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Guest Blog with Author R. L. Smith

Becoming a published author is not an easy task. If you are starting out on your own publishing journey, then let me introduce you to fellow FBP author, R. L. Smith. Her debut novella, Legends of Castle Rock, was released in January of this year, but it took some time to get there.

​Lesson Learned

My first taste of the writing world came with a price. Literally.

I’ve been writing for years, but never for publication. I always thought I needed to get an agent, and coming from a small town, I didn’t know the process. While on Facebook a few years ago, I stumbled across an ad for a publisher that would help make my dreams come true. Well, I contacted this person and emailed this so called publisher my manuscript. Being naïve at the time, I was told I had to send slightly over fifty dollars to start the publishing process. I did. I signed a contract and felt unstoppable. My work would be seen by thousands. I told my friends and family and posted all over Facebook that I was going to be a published author.

Let me remind you, my work consisted of only twelve to thirteen thousand words, a novelette. During this process, I had to have a book cover made. The one I looked at was okay, but needed some work. I tried to work with the publisher to get it right, but in the end it was blurry and the pixels on the back were very noticeable. But not knowing what I was doing and being excited about getting published, I went with it.

Now, not knowing how long it would take to get published, I waited. After a couple of months of not hearing anything, I contacted the publisher and asked about a release date. The publisher told me my book was still in the editing process. Well, it was in the editing process for six weeks, (for thirteen thousand words). I started to question myself about what I was doing because I had taken a couple of writing courses several years ago through and worked with instructors that were published authors. These instructors had a pretty hefty work load, but my work was edited within a couple of weeks. Finally, after my book was supposedly edited, I received a released date. Once the book hit the social media, I was ecstatic.

Over the next several months, I kept questioning my sales as I wasn’t receiving any royalties. I almost had to beg to see my sales and I kept questioning my royalties. I finally received a few bucks, not what I was expecting, but it was something. Later I was notified from a couple of friends that read the book that is was not edited properly. I thought my work had been properly edited so I didn’t think twice about looking at it. I trusted this person with my material and my reputation. This book was not edited, at all. So there I sat not knowing what to do next. The contract said I had to pay money to leave the company. I didn’t have the money. I finally talked this publisher into letting me make a couple of payments and wanted my work back. I felt defeated. After going through that, I felt ashamed. I didn’t think anyone would ever want to read my books after that so I didn’t write for months.

I still wanted to write, it was in my blood so, I started writing another book, and once again I found myself looking for publishers. I found a publisher on Facebook and this time, I did my homework. I am now with a wonderful publishing company, and couldn’t be happier. I released what I considered my first professional work titled, Legends of Castle Rock in January, 2015. I’m currently working, and almost finished with my current book A Taste of Evil, which will be part of a trilogy. I’m so excited.

On my final note, for any new writer wanting to get published, do your homework. If you have to pay a publisher upfront for anything, it’s a scam. And the publisher that scammed me is still out there and still luring authors in ‘to make their dreams come true’.

You can find R. L Smith at the following links. Thank you for a very important and informative post.

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