Thursday, February 23, 2017

Takeover Thursday with Dana Provo

I want to extend a warm welcome to Dana Provo. Dana is hosting a giveaway, and you can win an electronic copy of her book, Bleeding Hearts. Enter using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Her giveaway ends Feb. 28, 2017. Dana will contact you if you're chosen as the winner.) Now, here's Dana...

Path to publication for Bleeding Hearts

Writing a book takes time, skill, and dedication. I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to write. For me, it all started in middle school when I was brave enough to start a story about a race around the world. That story didn’t get finished, and I lost everything I had for it over time, but the idea of writing as a career stayed in my mind and my heart. That secret dream of mine was never shared. I didn’t tell my parents, sisters, or my best friends. It was for me, no one else. Until I wrote Bleeding Hearts.

Bleeding Hearts started back in April or May of 2015, when I realized I wanted to write a story with several timelines. I took about two months thinking about what I wanted and how I was going to write it then created a chapter outline. The first draft took me two months to write.

I knew I wanted to publish Bleeding Hearts in November, 2015, so I asked my good friend, Alyssa, to beta read and edit for me. Before I sent it to her I had already edited it four or five times myself. Alyssa and I worked on my book for an additional two months; she would edit one chapter and send it to me, then I'd edit and send it back for more critiques.

Now, while I was editing the story, I started working on my synopsis and short blurb while also researching agents and publishers. I created my social media platforms, joined a local writing group, and attended a writer's conference to gain more knowledge.

As January came along, I started crafting three different query letters and created a spreadsheet for all the agents and publishers I wanted to query and which letter I would send them based on their requirements. There were several Twitter pitch parties I participated in, as well. I submitted close to fifty agents and publishers. Half of those responses were straight out rejections. Some rejections were from my favorite agencies.

At the end of January, I received a full manuscript request from another publisher and, boy, was I excited! I waited many weeks to hear back from them. During that time, I sent out more queries and another full request to Clean Reads (my publisher).

I waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Finally, Stephanie with Clean Reads emailed me the middle of February with a publishing contract. As excited as I was, I wanted to hear back from the first publisher before I accepted my first contract, so I asked some questions and waited a week before I made my decision. The first publisher got back to me with another rejection right at the same time I was planning on accepting the CR contract.
After the contract was signed, there was so much to do. Editing, building my social media platform, editing some more, filling out paperwork, more social media, and last, but not least, editing. It took six very full months to publish Bleeding Hearts from the day I signed the contract to release day. But that doesn’t include every month writing, editing, and querying the book. I don't think I would change anything I did to get where I am today.

For aspiring authors, the most important thing that helped me through this process was good friends and lack of procrastination. I knew what I wanted and I went for it. Don't hesitate to ask for help from other writers you may know, and don't stop until you've reached your goal of publishing a book. There will be times when you think the world is against you, but it's not. People are busy and since no one knows your name, you are always going to be put on the 'maybe pile' until someone reads your story and takes a chance on you. It takes time, but don't let time slip away. 

Bleeding Hearts...

Book blurb...

When Cami Lucks accepted a date with a charming, gallant stranger she didn’t know it would be the beginning of her worst nightmare. She becomes an obsession for Carson, her first love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life. Now Cami must work with the police to stop the illusive murderer before he finds her.

Purchase links...

Barnes & Noble:

Dana's bio...

Dana Provo has always loved books and reads everything from young adult fantasy to adult historical romances. When she’s not reading or writing her next novel, Dana can be found riding her horses and getting ready for competition. Dana lives with her husband and two house plants in Richmond, Virginia.

Where to find Dana online...

Link to enter Dana's Rafflecopter giveaway...

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