Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Book Publishing Secrets with Richard I. Levine #books #bookpublishing

Richard I Levine is a native New Yorker raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. After dabbling in several occupations and a one-year coast to coast wanderlust trip, this one-time volunteer fireman, bartender, and store manager returned to school to become a chiropractor. A twenty-three-year cancer survivor, he’s a strong advocate for the natural healing arts. Levine has four Indy-published novels and his fifth work, To Catch The Setting Sun, is published by The Wild Rose Press and was released in August 2022. In 2006 he wrote, produced and was on-air personality of the Dr. Rich Levine show on Seattle’s KKNW 1150AM and after a twenty-five year practice in Bellevue, Washington, he closed up shop in 2017 and moved to Oahu to pursue a dream of acting and being on Hawaii 5-O. While briefly working as a ghostwriter/community liaison for a local Honolulu City Councilmember, he appeared as a background actor in over twenty-five 5-Os and Magnum P.Is. Richard can be seen in his first co-star role in the Magnum P.I. third season episode “Easy Money”. He presently resides in Hawaii.

Visit Richard’s Amazon Page or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads.

There’s a killer loose on the island of Oahu. His targets? Young, native-Hawaiian women. But it also appears that he’s targeting and taunting Honolulu police detective Henry Benjamin who knew each victim and whose wife, Maya, had been the first name on that list. In addition to battling his personal demons, this New York transplant’s aggressive style didn’t sit well with his laid-back colleagues who viewed Henry’s uncharacteristic lack of progress in the investigation as evidence that fueled ongoing rumors that he could be the killer. Was he, or could it have been someone within the municipal hierarchy with a vendetta? As it was, after thirteen years on the job Henry had been disillusioned with paradise. His career choice long killed any fantasy of living in a grass hut on a wind-swept beach, being serenaded by the lazy sounds of the ocean and a slack key guitar. Instead, it had opened his eyes to a Hawaii that tourists will never see.

Release Date: August 22, 2022

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Soft Cover: ISBN:‎ 978-1509243297; 320 pages; $17.99; eBook $5.99


Barnes and Noble:

Apple iBooks:


πŸ“™ Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Richard: I do not remember ever making a conscious decision to become an author, but I can say with certainty that I have always found it easier to express my thoughts and feelings through writing. For me, To Catch The Setting Sun, as with my other books, is one vehicle I use to express myself; it is my voice. It is my method of communicating a message in an entertaining way without being interrupted or shouted down—something that has become all-too-common in our society today.

πŸ“™ Is this your first book?

Richard: This novel is my fifth. My first four are a series which follows an ordinary guy, Ray Silver, who is drawn into extraordinary situations which finds him risking life and limb to protect his family and his way of life. He is the antithesis of the typically Hollywood action hero who ends up doing heroic things when necessary. Those four novels are Indy-published and can be found on Amazon in paperback and ebook.

πŸ“™With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Richard: To Catch The Setting Sun is published by The Wild Rose Press. I suppose they are considered small press. You would have to ask them. As with my first four novels, I was going to Indy-publish this book, but after incurring some financial setbacks during the COVID lockdowns, which included $30,000 dollars in unexpected medical expenses, I found the associated costs to go Indy were a little out of reach for me. I began to query literary agents with no success and that’s when an author friend, who I consider my literary mentor, recommended I query a publisher she used for a few of her many romance novels. I did, and the rest is history.

πŸ“™Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Richard: You’ll have to forgive me for not really answering this one at this time. I’m still trying to assess it all and I’m waiting to see how this particular journey plays out before I can comment with honesty and clarity. I’m not suggesting anything bad with the choice of going small press, I’m simply waiting until I have a 360 degree view..

πŸ“™What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Richard: As with the previous question, I feel the lessons are still occurring. I wouldn’t want to come to any premature conclusions until I’m in a position to take a step back and do a full analysis.

