Club (Women’s Contemporary Fiction)

  • A Well Behaved Woman’s Life (Women’s Contemporary Fiction)

  • The Butler Did It (Women’s Contemporary Fiction)

  • Rosamund’s Bower (Women’s Historical Fiction)

  • Call Me Bear (Women’s Historical Fiction)

  • Call Me Elle (Women’s Historical Fiction)

  • Call Me Survival (Women’s Historical Fiction)

  • Biblical Women And Who They Hooked Up With (Nonfiction Bible Study)

  • (Biblical Warrior Women And Their Weapons) (Nonfiction Bible Study)

  • (A Garden Walled Around) (Women’s Historical Fiction)

Sue’s Books are available on:


  • Get the idea
  • Write the idea down
  • Proofread and edit your work (MOST IMPORTANT!!!!!!!)
    If you intend to query your manuscript, you have numerous additional things to write regarding your work: Cover Letter, Synopsis, Detailed Synopsis, Descriptive Table of Contents, Author Biography, Resume

Writing is a lot like an iceberg. The book is the tiny bit of the iceberg you see, but there is truckloads of other things you have to write that make up the rest of the iceberg that's hidden below the water's surface.



Online Writers’ Groups: Good resources, like-minded friends, contests, critique groups ...


  1. Choose agent route or publishing house route. (Each has positives and negatives.)

  2. Prepare your query materials. You will need the following materials which are completely without any errors of any kind:
  • Query Letter

  • Synopsis

  • SASE (Stamped Self-Addressed Envelope)

  • Optional Items Depending On Submission Specifics For Each Agent and/or Publishing House

IN A PERFECT WORLD: (I never found this perfect world but I heard it does exist...)

  • Initial Query: (3 weeks to 3 months)

  • Request for Full Manuscript (2 to 4 months)

  • Contract Offered (1 month)

  • Manuscript Shopped by Agent to Publishing Houses (6-12 months)

  • Publishing House Makes Offer To Buy (1 month)

  • Manuscript Is Edited (3 months)

  • Manuscript Is Published (2 yrs)


Should you choose to go the self publishing route, I’ve shared with you my limited experience. I chose the website for a variety of reasons:

  • The price is right.

  • It’s easy.

  • They’ve got everything you need to get your writing global.

Self-Publishing Terms:

  • Publishing Company – one that is engaged in publishing printed material.

  • Subsidy Publisher – author still pays for publishing but publisher provides some services such as editing, marketing, distributing, and warehousing.

  • Vanity Press – a publishing company that publishes a book at the owner’s expense.

  • Print On Demand – printing that occurs when then demand requires it.

  • Self-Publishing – the entity that owns the ISBN of the book.

  • Marketing – selling your book

  • Distribution – getting your book into people’s hands

  • Royalties – payments that an author receives

Self Publishing Costs On Lulu:

Printing Costs:

  • Standard manufacturing costs identical for all 6 x 9 books - $4.50

  • Binding price based on number of pages in my manuscript – 267 pages @ $.02 per page - $5.34

  • Royalty I choose to receive for each book - $1.13

  • Lulu commission (25% of what your royalty is) - $0.28

  • Author price of book (less author royalty and Lulu commission) - $9.84*

  • Retail charges/fees - $5.25

  • Cover Price of book - $16.50

* You can upload a book and have it arrive in the mail for this price, plus shipping and handling ($5.52 is Lulu’s cheapest rate). NO OTHER costs are required.

Distribution Costs:

  • If you are happy with having Lulu listed as your publisher, you can get a Lulu ISBN number currently through them for free.

  • If you wish to be listed as the publisher (I formed my own company – Faith Inspired Books), then an ISBN distribution package will cost you $99.95.

  • Stunningly, that’s all that is involved to go from a dream to a reality as a published author!


KEY WORDS: Large Audience, Free, Global

Online Sites I’m On: (all of these are free)

  • Facebook
  • Myspace
  • Twitter
  • Shoutlife (Christian)
  • LinkedIn
  • Christian Women Take Root
  • Red Room
  • UK Christians
  • Shelfari
  • Author's Den
  • Google
  • Writer's Net
  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Borders
  • Blogspot
  • Lulu Storefront

Online Review & Interviews: (These were free, too. I was either invited, submitted or asked.)

Online Contests: (NOT Free) These are available through the affiliations you join. KNOW YOUR GENRE or you're wasting everyone's time and your money.

Online Affiliations: (NOT Free)


I) Christian Fiction: (Not me …): same as inspirational fiction, no sex, sexual desire, sensuality, or mention of nudity or intimate body parts, no foul language, euphemisms for curses (gosh, darn), nor taking the Lord's name in vain, stories must be told in the 3rd person, no violence, main characters must be North Aermican, elements of faith must be an integral element of the story, hero and heroine must both be believers and members of a church community at the end, no alcohol, card playing, gambling or games of chance (raffles), magic, Halloween, or lying

II) Romance Fiction: (Not me, either …): lovable strong hero and lovable sympathetic (not to be confused with pathetic) heroine, both internal and excternal conflict; an insurmountable obstacle, lots of emotion and sexual tension which is established firmly in the first three chapters, a period of them getting to know each other, rip them apart with the black moment and leave to simmer, resolve their problems, have a happy ending.

III) Young Adult: (Maybe me, but I’d rather not …): AKA "YA" has an adolescent as the protagonist, subject matter and story lines are typically consistent with the age, covers the entire spectrum of fiction genres, no limit to the settings, themes in YA stories often focus on the challenges of youth, writing styles of YA stories range widely

IV) Women’s Fiction: (YES!!! Here I am!!): focuses on women's empowerment, women's issues, the hopes, fears, dreams and even secret fantasies of women today, touches the reader in ways other fiction cannot, key relationships include friends and family as well as lovers, carrer is important, generaly appeal more to women than men, can span all ages in various settings and may tackle substantive issues, the protagonist is a strong woman making realistic trade-offs in the modern world, written by women, addressed to women, tells one particular story about women, can be novel, romantic fiction, chick lit and other sub-genres


  • Keep diligent records and save all receipts.

  • Enjoy what you do.

  • Appreciate all feedback – especially negative – work in your favor and constantly improve you.

  • Keep writing.

  • Make friends with like-minded writers in person or online.

  • You need only one “yes” and need to hear the word “no” many times before you get the right one.

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