When I began work on Weapons of Remorse in September 2016, I knew very little about publishing. At that time, my only goal was to get the novel down on paper – literally. Ideas were burning in my head, but I had only a yellow steno pad on which to jot them down.
Eventually, I exchanged my cluttered notepad for a laptop computer so I could organize my work. Writing consumed my life for the next three years. Finally, the manuscript completed, I began to think about publishing. What was all that work for, if not to share it with others?
That was when reality struck. Everything I read about publishing options was disheartening: a million new books were hitting the market each year, so many that publishers wouldn’t even talk to neophytes like me. Neither would literary agents, all of them inundated with manuscripts. My only choice was to self-publish Weapons of Remorse through Amazon, and even that was no guarantee of readership.
One bright light in the darkness was Jane Friedman. I ran across her website in my search for advice about getting my book to market. This woman who started her career in the mid-1990s had answers to every publishing question in my mind, from manuscript editing, to formatting, to cover art. Though it became obvious that I had a lot to learn, Jane had already anticipated my every question.
Jane’s website, https://www.janefriedman.com/, is packed with newsletter articles, blogs, guest blogs, online classes, and books she has written about publishing. Much of her advice is free, and if that’s not enough, you can schedule paid consultations with Jane or her husband Mark. She recommends other books on publishing, including links to their web pages. Some of their information is free as well.
The most valuable advice I got from Jane is that there are sharks in the water. Many publishing organizations are happy to take your money but are incapable of providing what you want most: readers for your book. Beginning authors would be well advised to consult Jane before making any financial commitments. She has a stellar reputation in the publishing world. Everything she says has echoes among other voices, from authors to experts in the industry.
It all comes down to how hard you’re willing to work on getting your book finished, published and marketed. Happily, the digital world offers many options, many of them free or inexpensive. If you’re just starting your writing career, I strongly advise you to consult Jane Friedman. She’s the standard by which all others are measured.
Lest you think Jane is paying me for this blog, she has no idea I exist. This is my way of expressing gratitude to her. Since its publication in 2019, Weapons of Remorse has won two literary prizes and developed a respectable following. Thanks to Jane, I have a much clearer vision of how to promote my upcoming novel, The Seven-Day Resurrection. Fellow writers, let’s hear it for Jane Friedman, our most trusted friend!