πŸ“™Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Richard: As with anything in life, a person has to explore, research, and analyze every option that is available to her or him and then make an informed decision based upon individual wants, needs, and desires. What may be the right path for one person may be the wrong path for someone else.

πŸ“™What’s next for you?

Richard: In addition to writing, I have been working on my acting skills. In 2020 I co-starred in a third season episode of Magnum PI and I definitely want to explore that world in greater depth. So, while I work on novel number six, I am simultaneously enrolled in an actor’s workshop where I am training with a group of dedicated actors on a regular basis.



Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Book Publishing Secrets with Deven Greene #books #bookpublishing

Fiction writer Deven Greene lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Ever since childhood, Deven has been interested in science.  After receiving a doctorate in biochemistry, she went to medical school and trained as a pathologist. She worked for several decades in that field before starting to write fiction. Deven incorporates elements of medicine or science in most of her writing. She has published several short stories. Her debut novel, Unnatural, is the first book of the Erica Rosen MD Trilogy, and was released in January 2021. Unwitting, released in October 2021, is the second Erica Rosen MD novel. Unforeseen is the final book in the Trilogy.

Visit her website at or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

Pediatrician Erica Rosen is stymied when two of her patients don’t respond to medicine as expected. When other patients later develop strange, unexpected illnesses, she is determined to get to the bottom of it.

Meanwhile, the department’s newest pediatrician, Dr. Nilsen, appears to be trying to steal her patients. Erica suspects he is after her job as the clinic director. She also discovers Dr. Nilsen has become romantically involved with her trusted assistant, Martha. One evening, while looking for patient information on Martha’s desk, Erica comes across a list with the names of some of her patients. A boy who recently became ill with a mysterious malady is on the list and has an asterisk by his name. What does that mean?

Erica is convinced something nefarious is underfoot, and Dr. Nilsen, rather than simply being after her job, is engaged in a dangerous scheme involving her patients. Unable to recruit the help of law enforcement in a timely manner, she realizes she must take matters into her own hands. As she proceeds with her investigation, she is unaware of the dangers she is about to encounter.

Book Information

Release Date: August 18, 2022

Publisher:  Black Rose Writing

Soft Cover: 329 pages; $21.95; eBook $6.99; FREE on Kindle Unlimited


Black Rose Writing:


πŸ“™ Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Deven: I’ve wanted to become an author for some time. I finally decided to stop thinking about it and DO something about ten years ago. The first novel I wrote remains unpublished. I like the story and will probably publish it in the future. However, being my first novel, it needed some rewriting. I became tired of working on it and looked forward to starting a new project, the Erica Rosen MD Trilogy. Book 1 of the trilogy, Unnatural, is the first book I published. It is about human embryonic stem cell gene editing, a topic I find fascinating. It has the potential to do a lot of good but also could be very harmful if not done ethically.

πŸ“™ Is this your first book?

Deven: The first book of the trilogy is the first book I published, but the second novel I’ve written (see the previous question)..

πŸ“™With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Deven: The whole trilogy is published by a small, independent publisher. Of course, I would have loved the novels to be picked up by a large, traditional publisher, but that wasn’t in the cards. I tried to make that happen but was unsuccessful. I didn’t want to self-publish, so I went with a small publisher. I used the same publisher for all the books in the trilogy, so the format and cover styles would be the same.

πŸ“™Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Deven: I attempted to get an agent, but after failing to land one and being put off by their rudeness (lack of responses and failure to follow up after asking for additional material), I decided not to pursue that further. I didn’t want to self-publish, so I looked for a publisher who accepted queries directly from authors. That was the best path for me, although I know many authors are happy being self-published.

πŸ“™What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Deven: It is necessary to learn as much as possible about the publishing industry before embarking on the publication journey. If your preferred method doesn’t work out after a while, try something else. Publicity is more important for sales than the method of publication. Unless you are a favored author of a large publisher, you will need to budget some money to publicize your work.

πŸ“™Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Deven: I am glad I went with a small publisher rather than self-publishing, but this may not be the best route for everyone. Although there are a lot of small publishers, it is still difficult to be picked up by one, and many, like agents, don’t respond to queries.

