How to Get Started? From Writing to Publishing by Bea Clark

When I began writing my memoir in 1994, I sought out several book publishing companies to help me get the manuscript into print form. I was naïve to think it was that simple. My book was rejected fir various reasons. I contacted local authors to gain some insight on an approach to meet agents and publishers. I had no luck getting responses to my inquiries. After running into several dead ends, I shelved the book. My focus was geared towards completing my studies and finding a career in my field.

The urge to publish my story stayed with me. In January 2015, I decided to attend a writing workshop I found listed in the neighborhood paper. The winter months were the perfect time for me to pull out the yellowed pages and read my thoughts prior to earning my BA degree from Georgia State University. The writing was terrible; however, the message in the essays remained relevant.

I purchased a writing software to organize the chapters and compile the manuscript for editing and publishing. I attended workshops, researched the internet, bought books, became a member of writer’s clubs and attended conferences to learn how to improve my writing and get published.

I formed a focus group of women of varying ages and backgrounds to read pages and provide comments on my stories.  I also submitted query letters and manuscript reviews with agents from highly acclaimed publishing houses. The experience was invaluable.

I had no idea the work required once the manuscript was written. How can I find a reputable editor? Should I incorporate the edits recommended without losing my voice? Should I find an agent or self-publish to get the memoir in the hands of people who could benefit from hearing my story? There is a great deal of mystery on how to get started. Several of my followers have asked me to share what I have learned.

Soon I will compile a short course with the software and reference materials I used to go from writing to publishing. Send me an email via the website if you are interested in the course or have questions that I should address in the materials. I appreciate all of you for being on this journey with me.

Thank you! It means a lot to me.

Bea Clark Books, LLC

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