Publishing Purgatory

517966692_d5e100b039(Photo: DeclaTm on Flickr)

I began my publishing adventure with my romantic suspense, REFLECTION, back in 2008 when I landed my first agent. Signing the agent contract was so exciting. A big-time-thrill-ride especially after I had queried hundreds of reputable agents. Finally it had happened!

Well not quite…

Three months later, the agent decided to close her agency due to personal reasons. At first I was devastated, all my hard work down the drain, then I remembered, “one door closes…another one opens.”

I’m not the type to give up. This was my dream and I was going to make it happen. So after a short break, I began my agent query process again in early 2009.

Two months passed, and I received a representation offer from Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. I was literally jumping up and down. I knew Marsal Lyon was one of the best in the business and Jill loved and wanted my book! I think I cried and happy-danced for days.

It had really happened!


The economy crashed in 2010 and publishers were hit hard. Some disappeared, some restructured, others decided it was time to jump on the e-publishing bandwagon. Things were changing.

In my opinion, getting published by one of the “Big Six Publishers” is part luck—part timing. Timing was not on my side.

I kept my rejections from back then and all the rejection letters had wonderful things to say about REFLECTION but 95% mentioned the word, “economy”. Urgh!

What was my best rejection?

“Thank you so much for sending REFLECTION by Kim Cresswell, for my review. I can definitely see why you are working with Kim. She crafts a very intriguing story with great sexual tension, and lots of action. Unfortunately, however, after many reads and much discussion, the overall consensus was that the story is lacking a big hook to make it stand out on our list.”  (from a “big six” publisher)

After exhausting all major traditional publishing avenues, we began sending REFLECTION to e-publishers.

Then I received a fantastic letter of praise from a “biggie” e-publisher suggesting I rewrite REFLECTION to fit their line as a category romantic suspense and re-submit. I can say there were many sleepless nights trying to decide if I should rewrite REFLECTION. I wanted to be published so badly.

In the end, I choose not to rewrite my book. The story was a mainstream romantic suspense and it was going to stay that way.

As authors, sometimes we need to bend, need to make tough decisions about our writing career.

For me, it was ‘passing’ with the “biggie” e-publisher, and contracting with a smaller publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. Did I make the right decision? I believe I did.

If I could change any part of my publishing journey, would I? Not a chance. What I have learned over the years about the industry, my writing and about myself—is invaluable.

MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace


One Reply to “Publishing Purgatory”

  1. I dreamt of being agented and then subbed to a big six publisher for quite some time, until I started hearing how they were buying out scammy vanity presses and only emphasizing this scam. Even worse, my friends were receiving rejection letters that made it clear they only want assured bestsellers. One blogger received a rejection letter that said his book was great, but he was no Stephen King, so there was no help for him (from a literary agent). Another sent out over 500 queries for different books, only to be told her books were great but were never the right fit. So I decided to make the choice of going the small publisher route, realizing I didn’t want to be represented by such desperate people and knowing that if I were a midlister, I’d get no marketing help what-so-ever. At least with AEC Stellar, marketing is a team effort. Plus, I at least have some control, so I have no regrets either. I hear MuseItUp Publishing is great.

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