Local Author Stacey Kade Shares Tips for Publishing

Local author Stacey Kade, who recently taught a class on publishing tips for prospective writers, often posts inspirational images and tips to her Instagram account (@authorstaceykade).

posted on Instagram 12/26/17

Local author Stacey Kade, who recently taught a class on publishing tips for prospective writers, often posts inspirational images and tips to her Instagram account (@authorstaceykade).

Stacey Kade, a local author who presently works at the Fox Lake District Library, recently held a Publishing 101 class. Her goal was to encourage up-and-coming authors of all ages to take a shot and to show that publishing your literary work isn’t as unattainable as it may seem. These are some answers to questions you may have about publishing that she answered during her class.

Q: What is the difference between a book and a novel?

A book refers to both fiction and nonfiction, while a novel exclusively refers to fiction.

Q: How do I get started?

A: Write the whole book first! Without an entire piece written, you will run into problems with deadlines and the submission process will come to a halt or even stop altogether! Also, make sure it is as proofread as it can possibly be. Also, know what genre your piece is; your editors/agents will be based upon genre.

Q: What is a literary agent? Do I need one? How can I find one?

A: They are basically your representative, they will be the one who pitches your book to publishers. If you are looking to submit to a big publishing company (i.e. Harper Collins, Macmillan, etc), yes, as they will not accept submissions without an agent. You can try to find who represented authors who wrote pieces with a similar genre. Another reliable source is Publishers Marketplace Agent Search. This is where genre plays a big role: make sure the literary agent you find covers the genre you have written.

Q: What if an agent/editor asks for a fee to consider your manuscript?

A: If an upfront fee is required, do NOT trust that agent! It’s most likely a scam. Agents make money when you,the author, make money. They take a percentage of your earnings.

Q: How do I submit my piece?

A: You will need to research publishers, and once you find one you feel is right, you will need to compose a query letter.

Q: What is a query letter? What should be included? How do I end my query?

A: It is an introduction to both you and your book. Start with an opening-catch their attention and leave them asking for more. Include a book summary (make it short and to the point), genre, word count, and your credentials/prior experience. Remember that this is supposed to be professional, like a business proposition.  Thank them, and offer to send a complete manuscript. You will only hear back if they accept your submission.

Q: What if I don’t have credentials/prior experience?

A: Don’t worry so much about this part, but if you have any, include it!

Q: How long is the publishing process?

A: Not including the time it takes for the submission process, probably around two years.

Q: Is the number of pages in my piece important?

A: Not necessarily, publishing companies usually look more for your word count. (Depending on the criteria for your submission.)

Q: As the author, will I get any say in the cover art?

A: Unfortunately, most of the time you will get very little say in the cover art. Your agent can try to negotiate the terms in your contract.

One last piece of advice from Stacey Kade: remember that publishing is a small community, so be professional and decent because word gets around! Also, remember that rejection doesn’t mean failure!