Friday, July 22, 2016

My Journey to a Book Contract - Five Important Steps (Part 1)

by Elva Cobb Martin


As some of you might know, I signed my first book contract a few months ago with Prism Book Group, for my inspirational romantic suspense, Summer of Deception. What you may not know, is how long it took to come to a contract. 

Here are what I consider five important steps to that elusive contract. I will be sharing them in detail in future blogs:

1) NEVER Give Up!
2) Hone Your Craft - a big, continuing step
3) Importance of Conferences and Writing Groups
4) Help Other Writers
5) Learn How to Submit to Editors and Agents 



Step 1 - NEVER GIVE UP
I researched and wrote the first draft of Summer of Deception thirty years ago after attending Yvonne Lehman's first Christian writers conference in Black Mountain. I didn't even have a computer and wrote it on a Selectric typewriter. The next year God called me and my husband into the ministry and I stashed the big box of research and first draft up in my attic for the next twenty years where the typed pages turned yellow. After we retired from full-time ministry, I pulled that box down and began rewriting. After I started submitting it to publishers and agents, it was rejected 26 times. I studied craft, revised and rewrote after every rejection. Finally, after submitting the full ms to a Prism editor I met at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers' Conference in 2015, I received the following email from Prism Editor Susan Baganz:

Dear Elva,
    Paula Mowery met you at Blue Ridge and asked me to look at your ms Summer of Deception. I did and I couldn’t put it down. I loved it!  Attached is a publishing contract that includes eBook, print as well as audio publishing with Prism Book Group.
Susan Baganz, Editor
Prism Book Group

Many may reject your ms, but someone will love it, if you don’t give up. Make up your mind you are committed for however long it takes and whatever it takes to get your book written, polished, sold and marketed or indie published. Carve out praying time, writing time, reading time in your genre and honing your craft time.

And here's a scripture promise for you that I often used to overcome discouragement  Phil. 1:7  “Being confident of this very thing that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus’ Christ.”

Don't miss the next steps in future blogs!

What advice do you have to help someone who feels like giving up on their novel dream? Please leave a comment and share this blog by clicking on the Twitter and FB button below.

Blessings on your day,
Elva Cobb Martin

2 comments:

  1. You definitely fit the mold of "never give up" and having a strong belief in your writing. Can't wait to see the cover!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for your comment, Christine. And you can be sure we will be sending out cover choices on our blog soon so you guys can help me choose the best one. Blessings, Elva Cobb Martin

    ReplyDelete