I get asked this question often by friends and family, and thought I’d share the amazing news! I’m publishing my first book…someday 😊 I know, I baited you. But if you keep reading I will expound.
Getting published is, in part, a personal decision. For me, the first question is—am I ready? A few years ago I would’ve said “Full steam ahead yes!”
Oh dear. Putting that work into the hands of the public would’ve been embarrassing.
Now, I see how much I’ve grown since I thought I was ready, and how much I still need to learn. I want to put my best foot forward, and it’s simply going to take time to continue to learn and grow in the craft. I’m not expecting my debut to be the next best seller…unless it takes me another twenty years. Then it’d better be a pretty awesome breakout novel!
Also, I have (maybe) four or five hours per week to work on my manuscript and everything else writing related. At the pace I’m going, that doesn’t give me enough time to feel comfortable pursuing a career where I can release new books at a decent pace—stories that I want to be great, not just pumped out.
The next question: Do I publish independently? Small press? Pursue a large publishing house? Do I get an agent? I have a lot more to learn, but I can say that I was headed in one direction when I started, then felt lead in another.
This is why I began by saying that getting publishing is “in part” a personal decision. It’s not all up to me. Ultimately, I’m open to where God leads me when the time is right, even if that means I don’t feel super ready. Also, publishing with a small press, large house, and/or agent isn’t entirely up to me. They must love my work and want to take me on. The whole process takes time.
So, what am I doing right now?
At the moment, editing the second book in a family-based series.
I’m (slowly but surely) growing an online platform by learning how to navigate social media, a newsletter, a website, etc.
Reading is also extremely important. What a chore, right? 😉 But it helps me stay current on the market and learn how all the amazing books out there make me laugh, cry, and turn pages way past my bedtime.
Growing with other writers is huge! We trade critiques, ask questions, give feedback.
I’m also learning who the players are in this industry. When I very first started, I couldn’t give the name of one agent or editor, not more than a couple large publishing houses, or a handful of contemporary Christian authors. Now I’m interacting with people, learning from them, and building relationships.
I’m content with where I am now. A big part of that is because God spoke to me as a child about writing, and I’ve maintained childlike faith on that promise ever since. Getting published will happen when it’s time, and it’ll be fabulous. I’ll make millions off my best sellers and drive a Corvette to my oceanside cabin where I write the greatest books ever.
Honestly, that (completely unrealistic idea) isn’t my dream at all. When I’m published, I’ll continue to tuck my babies in bed, sit barefoot on the toy-littered living room floor, and blissfully type away.
Have you ever pursued a dream that took a long time to meet reality? I’d love to hear about your experience!
Beth Olsson, in a pen cap, is all about Jesus, her Viking, and their two adorable babies. If you know what it means when she says her childhood heroes were Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne of Green Gables, and Jo March, then you get it! All kidding aside, they’re still her heroes. Beth started creating stories as early as she can remember, staying awake well after bedtime dreaming up daring characters and precarious situations. As a writer of contemporary romance, with a dash of suspense, she believes the best stories weave the raw beauty of real life with unbelievable adventures.
A proud resident of Kansas City, Missouri, Beth enjoys world travel, genealogy, and sitting around the dinner table for hours, talking about both. The best souvenir she ever brought home was a husband from Sweden. Like any good writer, she has a love affair with chocolate and coffee, but it’s a lifeblood connection with Jesus Christ that keeps the words flowing and heart beating. At the tender age of fourteen, on a tile floor in Costa Rica, she surrendered all to the one she calls Lord. Through life’s twists and turns she’s thankful for this steadfast foundation every day!