πŸ“™What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Deven: If writing is what you want to do, keep doing it. Don’t give up because some people don’t appreciate your work. Write what you want to write, and try to find the right readers.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Book Publishing Secrets with Steve Brock #books #bookpublishing


I’ve been an author in search of a novel for just about forty years now. Writing was the first thing I ever wanted to do seriously. Over the years I’ve done quite a variety of things. My first real job, the kind where you have a schedule and get paid hourly, was as a cook at the local Sonic Drive-In. I’ve been a machinist, a forklift driver, a production worker, a computer programmer, an IT guy, an installation manager, a software trainer, and an education department manager. Those are just the employment highlights. Through it all, I was a husband and father, and I attended college at night to get my bachelor’s degree in technology management.

Before all that started, I wanted to be a writer. It just didn’t work out that way. Maybe that’s ok, I’ve had a good life and I have a wonderful family that I am proud to have. I don’t regret any of what I’ve done to support my family over the years. The desire to write has persisted, however, and I took a look at my odometer one day and it read 61 years old. None of us know how high our personal odometer will go, but I knew if I was ever going to be a writer, now was the time.

I’m bringing my lifetime of experience to my novel writing. Many of my characters are loosely based upon people I’ve known in real life. Some of my plot elements are also influenced by real-life experiences as well. As of this writing, my first novel, Half Moon Lake, will be published on Amazon in a few weeks. I have begun work on my second book as well. I hope you will take time to register your email address so I may keep you apprised of announcements and special offers. I’d be thrilled to count you as one of my first dedicated readers.

Steve Brock’s latest novel is Half Moon Lake.

You can visit his website at or connect with him at Twitter.

Crease Williams lived a charmed life with a bright future. Only in his junior year at Texas Christian University, his skills as a wide receiver had already captured the attention of NFL scouts.

Then a tragedy cost him his family and his desire to play football. Personally devastated, he left his old life behind and got as far from Ft. Worth, TX, and football as he could get.

Keeping mostly to himself, he became a float-plane pilot in the far north of Minnesota. Flying fisherman and hunters into remote locations was how he spent his time. When a group he had flown to Roudy’s Cabin goes missing, he faces accusations and more turmoil than he could have ever imagined. To make matters worse, his quiet existence is upturned by an element from his past bent on vengeance.

Half Moon Lake is Steve Brock’s first novel. A suspenseful mystery written with likable characters and a lighthearted flavor.

Book Information

Release Date: March 30, 2022

Publisher:  Steve Brock

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-0578391977; 187 pages; $9.99; Kindle Unlimited FREE



πŸ“™ Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Steve: Writing is something I intended to do even back in high school. Life had other plans for me and it has taken me forty years to come to a place in life where I could fulfill that dream.

πŸ“™ Is this your first book?

Steve: Yes, it is.

πŸ“™With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Steve: I independently published. I didn’t pursue traditional publishing. After seeking out advice from some authors that have long resumes, I learned there are a lot of negative aspects to traditional publishing that can be avoided by publishing independently.

πŸ“™Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Steve: It was mostly positive. As I said, I sought out help from experienced authors, and that helped me in a lot of ways. As for the pros and cons, the most positive thing about publishing yourself is you can set your own pace and you don’t have anyone else’s deadlines to meet. On the down side, you are completely on your own, and if this is your first publishing experience there are a lot of lessons to be learned. Things like finding a professional editor and a professional book cover designer are issues I didn’t think about before I started down this road.

πŸ“™What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Steve: Publishing on your own puts everything on your shoulders. Finding all the assistance you will need to prepare your book for publication, learning the steps involved in getting your book published are just two of the things a new author must deal with. In addition to that, after publication, all the marketing has to be done as well. With an average of 450 books being published every day, it isn’t easy to draw attention to yours.

