Friday, June 29, 2012

My Publishing Story

This weekend, many of the authors at Musa Publishing are blogging about their publishing experiences. I thought I would share a little of my story about how I ended up there.

When I first wrote Nightfire, I had absolutely zero knowledge of the publishing industry. Everything I knew was based on what I had seen in movies (feel free to laugh here.) I thought I’d just print it off and mail it somewhere. I didn’t even know literary agents existed. Publishing was this huge, strange foreign world.

I wanted to do something with the book I worked so hard on, so I started researching things. Google became my new best friend. I learned about agents and query letters and all the different types of publishing. (I’m still learning new things about it every day.)

With a tiny little bit of knowledge, I started querying agents. I sent out less than ten letters. All were rejections, though one agent was nice enough to write out a long, personal explanation. Pretty soon, agents started to seem a little less thrilling to me.

So I started looking for places that took submissions without agents. To my surprise, there were options available. Even some big house imprints will look at unagented submissions, but the waiting times are unreal. I just didn’t want to wait two years for a tiny chance at a contract. Which meant, for me, small publishers were a great option.

I had just started looking into them when I stumbled on a thread about Musa Publishing. When I saw it, I got a kind-of gut feeling about it. I really wanted to submit there and I couldn’t really explain why.

Musa posts their contract on the site so anyone can read it. I went over it carefully and liked what I saw. The royalty rates were higher than anything I’d heard of and there were clauses built in designed to protect the authors.

I also liked how the director interacted with writers online. It was clear to me that she actually cared about other people and wanted the best for authors.

So, with a good feeling and a lot of hope, I sent off my query letter. I couldn’t believe it when I got a request for the full manuscript the next day. Three weeks later, there was a contract in my email box. (Which is lightening speed in the publishing world.)

Now I’ve been through the full process with Musa and couldn’t be happier. My editor was great to work with, I love how much input I got on cover art, and Musa has all kinds of amazing programs going for their authors. There are classes, promotional opportunities, and lots of other helpful authors available through the network they’ve built.

Musa has worked hard at building not just a publishing house, but a family. I’m so privileged to be a part of it.

If you want to know more about Musa Publishing, here’s a link to their story.


  1. Great post, Alyson. Musa IS a great place to be.

  2. Excellent post! I'm very excited to join the Musa family!

  3. Yes, Musa is a prett great place to be!