Tag Archive | the mystery of publishing

A Review is In!

Latest Novel from McCloskey

Latest Novel from McCloskey

After writing a novel, getting it published, implementing some kind of marketing plan, there’s one more step a writer must face to let people know you’ve written a story worthy of readers’ time. That step my friends, is to open up the book  to reviewers. Yesterday I received a review from Miranda Prather, a professional reviewer who posted her thoughts on GoodReads.com.

Here’s what she had to say:

Set in the World War II era, FINDING GESSLER, by Barbara Celeste McCloskey shows the tragedy and heroism of that time by focusing on a single young family torn apart as the Nazi’s rise to power begins and falls. Fans of McCloskey’s previous historical fiction will not be disappointed here in the attention to detail this writer is rightfully known for. She does not leave to chance that her fictional account is anything less than authentic when it comes to the fact of the era. Old and new readers alike will find in the Gessler family a tender portrait of just what it was really like to have families torn apart by the horrors of anti-Semitism. Through all the tragedy though, McCloskey makes sure to emphasize that hope is greater than all, turning the horrors into a moment of inspiring courage and love that will uplift readers. The author populates her pages with enough intrigue to keep readers guessing, along with well imagined characters. This book will not disappoint anyone looking for solid, meaningful story-telling with engaging characters that readers will invest their emotions in.

Here’s the link, should you want to read the same thing again! http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/682353052

Needless to say, I’m happy about what she had to say.

At the same time, my next novel has been selected for publication. I thought about self-publishing this one through Amazon.com, but when I saw it would cost me over $1,000 to go that route, I had to shelve the idea. PublishAmerica might have faults with the publishing community, but at least I get my stories out to the world without having to pay upfront. Their staff has proven to be easy to work with, and I’ve been happy with the look of my books. Now if only Barnes & Noble would be more cooperative to put my books on their shelves! Maybe with their huge distribution I’d stand a chance of seeing some royalties. Until then, I’m looking for the “Novel Gods” to intercede and bring my stories to the attention of a big, rich publisher who believes in my work and will pay me well.

If you’re interested in reading FINDING GESSLER, you can get a taste of it on Amazon.com in a few days. I have authorized them to produce a “Look Inside” tease to make you want to read more!


Get What You Want Creatively

thinking out of the boxWhen I was in college, I majored in English with a writing concentration. At the time, I wanted to be a business writer, but  the university I attended didn’t offer such a specific specialization.

I also was determined to leave college prepared for the workforce. In my instance, that meant I needed to graduate with a professional portfolio of my writing.

With the help of my adviser, I created my own major. (Not really, but it sounds great, doesn’t it?) Actually, what I did was create a way to receive the practical education I needed through 18 credits of internship.

It took me a year and a half to accomplish this feat. Step-by-step, I moved toward my goal. The first step was to write, edit, and develop an English Department monthly newsletter. This simple on-campus publication gave me interviewing practice and a bit of desk-top publishing experience. Believe it or not, this newsletter was good enough to secure a freelance job at one of the big companies in Racine, producing a monthly employee newsletter–before graduation! 

The next step was securing a paid internship at a national communication company as a staff writer. Here I learned to work as a member of a cohesive team. I was assigned small projects, but I did get a chance to write; they didn’t make me file and copy stuff. When the internship was almost over, I received my first baptism by fire. I was hired as one of five writers who wrote, rewrote, and developed materials for an Amoco Training Program. Talk about the Big Time!  I learned about tight deadlines and professional expectations. After the project was over, I even got a raise from $5 to $7/hr. Don’t laugh. That was BIG money for a student in the 1980s.

In May, 1991, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with my diploma in one hand and my professional writing portfolio in the other. (Here we do the dance of joy!)

So why am I going on about this?

Simple. I’m giving you advice–if you want it. If not, stop reading here.

If you’re backed into any corner, look for the creative way out. (I believe “thinking out of the box” has become trite, but if that works for you, so be it.) Maybe the conventional way of doing things doesn’t work for you, so come up with something different.  If you have a book that needs to be published, and perhaps the traditional publishing route hasn’t worked for you or you desire more creative control over your work, look for other avenues of publishing. We authors have a myriad of choices now, and consequently, there are probably more new books out “there” than at any other time.

Listen, I would love to get rich from my writing, who wouldn’t? But more importantly, I want people to know I’m a good storyteller. I think I created something they might enjoy. And I’m willing to work hard to let them know about my writing. If I have to levitate out of the corner a traditional publishers offers, I’m ready. How about you?


An Allusive Cat

I’m sitting in my “writing chair” with my dog Ernie snuggled up to my leg. I know if I ever replace this poor old chair, it will definitely have to be big enough for the two of us, but that won’t happen until the royalty checks start rolling in. And at the rate I’m going, I’ll probably be forced to buy a “throw” to cover up the poor thing.

While I write this, there is another activity happening in the living room. My husband is attempting to play with our uppity cat Vinnie. Ken is crawling around on the floor, trying to pet him and just when Ken gets close enough to do so, Vinnie scoots away. After three attempts to stroke the animal, I finally intervene and chastise the cat, saying that “Daddy” just wants to love him. As if he understands, Vinnie finally gives Ken permission to stroke him before he vanishes under the bed. (I hope you know that it’s Vinnie that hides under the bed, not Ken. Sorry for the pronoun reference problem there.)

As I watch this scene, I think how ironic. This little play between the two of them has captured how I feel as I try to move into the “big leagues” with my novels. The publishers are the cat and of course, I’m playing the needy human who is trying to persuade the ever allusive animal to let me get close. Yeah. That’s exactly how I feel. You know what I mean?

So, the next time I receive a rejection letter, I’m going to remember this scene between Ken and Vinny. It will be easier to take because I know the eventual outcome. The haughty publisher will finally embrace me and we’ll live happily ever after.