πŸ“™Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Steve: It’s hard to say without having anything else to compare it to. I know publishing has been changing the last few years. The days of the large publishing companies deciding which books are published are over. Virtually anyone can publish a book if they are willing to put in the work. Before I started writing if I had been given the option of traditional publishing I’m sure I would have taken it. If for no other reason than to have someone to guide me through the process the first time.

πŸ“™What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Steve: Find a mentor, someone who has experience in some aspect of book writing or publishing. Once you get going, most things you will learn as you go, but having someone to bounce ideas off of is really valuable.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Book Publishing Secrets with Jeanette Baker #books #bookpublishing

Jeanette Baker is the award-winning author of twenty paranormal, historical and contemporary novels, most of them set in the lush countryside of Southwest Ireland where she lives with her husband and writes during the “Seasons of Silence,” the autumn and winter months. Her ancestors, the O’Flahertys, hail from the counties of Kerry and Galway. She takes great pride in the prayer posted by the English over the ancient city gates, “From the wrath of the O’Flahertys, may the good Lord deliver us.”

Jeanette spent many years teaching 6th grade in a small school nestled under a canopy of Eucalyptus trees where the children consistently surprised her with their wisdom, their hopefulness and their enthusiasm for great stories. Currently, she enjoys the company of her own grown children and her precious grandchildren.

Jeanette graduated from the University of California at Irvine and holds a Master’s Degree in Education.

She is the Rita award-winning author of NELL.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Birthright.

You can visit her website at  or connect with her on Facebook.

Two women on a course to confront the past, one to expose its secrets, the other to bury them. 

Claire Williams travels halfway across the globe from Southern California to Ireland to find the mother who gave her up and the questions that need answering. Norah O’Connor is equally determined to avoid revisiting the most shameful time of her life and the devastating decisions she was forced to make.

Claire’s presence fifty years later is the engine for the confrontations to come when neighbors Norah has known forever recognize Claire’s resemblance to a younger sister. Norah must face the man who fathered both her daughters, and decide to either hold the secrets that continue to embitter her or release them for the shame that will surely mark her.

“Jeanette Baker’s award winning novels have earned her a place in the paranormal genre beside giants such as Barbara Erskine and Kristin Hannah. Now she brings her unique writing style and compelling characters to the stage of contemporary Ireland, sharing a world as alluring as its secrets are opaque.”
Lauren Royal, New York Times and USA Bestselling Author.

“Gorgeously descriptive and unforgettably moving, Baker’s novel is a wondrous journey of the heart.” 

—Candi Sary, author of Magdalena 

Birthright will find a welcome place in any library strong in stories of mother/daughter relationships, Irish culture, and the special conundrums faced by adult children who seek answers to the decisions their birth parents made.”

Diane Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Book Information

Release Date: June 21, 2022

Publisher: Top Reads Publishing LLC

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1970107296; 254 pages; $16.99; eBook $4.99


Barnes & Noble: 

πŸ“™ Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Jeanette: I’ve always loved to read and to write stories. Every summer my parents would take us on a road trip from California to Boston, MA to visit our relatives. Those were days without air-conditioning and all vinyl seats that would stick to our legs and backs. I’ll never forget driving to Oklahoma which has to be the hottest most humid state in America. My respite would be to look out the window and create a story in my mind. Those stories saved me on our heated trips but they also served another purpose. I was actually quite good at story-telling and my grades in English, creative writing and history were outstanding. My mother was quite concerned about my lack of interest in chemistry and biology because those were real subjects according to her. However, she was incredibly proud when my first book was accepted for publication.

πŸ“™ Is this your first book?

Jeanette: This is my twentieth book.

πŸ“™With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Jeanette: Another author recommended hybrid publishing, and that’s when I found Top Reads Publishing—an indie, boutique hybrid publisher.

πŸ“™Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Jeanette:  I started out writing paranormals, time-travel type novels with Pocket Books. Then, after a while, I wanted to branch out. I began writing Irish contemporaries and American contemporaries for Mira Books. Large publishing houses were going out of business at the time, so I took a breather and tried self-publishing. I’m not well-versed in promotion, so that didn’t work for me. That’s when I was introduced to Teri Rider at Top Reads, and here I am.

