Welcome to the December 7th guest post stop on the blog tour for I Know You, Don’t I? by Bethany Askew, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for excerpt spotlights, other guest posts, reviews, and a giveaway! (More on that at the end of this post.)
I’m going to turn it over to Bethany first for the guest post portion, and then I’ll be back with more information about the book, the author, and that giveaway.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.
Getting the Break
As any author will tell you, it’s incredibly hard to get your book published nowadays. We live in such a competitive world, where celebrities’ books will be accepted for publication and unknown authors, however talented, tend to be overlooked.
Many authors opt for what used to be called “Vanity Publishing”, but is now known as Indie (Independent) publishing: they fund their own work rather than submitting it to traditional publishing companies.
I published two of my novels this way but decided to go the traditional publishing route for my novel, “I Know You, Don’t I?”
I remember the day I began submitting to Literary Agents and Publishers. It was January and I sat on the sofa, a cup of tea next to me, my laptop on my lap, while the rain teemed down outside. I made two lists—one for Literary Agents, one for publishers—and typed in “Literary Agents/Publishers seeking submissions, Women’s contemporary literature.” It was an arduous task. The internet has a habit of throwing up all sorts of unwanted rubbish that has nothing to do with what you’re looking for.
Having made my lists, I visited each website again. The publishing ones were fairly simple, just a question of addressing the submission to someone at the company who deals with them. Literary Agents all accept different genres so when you find a company, it’s a question of reading each agent’s profile to see which one accepts the genre you write in.
Then, each agent/publisher has a different set of rules. Some want a one page synopsis, some two pages. Some want an explanatory covering letter, including an author biography, others want the biography separate. Most ask you to send the first three chapters of your work, but some only want one, or even a certain number of words. Some like it sent as an attachment, others like you to copy and paste it into the body of your email.
Ask any author and they will tell you that the synopsis has to be the hardest part. Condensing your 90,000 word novel into one or two pages and trying to make it interesting and exciting is an almost impossible task.
A blurb or pitch is easier: a few short sharp sentences, like you see on the back of books, introducing the story with just enough about what happens in the book to entice the reader.
So, you finally get your submission together–checking and double-checking spelling and grammar, and that you’ve followed all their rules—and you send it off. And wait. And wait. And wait. Some agencies and publishing companies helpfully send you an email to say they’ve received your work. Some say that if you haven’t heard back within a certain length of time, it means you haven’t been successful. Most, however, do neither. It’s like sending your work out into a big black hole!
The replies come slowly. You have to inure yourself against rejections. Some are standard letters they send to everyone, some are more personal and say that your work doesn’t fit in with their list but it is no reflection on its quality. Some of the publishing companies write back offering a partnership publishing contract, even though it’s not what you asked for.
Then, if you’re lucky, you get the break you’re waiting for. Someone replies to say they’ve read your work “with interest” and would like you to send the entire manuscript. When this happened to me, I allowed myself to be cautiously optimistic, although I had been in this position before when I submitted my novel Out of Step to a publisher, only to be disappointed a week later when it was rejected. This time, however, I received a reply, offering me a publishing contract: I finally achieved the break I’ve been waiting for! “I Know You, Don’t I?” is published by Wallace Publishing:
About the Book
I Know You, Don’t I?
by Bethany Askew
Published 5 October 2020
by Wallace Publishing
Genre: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction
Page Count: 283
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
When Carly Spurway is mistaken for old school friend Caroline Westminster, she has the chance to re-invent her life.
As the lines between fantasy and reality become blurred, the web of deceit Carly weaves around herself for protection threatens instead to trap her.
But what has happened in her past to make Carly want to escape? And is Caroline’s life as perfect as Carly thinks it is?
This story explores how well we really know the people we have relationships with; the different versions of the truth we tell ourselves and others; and the impact of the past on the present.
Carly wakes up with a feeling of excitement. Something has happened. What is it? Then she remembers: Mark Exton. She reaches for her phone almost before she realises what she is doing. No new messages. Obviously he doesn’t want to appear too keen.
She dithers about what to wear that day, just in case he turns up at work, though the chances of him doing that are infinitesimally small. She does her make-up and hair carefully too and it must show, because Madison says “You look nice today” when she arrives. Carly blushes and looks at herself in the mirror when she gets back to her testing room. Madison’s right. There’s a glow in her face, a sparkle in her eyes. All this for a man she’s only just met, and she’s not sure whether she wants to see again after today. But this is why people have relationships, isn’t it? For the excitement at the beginning, not the tedium that comes with familiarity.
She lets a day go by and is just composing a reply to Mark’s message when another one arrives:
“Fancy meeting up for a pub lunch? I can pick you up if you let me know where and what time.”
“Thank you, I’d like that,” she replies. “Thursday okay? I can meet you at one fifteen. The car park by The Crescent?”
About the Author
She has also written a short story, The Night of the Storm.
Bethany likes to write about women’s lives and is particularly interested in their role in society, their positions as wife and mother and the impact of marriage, children and divorce on family dynamics.
Bethany was born and brought up in Somerset and has lived there all her life. A Dispensing Optician by profession, she was able to fulfil her lifelong ambition to be a writer when she retired from employed work seven years ago. She is married and has four grown-up children and six grandchildren.
Bethany Askew will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.