Ruth J. Hartman is a published romance author as well as a dental hygienist. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband of nearly 29 years and two very spoiled, fat cats. Her sweet, funny romance novels revolve around cats, dentistry, or both.
1. Do study the publisher’s website you’re considering submitting to. Each publisher is different. Some will only accept e-mail subs. Others, only paper. And each publisher will have specific guidelines. Length, genre, settings (single line spaced, as opposed to double, etc.) Pay attention to any direction they give you in their guidelines. They’re serious about these. That’s why they put them on their site. Very often they won’t even read your submission if you veer away from these.
2. Do make sure your manuscript is polished. Spell-check on the computer, but also, print out a hard copy and read through it that way. Also, read it out loud to catch any other mistakes. It’s very hard for an author to catch his or her own mistakes. It’s almost liked we’re hardwired not to J. Better yet, have someone else read your story as well.
3. Do have a synopsis. Better known as the dreaded synopsis. If you don’t know how to write one, there are several books or online blogs that will explain it. I don’t like doing them. Most authors don’t. But most publishers want to see one. My first book was a memoir. I actually didn’t even know what a synopsis was! I had to buy a book to figure out how to write one.
4. Do have a short pitch of your book. A paragraph or two at most. I recently pitched to an agent who only wanted three lines. Three lines! That’s not easy to do. But once you master that, it becomes easier.
5. Do be sure to find out the publisher’s name, and make sure you spell it correctly. No one likes to be addressed by a wrong, or misspelled name. It’s embarrassing for you, and annoying for them.
6. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn in a pitch. Yes, I know most of us hate that, and aren’t very good at it, but give it a try. You don’t need to be obnoxious about it, just be positive and excited about your work.
7. Don’t ramble on and on in your email to the editor of the publisher you’re submitting to. They don’t have much time. Short and sweet is better. Just the pertinent information in a friendly, informative way. Longer isn’t always better.
8. Don’t assume you know more than the editor. As in, don’t tell them how they should publish your material or why your book is perfect. They’ll decide if it’s something they’re interested in or not.
9. Don’t get angry if an editor or agent rejects your work. They’re just people with likes and dislikes. Just like you. Don’t take it personally, even though it’s hard not to. Some people have even sent a nasty e-mail to the publisher, ranting about how stupid they are for not picking that author’s work. Sound impossible? I’ve actually talked to editors who’ve had this happen.
10. Don’t get discouraged. Even though that’s easy to do. We all get excited about what we’ve written, and want everyone else to be, too. But there are lots and lots of publishers out there. And they’re all different. Keep trying to find the one that fits you and your manuscript the best. It’s out there!!!
Thanks so much for sharing some great advice. OK, let's chat.
When I work at the dental office as a hygienist, I usually feel like I’ve been run over by an army tank by the time I get home. I take a shower, put on my pj’s and read in my recliner. Usually with one or two cats on my lap. My husband would be in his recliner right next to mine.
His and hers...my husband and I have two recliners next to each other, also. So, what is your all-time favorite romantic movie (comedy or drama etc.)?
“While You Were Sleeping”
I loved that movie, too. Where is the most exotic place you’ve ever traveled to?
I’d have to say Egypt. I was in high school and went on a tour group with my dad. I got several marriage proposals! (I said no, of course.)
Sounds like a very interesting trip!
Kitty Carter is used to getting into strange situations when she chases her cat, Arthur. But this latest escapade is just too much! When Arthur chases a mouse at the marina while she's doing research for her book, she follows him down the dock and onto a yacht. Not entirely her plan, since she falls down some stairs and hits her head, and wakes to find herself out to sea. And she and Arthur aren’t the only ones on board!
Love this plot line. I'm a cat lover and this book is going on my TBR pile.
Where can readers find your book online?
Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/Purrfect-Voyage-ebook/dp/B004PLNO7Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1307995339&sr=8-2
Ruth, thanks so much for guesting today. I enjoyed chatting with you and learning more about you and your book.
If you would like to read an excerpt of Purrfect Voyage, please click on the "Read More" link below. Also, feel free to comment. Ruth is having an eBook giveaway for one commenter today.
Oh no. Not again. “Come back here you little rascal!”
Kitty Carter trotted down the warped wooden dock of the marina chasing Arthur. She was always chasing Arthur. And Arthur was always running.
Away. From her.
“Slow down, will ya? I’ve only got two legs.”
Why does he always do this to me?
Arthur, her black cat, scurried on, stalking a minuscule brown mouse.
Her cat’s claws dug into the pine boards of the dock, leaving gouges the size of three-penny nails. As Kitty looked up in time to see the tip of Arthur’s tail disappear over the shiny metal railing of the small yacht, her foot slipped in a spare tire-sized puddle.
