You may be wondering where I’ve been for the past couple of months. I’ve been writing, but obviously not here!  If you remember I completed writing my second book, The Trumpeter in the Woods, and it was a finalist in the Hay House Nonfiction Writing Contest. Writing the book was hard work, without a doubt. But now is the really hard work – getting the book published. 

Thanks to the digital age, there are several paths an author can take to publish their books. Many authors are now skipping getting their books published on paper and instead are creating ebooks.  The Kindle, Nook and iPad have all made this possible. Books can be published within days of completion versus one to two years for a print book. 

Another path is self-publishing, which I chose for my first book, Puppy Mill Dogs SPEAK. I had high hopes for that book – to be widely distributed and to teach many, many people about puppy mills. Publishers are looking to make a lot of money from their books, understandably so. Unfortunately, agents and publishers did not see that potential in my book and described it as a niche book. As a result, I made the decision to publish the book myself through an on-demand printer. It worked out quite well and sales have been steady. With self-publishing, the royalties I receive on each sale are higher with a traditional publisher. But I am 100% on my own with marketing and selling the book. 

The traditional publishing path is to find an agent who then tries to “sell” your book to a publisher. Large publishers will not accept submissions directly from authors, only from agents. The agent assists the author with editing the book and with negotiating the publishing contract. An agent gets a portion of the book royalties.

Right now, I have completed writing the query letter that is sent to the agents in hope of getting their attention. It’s not as easy it sounds. The letter is only one page in length but it has to pack a powerful punch. The first line needs to grab the reader’s attention and want to read more about the book and about the person writing it. Since December, I have written and rewritten my query letter five times. And I may not be finished. 

The Trumpeter in the Woods is a book that needs to be published to show the world how the animals are our spiritual partners. They have chosen me to be their voice and I will not give up!

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