Today I’m thrilled to have Elaine Jeremiah on the blog. Elaine is launching her debut novel this week, and today she’s here to tell us all about her path to publication. Take it away, Elaine!
“When I started writing ‘The Inheritance’, I always knew that I wanted to publish it. I didn’t just want it to be something that would only be seen by my family and a few friends. But I didn’t even know about self-publishing digitally until my husband enlightened me. And I had no idea just how many novels are published that way.
As I began to write ‘The Inheritance’ I felt out on a limb. I wasn’t in contact with any other authors, so I couldn’t ask anyone for help, advice or support for the whole process of self-publishing. I didn’t even know if my novel was any good, if it was worthy of publication.
Then I read the novel ‘The Legacy’ by Katherine Webb. At the end of it she mentioned a website that had helped her on her path to publication. The website is called YouWriteOn.com and the idea is you share the opening chapters of your novel with other writers who are doing the same with their work, and you all read and critique each other’s work. There is a top 100 list and those authors at the top get the chance to have their work looked at by an agent.
I found this helpful, although nerve wracking. I had never had my work critiqued in that way, and I have to say some of the comments were very critical. It felt a little like baring my soul to the world, but was useful at the same time. It definitely helped me on my path to publishing ‘The Inheritance’. I was able to see what was working in my writing and what wasn’t.
But at this stage I still wasn’t in daily contact with other writers as I am now. This was hampering my efforts to connect with writers and have some support, particularly as I was looking to self-publish and needed advice. My husband encouraged me to set up a blog, which I did. However, although I scoured the internet for other writers’ blogs to link to, I found virtually nothing. Then my sister suggested I try Twitter.
I was amazed at just how many published and unpublished writers use Twitter. I began to follow various writers and quickly gained followers of my own. I got to ‘know’ other writers, some of whom I’ve even met now. My novel just took off. Through Twitter a couple of writers, one of whom I’ve met and is now a good friend, were kind enough to agree to beta read ‘The Inheritance’.
Having two other writers’ eyes on my work and getting their advice was a tremendous help. I chopped and changed a great deal of it, even swapping the first two chapters around as one of them suggested, which made an enormous difference and the opening chapter is much stronger now. I’m also at an advantage in that my husband is computer savvy and is happy to convert my novel into the relevant format for Kindle. He’s done the cover for me too which I love.
Being in daily contact with other writers has transformed my writing and the way I work. It’s given me the incentive to carry on, even when I feel like giving up. I’ve found the online community of writers incredibly supportive. I know I couldn’t have got to this point without them.
What gives you the greatest incentive to keep writing?”
That’s a brilliant question, Elaine! For me, it’s like a compulsion to tell the stories that come into my head. I love the sound of The Inheritance – readers can find out more by clicking on the links below, and please leave a comment for Elaine who will be around all day to answer any questions.