Monday, June 15, 2015

Planting Seeds

photo by eliaskordelakos via Dollar Photo Club

I teach classes in self-publishing at two local colleges in upstate New York. One of the lessons I give my students is the importance of planting seeds. 

As an indie author, it’s important to reach out to people who can increase your book’s discoverability or help build your reputation as a writer.  You plant seeds when you ask someone to publish your work, write a blog post about you or your book, interview you, read and review your book, or share your Facebook status and retweet your tweets. 

Anyone who has ever planted a garden knows that it takes time for the seedlings to sprout, for the fruit and the flowers to blossom.  Sometimes, nothing happens at all.  This is the nature of planting seeds, and it’s no different when planting seeds for your books. 

About two years ago, I planted a seed with the online magazine Kaleidoscope, a biannual journal dedicated to expressing the experiences of disability through literature and the fine arts. I submitted a proposal for them to publish the first chapter of my novel, Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story.  I received a prompt response that my submission was under consideration for a future issue, but no promises.   

I went on with my life, and eventually forgot about this until the other day, when I received a message from the editor letting me know they’d chosen to publish my chapter in their next issue.  Now that was one seed I hadn't expected to flower!  Yet it did!  And, although I had forgotten to cultivate it, reaped benefits. 

In our increasingly online, instantaneous, get it right now lifestyles we often plant seeds and expect growth immediately.  But that’s not how it works.  Things happen in their own time.  Today’s efforts may not bring results until next month, next year, or years from now. Don’t give up.  Even dormant seeds can sprout new life.

July 22, 2015 UPDATE: Issue 71 is now online! Please take a moment to discover this beautiful magazine. The writings are lovely and enlightening. You'll enjoy the artwork. The artists and authors will move you. Blue Hydrangeas appears on page 52.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Similar things have happened to me several times. We never know what will ultimately yield fruit.