Book Tours: Guest Post All The Pretty Bones Tour


I’m hosting a guest post today for the book tour for paranormal thriller “All The Pretty Bones”. Enjoy.

5 Things I’m Glad I Didn’t Know Before Becoming an Author

By Camela Thompson

When I started out as a writer, I didn’t think of my book as a product. I didn’t even think about publishing as a business. Despite being very familiar with the operations of the companies I’ve worked for, “getting published” was a mystical land that involved a ton of luck and little else. Now that I’ve been through this process, I’ve learned so much. But to be completely honest, I’m glad I didn’t know some of these things when I started.

The Odds of Being Published

This is the big one… As a business analyst, statistics are my wheel house. If I had read that the odds of getting published were 1-2%, I might have given up before I started. If I had known that the odds are actually a little lower than that… forget about it. Sure, I would have kept writing for fun, but I would not have spontaneously decided to pitch at a conference.

Anyone who has been to a writing conference knows that it is hard to get published. Listening to people’s horror stories reminded me of going to a baby shower. A weird giddiness comes over experienced mothers when they get an opportunity to discuss their personal birthing horrors. Authors will share rejection stories, and since we’re story tellers, I had a feeling that some of these stories were pushed over the top for theatrical impact. Turns out they didn’t exaggerate much.

Now I know that a lot of these rejections happen for some very rational reasons, and some of them happen simply because the story isn’t a good fit for the agent. After listening to agent panels and doing some research, I’ve found some things that help the odds:

  • Use beta readers and consider hiring an editor.
  • Go to Writer’s Digest and read the successful queries. Agents have taken the time to provide examples of queries along with an explanation of why they worked.
  • Research an agent before submitting a query. Make sure they represent material similar to yours.
  • Have a friend review your query letter.
  • Do not query with an unfinished manuscript unless you are a non-fiction writer.
  • If you have the opportunity to pitch in person at a writer’s conference, do yourself a favor and go for it. This is a fabulous way to establish a rapport with an agent before submitting your material.

If these things fail, consider researching smaller publishing companies and submitting directly to them. Entering writing competitions with short stories, guest blogging, and entering your novel in competitions are all great ways to build your writing resume.

The Rules for a First Time Author

Many agents have strict guidelines for first time authors. They like to see word count at 80,000 characters, and some won’t consider work that is above 90,000. It seems a little strange to ask for reduced content without reviewing the manuscript, but if a writer is at 150,000, this may be valid. A lot of the other rules seemed pretty rational and I was already inclined to follow them. Treat querying like interviewing for a job, present yourself professionally, and don’t take out your disappointment on an agent. Don’t rant on social media. One of the first things an agent does is Google your name.

The Term “Vampire Fatigue”

The first time I heard this term was while researching an agent I was scheduled to pitch to. It was on his website next to, “I will not accept anything with the word ‘vampire’” (the pitch went as well as expected). I have heard the term many times since, even from fellow paranormal authors wailing about the sickened state of the market.

Vampires have been in literature since the 1700’s, and they have made consistent appearances ever since. Twilight gets credit for bringing vampires into the mainstream, but what about Interview with a Vampire, Lost Boys, From Dusk Till Dawn, I am Legend, and countless other movies and books that have had a loyal following long before vampires sparkled? Vampires aren’t going away, but publishing companies will no longer accept anything with a vampire. It’s a bit similar to the housing market – things have normalized and regular standards apply.

Self-Promotion is Necessary

This is one I would have been intimidated by, but wish I had known. Authors tend to be introverts (I most certainly am). Avoiding crowds is something we all have to work to get over because publishing companies no longer contribute much to marketing. I was speaking with a friend who works with a major publisher, and of the hundreds of books her division publishes per year, the company only funds marketing for twenty titles. The success of the rest of the titles is left to fate – unless the author is smart and markets on their own. Some smaller companies will do limited marketing and set up a team to help the author navigate social media. Others encourage the author to do what they can. From independent (self) published to big time published, it is often up to the author to promote their work. If you have dreams of being published, start up a website and get on social media now to avoid the terror that comes with starting from scratch in the months before your book launches.

Big Publishing Biases

Self-publishing was taboo in the publishing industry until recently, although I would still argue it is frowned upon. During an agent panel at a conference I attended, an agent baldly stated that self-publishing is okay as long as the books do well. If the books don’t perform, it’s just another strike against the author. If you are going to self-publish, you must hire a cover designer and editor. Unless you have a background in marketing, I would also suggest hiring help there as well.


I’m lucky I went into publishing All the Pretty Bones with a certain level of ignorance. I worked very hard, did my homework, and started out with a product I was proud of, but approaching publishers was easier not knowing the odds stacked against me.

All The Pretty Bones

23201655Title: All The Pretty Bones

Author: Camela Thompson

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

After ten years of living in the shadow of her stalker, a diagnosis of terminal cancer pushes Olivia Kardos to take matters into her own hands. Her final days will not be spent isolated from the world nor hiding like a hunted animal. It’s time for Mark Porter to die. Going against a trained killer alone would be foolish, but the handsome arms dealer who offers to help her has a dark secret of his own.

Homicide Detective Sean Howard has tried to push his ex out of his mind, but his next case brings her crashing back into his life. A woman is found exsanguinated and brutally stabbed in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood and she could be Olivia’s doppelganger. As more women are murdered and the similarities grow, Sean can’t shake the feeling that Olivia is next.

In a world where demons and vampires lurk just beneath the surface, what you don’t know can kill you.

Author Bio

3403042When I was a little girl, I loved writing stories about animals doing amazing things. Ducks could speak with humans, and hamsters had a suspicious tendency to follow plot lines that were strikingly similar to Indiana Jones. I grew up, found a career, and got married, forgetting the need to tell stories. A week cooped up in my house with an illness resulted in a random decision to write a novel. That first novel will probably never see the light of day, but it woke up something that had been dormant for years.

Despite dabbling in many genres, there is a driving force behind my stories. I love writing about women who shine in difficult circumstances. I will back them up against the wall and sit amazed as they manage to come out on the other side stronger than ever.









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