While her feet flew over her head, her left shoe flew off her foot and splashed into the water. Perfect. The back of her head smacked the dock. Hard. After a moment of staring into the blue Alaska sky, she smiled as hippos in yellow mini-skirts pranced among the clouds.
Wait, that couldn’t be right, could it?
She sat up and shook her head. The dancing hippos vanished. Kitty sighed. It wasn’t the first time she’d witnessed cavorting animals in the sky after hitting her head.
Graceful, she was not. At the rate she was going, next time she’d see an entire kick-line of bowtie-wearing giraffes.
Taking inventory of her person, she surmised most everything was still intact. Still had feeling in her arms and legs? Check. Too much blood loss from the scrape on her forehead? She could probably live with what she had left. And drat! One of her shoes was missing. Now she had a naked foot to deal with. She’d loved those sandals, too.
Kitty let out a heavy sigh and pushed up to her feet. Wind-milling her arms while hopping on one foot wasn’t highly effective. Better to have one dingy, bare foot than to lose her balance off the dock and end up with a bath she hadn’t counted on. Especially since she couldn’t swim.
She ran the rest of the way toward the yacht where her wayward cat had last been spotted. Gripping the rail so she wouldn’t follow her left shoe into the water, she climbed over the rail onto the deck. The shiny white deck and teak wooden cabin sparkled in the mid-morning sunshine. The yacht’s name, “MT Pockets” was painted in the side.
“I’m just here to rescue my cat.”
“Or, I guess I should say, to rescue a mouse from my cat…my cat from a mouse?”
She shrugged and looked around the small, tidy deck. Not finding Arthur there, she headed for a set of stairs descending below deck. Kitty peered down into the darkness.
“Arthur, are you down there?”
Her cat didn’t answer. Neither did the mouse. She wondered if that meant the mouse was already in Arthur’s tummy.
Okay, here goes. Taking it slow, Kitty inched her way down the stairs. She tried a switch, but nothing happened. Deciding the small lever must have been for a purpose other than turning on a light, she continued on in the semi-darkness. Third step from the bottom, her naked foot hit the edge of the slick metal step. Her feet flew up, her head swan-dived down. Pain lanced across the back of her head as she thwacked it on the last step. Kitty groaned and rolled into a cat-like ball. As her world faded to black, she whispered, “Arthur, are you even down here?”
Art Katz carried two large cardboard boxes and a red duffel bag slung over his shoulder on board the yacht. Two weeks sailing and fishing. Unbelievable. He’d waited all year. Hoped to have formed gills by the time he reached his destination. He chuckled, remembering his dream from the previous night. He, of course, had been a fish. Salmon or halibut? He couldn’t remember. Not that it mattered. But no doubt about it; he’d been a fish.
Deciding to unpack later, he set to prepare the yacht, checking gauges and levels. After a short time, he headed out to sea. He’d spent enough time on this particular yacht to know its quirks. No doubt he could make the journey safely. But not everything in his life was so predictable. Like his business. He worked like a dog. Every weekend. Most evenings. But he still wasn’t making the money he wanted. His employees often called him a slave driver. But hey, you didn’t make money just sitting around.
He flipped open his cell phone.
“Hey, it’s me.”
“Hi,” said John. “Thanks again for delivering my yacht. I still can’t believe your vacation coincided with my move. I owe ya, man.”
“You’d do the same for me. If I had a yacht. Or a place to put a yacht. Or money to buy a yacht.”
“Yeah, yeah. I hear ya.”
“I expect to be treated like a rock star when I get there.”
“You got it. See you when you get here, then.”
“Later.” Art closed his phone and put it in his jeans pocket.
John seemed to have it all. The lucrative medical practice. The beautiful wife and kids. Not that Art had time for the family part. He wasn’t like John. He didn’t have money stashed everywhere. He had to work. All the time. That’s why this trip was so special. He hardly ever left the office.
For the next several hours he sailed, admiring the whipping green waves and diving birds. Eagles and puffins splashed about, more often than not emerging with fishy treasures in their beaks. He envied them. He couldn’t wait to start fishing himself. Although, he’d be using a pole. He wasn’t crazy about biting into raw fish.
A soft sound floated up from below deck. He turned his head.
Perfect. All he needed was a stowaway cat for the next two weeks. He’d never been a fan of felines. Far from it. With their tiny, impaling claws and creepy purring sound, he’d been able to avoid most of them.
Ever since the incident. Putting the yacht on autopilot, he walked to the stairs. His hand reached to the light switch. Nothing. And of course, the light bulbs were in a cabinet downstairs. He sighed and made his way back to his duffel bag. Flashlight in hand, he cautiously made his way down the dimly lit stairway.