Writing a book is not an easy process. But trying to get your book published is even harder. Oh boy, the joys of trawling the internet or subscribing to and then poring over the magazines and well-meaning books about how to submit your treasured manuscript for publication…
I’ve always loved writing. I’ve been writing since I was 7. I first started writing poems. My mother even sent my first poem to People’s Friend and – hurrah – they printed it. I’ve also written newspaper articles and advertising material in the past but my first love was always fiction.
Despite the research, long hours of plotting and typing and thinking and revisiting and retyping and editing and re-editing – and with a very understanding family to boot – I’ve always loved it. The bit I’ve never loved, however, is that laborious period when you know you finally have to start the next process: getting your writing out there, as a published author.
I used certain critique companies to cast a professional eye over my work, and submitted to a number of different websites where I encountered technical glitches or never heard back that my work had been received, let alone considered. I found myself getting increasingly caught up in minor yet difficult decisions: do I need to indent; send a synopsis or not; be somehow connected elsewhere in the industry; rewrite my covering letter; use Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri?! Everyone gives different advice when it comes to manuscript submission… but then there is Avon. My experience of Avon is quite different.
Avon is different because it’s a division of the well-oiled Harper Collins, who are probably the best publishers in the world. Avon maintains a unique balance of professional and friendly – and Ease-of-Use should be etched at the top of their Open Submissions website page just to reassure despondent writers that, yes, you can plonk your manuscript here!
But luckily, it didn’t end there for me. Thankfully, it wasn’t time for me to hang up my hat and put the kettle on, because I was offered a two-book deal from Avon!
My editor, the terrific Katie Loughnane, was the first person to scoop up my story and fall in love with my protagonist, Gloria Frensham. She constantly offers dedicated, upbeat, respectful support to myself as well as all her other authors, and especially throughout the editing and cover design process.
And then there is the wider publishing family – Team Avon really are masters of their game. They are welcoming, encouraging, helpful, sociable and gracious. They are like a breath of fresh air to the hesitant debut writer, working tirelessly to create and promote your book ready for publication.
I believe Avon’s – and particularly Avon’s – Open Submissions are a bloodline for debut writers. Their Open Submissions cut through the etiquette and industry jargon that can confuse novice writers and dent their enthusiasm before their talent can be exposed. Avon’s Open Submissions make the stressful process of applying for publication a whole lot easier.
By Jane Gilley
Jane’s first book, The Woman Who Kept Everything will publish in ebook on 3rd December 2018.