πŸ“™What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Jeanette: Publishing is not for everyone. Authors who are readers first have a much better chance of success in publishing their novels than those who aren’t. It’s important for those contemplating publishing as a career to read books in the genres they would like to write. Computer aptitude is also essential.

πŸ“™Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Jeanette: Yes.

πŸ“™What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Jeanette: Attend conferences, read genres of interest, keep your day job, and join writing groups.

Book Publishing Secrets with Palmer Pickering #books #bookpublishing

Palmer Pickering has been writing fiction since she was eight. She received her BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University, with concentrations in Religion and Race Relations.

She currently works in Silicon Valley in the gaming industry and high tech. In addition, Palmer holds a certificate in Chinese Acupressure, is a certified solar panel installer, and studied Tibetan Buddhism with the 14th Dalai Lama.

She lives and writes in the magical redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, California.

Her latest book is the scifi fantasy for adults, Moon Deeds: Star Children Saga Book One.

You can visit her website at or connect with her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

“The path to power is cloaked in shadows, so if you avoid all the shadows, you’ll never learn anything.”

It’s 2090: the last outpost of freedom is the moon, the best defense against technology is magic, and the only hope for humankind rests in the hands of the Star Children.

Twins Cassidy and Torr must save Earth from a ruthless enemy at a time when the only force more powerful than alien technology is magic. Moon Deeds launches the siblings’ journey across the galaxy, where they must learn their power as the Star Children, claim their shamanic heritage, and battle dark forces that threaten humankind.

The Star Children Saga follows Cassidy and Torr as they slowly awaken to their destiny as the twin Star Children, born every millennium to reconnect with the source of all life. They come to discover the sheer enormity of their task: to find our ancestors on a lost planet across the galaxy and save humanity from a spiraling descent into darkness. The powers they must wield to accomplish this task are truly frightening and put at risk everything they love.

Come along with twenty-year-old twins Cassidy and Torr, who inherited deeds to land parcels on the moon. They want to use their moon deeds to get off Earth and escape a brutal dictatorship. But first they must unlock their shaman powers.

A rollicking yet poignant adventure in the not too distant future, when we have colonized the moon and nearly lost Earth to a dictatorship. Only the shamans remain free, plus the lucky ones who escaped to the moon.

Join the adventure! An addictive space opera, science-fantasy series.

“This is a marvelous book. The characters are compelling, complex, and emotional. The future described is neither all evil nor all good, and it’s described so realistically that I can still feel the moon dust in my nose and expect to see large packing containers around every corner. The text is delightfully written with none of the bad grammar that makes picky people like me wince even in an otherwise great story. Alas, this is just the first book of the series, and it appears I’ll have to wait a whole year for the next one. I really need to know *now* what happens next!” – Garden Reader

“I was totally captivated by this story. It is set just far enough into our future that I could see it all unfold. This tale has it all, mystery, magic, aliens, war, family, friendship and love. The authors ability to paint landscapes with words is amazing! I can not wait for book two to come out. I must know the fate of the Star Children!” – VR

“Anything dealing with the moon is almost immediately mystical and magical. Throw in a heart racing adventure and characters that will leave a mark on your heart and you have a masterpiece!” – Taylor Johnson (Educator, Netgalley)

“I found this novel to be as much a psychological thriller as it is a science fiction adventure, and the draw-in happens almost instantly. This is unquestionably one of the best books I’ve read this year and Pickering has roped in an entire family as new fans. I’d give Moon Deeds a whole bucket of stars if I could.” – Asher Syed (Readers’ Favorite)

“There is so much to love about this book, from its complex and intricately woven plot filled with tension, strife, and discovery, to the personal attachment you begin to build with the characters due to finely executed character building, engaging personalities, and difficulties in both moral dilemmas and situations. The pace is perfect to build tension, and I loved the length of this book.” – K.J. Simmill (Readers’ Favorite)

Book Information

Release Date: May 25, 2019

Publisher: Mythology Press

Soft Cover: ISBN: ‎ 978-1732568808; 598 pages; $21.99; E-Book, $.99; Audiobook, FREE.

