Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How I Got Published by Christian Fiction Author Jimmy Root, Jr.

A permanent fixture etched in my childhood memories is that of an ancient hymn. It was sung off key by parishioners seated in wooden pews with the harsh strands of an old organ dragging it along. But not only the gusto of the singing stuck in my mind, so did the truth of the words. “It took a miracle to fling the stars in space.” From that tender age onward I have been convinced that miracles happen.

There are those that believe the art of getting a book published rests solely on hard work. They are the real blood, sweat, and tears aficionados. They might even be classified as literary sadists. You know; those that believe an author must suffer through years of angst and nail biting just so that they can be classified as having “paid their dues.” But what happens when someone comes along and breaks the rules by way of a miracle or two?

After I had notched the last period on the manuscript of Distant Thunder, Book One of the Lightning Chronicles, I joyfully and expectantly began the search for a publisher. I was clueless, but clueless can be good, at least when it comes to that part about angst and nail biting. No one told me that I was supposed to plow my way through months, maybe years of rejection. No one coached me on how to write a query letter for submitting the manuscript. I simply pressed forward, formed what I thought was a decent query, implemented my Google search button, and began.

"No one told me I was supposed to plow my way through months, maybe years of rejection."

For those of you who are now beginning to shake your head in disbelief or click your tongue on the back of your teeth like a school teacher lecturing a wayward second grader, you have to realize I am totally given over to the miraculous. Yes, you heard it correctly. I believe in the miraculous. From the way God works with those who seek him, to the way cool things happen for those who persevere and believe, I believe in miracles. In the case of the publishing of Distant Thunder, hard work and a miracle worked hand in hand.

Over two hundred query letters were pecked out on my keyboard. Manuscripts were sent. Selected chapters, synopsis, outlines, and character sketches were divided up and handed out over the internet. It all happened in gleeful bliss. And then the responses began to flood in. No! Sorry! Not what we’re looking for at this time! Check with so-and-so. Nice idea, but not our style! We don’t publish new authors, ever! Over two hundred queries attracted over two hundred rejections. But something in the back of my mind said, “Don’t give up. This book is good.” So I folded perseverance into a prayer for a miracle! That is when it happened. I received a positive response in the form of a contract exactly four months after beginning the hunt. And then another contract arrived, and another. Three contracts in all. I chose the one that fit my needs the best, American Book Publishers, and Distant Thunder became a reality.

If you are getting discouraged in your hunt for a publisher, I have some advice. Keep looking. Learn from the rejections. Persevere! In the meantime, polish your work in every way. Then, when you are working your hardest, step aside from the angst and allow yourself to believe for a miracle. Miracles still happen.

Jimmy Root Jr., has served as an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God since 1982, including service in Nebraska, Missouri, and a seven year term as a missionary in Colombia, South America. Jimmy is the lead Pastor of Family Worship Center of Smithville, a growing suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. Married to his wife Jean for twenty-nine years, the Roots have three grown children. Root is a 1981 alumnus of Central Bible College of Springfield, Missouri where he majored in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Theology. He is also an alumnus of Southeastern University, Lakeland Florida, where he majored in Intercultural Studies. A lifetime student of Biblical prophecy, Jimmy is also the Professor of Eschatology, The Study of End Times, for Berean University through the Northern Missouri District School of Ministry. He is a featured speaker at Churches and other venues, and is the host of “The Bible Uncensored” radio broadcast heard on radio stations around the country. His writings, both in book form as well as his blog, are purposed to be a wake-up call to a sleepy American church that seems to be losing a truly Christian World View. Distant Thunder and its sequels, A Gathering Storm and Then Comes Lightning, will reveal to the adventure/thriller aficionado the reality of the coming fulfillment of Biblically prophesied events. You can visit his website at www.lightningchronicles.com or his blog at www.prophecyalert.blogspot.com. Connect with him on twitter at www.twitter.com/JimmyRootJr and Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimmyrootjr.

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