I’m delighted to welcome Judy Penz Sheluk as my guest to talk about her new release: Finding Your Path to Publication: A Step-by-Step Guide. Because I’ve loved her two fiction series: The Glass Dolphin mysteries and the Marketville mysteries, I know this will be a valuable non-fiction tool for writers. See you next month! —Debra H. Goldstein
When One Thing Leads to Another by Judy Penz Sheluk
I’m new at this. Oh, I don’t mean I’m new to blogging. I’ve been writing a blog for my own website for years, and I was a Stiletto Gang member for a time until life got in the way (thankfully, they invite me back every now and again, for which I am grateful).
I don’t even mean that I’m new to shameless self-promotion, though it never seems to get any easier (I can always hear my mother saying, “never forget where you came from,” “where” in our world being a very humble place).
What I do mean is that I’m not used to blogging about a how-to book. It’s not like I can be cutesy and write this from a character’s point of view or get all authorly and talk about the narrative arc. Hmmm…maybe I can talk about how one thing led to another.
Okay, that’s settled. It all started when I led a NaNoWriMo debriefing in November 2021 at my then-local library. I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo a few times but have never yet completed the 50,000-words-in-a-month challenge. The librarian thought that made me more accessible. I’d tried and “failed,” and yet I was a published author.
What I learned from that event was that the attendees were more interested in how-to get published and publishing options than whether I (or anyone else) had succeeded at NaNoWriMo. That led to the librarian asking if I might be willing to prepare a presentation on the topic. I remembered how much I’d learned since signing my first book contract in 2014, and not all those lessons came easy. In fact, some of them were downright painful.
The presentation—Paving Your Path to Publication—had record attendance, with more questions than time to respond. It also gave me an idea. What if I wrote a book based on it? I’m a total pantser when it comes to writing mystery fiction, but here, at least, I’d have an outline.
After months of research (I knew virtually nothing about social publishing platforms like Wattpad or Hybrid/Assisted publishers, and was surprised at how much I still had to learn about traditional and self-publishing platforms) and vetting every chapter with my front-line editor (also an aspiring author from a very different generation than mine), the result is Finding Your Path to Publication: A Step-by-Step Guide, which released on May 2 in trade paperback, large print, hardcover, and e-book. It’s the sort of book I wish I’d had back when I was starting out, but then again, I wouldn’t be where I am today without experiencing the highs and low of my journey as an author.
After all, one thing almost always leads to another. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Readers: Have you experienced “one thing leading to another” in your life? If so, how’d that work out for you?
About Finding Your Path to Publication: The road to publishing is paved with good intentions…and horror stories of authors who had to learn the hard way.
For the emerging author, the publishing world can be overwhelming. You’ve written the book, and you’re ready to share it with the world, but don’t know where to start. Traditional, independent press, hybrid, self-publishing, and online social platforms—all are valid publishing paths. The question is, which one is right for you?
Finding Your Path to Publication is an introduction to an industry that remains a mystery to those on the outside. Learn how each publishing option works, what to expect from the process start to finish, how to identify red flags, and avoid common pitfalls. With statistics, examples, and helpful resources compiled by an industry insider who’s been down a few of these paths, this is your roadmap to decide which path you’d like to explore, and where to begin your author journey.
Available in trade paperback, large print, hardcover, and e-book. Universal buy link: https://books2read.com/FindingYourPathtoPublication
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A former journalist and magazine editor, Judy Penz Sheluk is the bestselling author of two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries and Marketville Mysteries, both of which have been published in multiple languages. Her short crime fiction appears in several collections, including the Superior Shores Anthologies, which she also edited. Judy is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she served on the Board of Directors for five years, the final two as Chair. She lives in Northern Ontario. Find her at www.judypenzsheluk.com.