Book Trailer:


Barnes & Noble:

πŸ“™ Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Palmer: I always wrote stories, ever since I was a young child. I love reading, and being an author was always my life’s goal. With Moon Deeds, I decided to write in the genre I most like to read, which is speculative fiction.

πŸ“™ Is this your first book?

Palmer: Moon Deeds is my first published book. I recently released its sequel, Light Fighters. They are the first books of the Star Children Saga, a series which will be several books long. I completed another book before Moon Deeds, but haven’t done the work to publish it. 

πŸ“™With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Palmer:  I self-published under my Indie imprint, Mythology Press. I decided to self-publish after many years of unsuccessfully courting agents and the traditional publishers. I have a professional background in publishing, so I understand the process, and finally just decided to do it myself. 

πŸ“™Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Palmer: The pros of self-publishing are many, especially now, and especially in genre fiction, where half of all books sold are now self-published. 

The self-publishing industry has evolved drastically in the past ten years, offering tools and communities that rival those of traditional publishers. By that I mean, authors can now desktop publish on a normal computer, no longer relying on typesetters. They can print-on-demand, avoiding the costly investment of a large print run. They can publish ebooks. Many companies and organizations support self-published authors now, from desktop publishing tools, to distribution networks, to publicists, to bloggers (like yourself), to competitions. 

A biggest advantage to self-publishing is the control you have over the creative process and all aspects of publishing. No one dictates what content to write or cut, what the page count must be, what cover art to use, or when and how to publish your work.

On the other hand, the biggest advantages of traditional publishers are their professional editorial teams, the quality controls built into their process, their brand name, and immediate access to the big conventions and awards. Traditional publishers do large print runs, resulting in lower prices than print-on-demand. Most important of all, in my opinion, they have the ability to get printed books in brick-and-mortar bookstores, something that is nearly impossible to do for indies, aside from consignment at small bookstores. Unless you’ve already established a huge following as an indie, most bookstores simply don’t want to give up shelf space or take the risk of carrying a book that might not sell, even if you distribute via one of the big distributors and accept returns.

πŸ“™What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Palmer: I’ve been at this for a few years now, and a recent revelation is the importance of community. There is a large network of authors, reviewers, bloggers, and avid readers who participate in online book clubs, blogs, Discord channels, Facebook groups, Twitter, Reddit, etc. I recommend joining some of these and developing relationships. Do author swaps, where you read each other’s books and support each with feedback and reviews. Do buddy reads. Engage in discussions about other books. Volunteer at conventions. Sign up to speak on panels. Be a part of the community.

πŸ“™Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Palmer: Yes, I definitely would. I’ve found self-publishing to be immensely gratifying. It sounds clichΓ©, but it’s really all about the journey—enjoying the process of writing and editing, working with editors and artists, and supporting others on their journey.

πŸ“™What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Palmer: For aspiring writers, you must write. Don’t think about it, or plan, or wish, just sit down and put words on paper. Every day if you can. The stories don’t have to be good, just start with anything that you find fun to write. Writing is a craft and takes a ton of practice. 

For aspiring authors (those who have finished stories but haven’t published), I recommend first hiring editors, or swapping editing and beta reading with others. (Side note: For novels, I recommend that your book is actually finished before you start querying. For unknown fiction authors, it’s very rare to get a book deal on spec.) Give the finished work to beta readers and then talk to them about their impressions, to make sure what you intended to convey actually worked. Then, when you are confident that your work is ready, try to find an agent for a couple of years (yes, years), and in that time also submit your manuscript to those who accept unsolicited works, since they often sit in a slush pile for a while. After that, if you are proud of your work and have received positive feedback from others, then try self-publishing. While all that is going on, write your next book!