Preliminary Decision… E-Publishing

Unless something big happens to change my mind, it’s looking like my first publishing experience will be with e-publishing, which is of course, for e-books. Right now, I’m trying to decide between Smashwords and Lulu, but I’m leaning toward Smashwords because they seem more well-known for the type of work I’m trying to do. Granted, they don’t have a free cover-art building thing, but I’ve got tech-savvy artistic brothers for that if my brilliant friends and readers don’t come through!

The fact of the matter is, getting an agent who’s not going to see ‘20,000 words’ and say, “next please” is going to be so difficult that it almost doesn’t merit wasting their time. There’s just not a market for paperback novellas these days, which is understandable in the digital age, but it happens to be the perfect length for a digital book because it’s nice and short, to the point, without being absolutely tiny.

If you’ve got any advice on e-publishing, or would like to know a bit more about Smashwords, Lulu, or the e-publishing process in general, let me know and I’d be happy to rant some more about it!

I probably will, anyway.




Publishing… ALL ABOUT

So, I’ve just spent the last two and a half hours researching what to do when my novella leaves it’s ‘growing up phase’ of edits, revising, and rewrites and I decide to enter that scary world of publishing. In this research I’ve found that it’s both more scary and less scary than I thought.

Firstly, if you haven’t already, check out They not only have a quality, searchable database of reputable agents to contact, but they also happen to be home to a lot of advice about how to contact and deal with agents, what to expect, how to format, and many other great things. Seriously, I’ve spent about two hours of my two and a half on this site alone and I’ve learned a lot.

Examples of what I’ve learned: You should never have to pay up front (except the occasional fees, usually less than 500 dollars, see the site for details on this) for a reputable agent, which is a huge relief for me, a college student with VERY limited income. You shouldn’t present yourself AS your pen name, so although my pen name is Charlotte Blackwood, I have to put my real name on the title page, letters to agents, etc. and on the title page put (WRITING AS CHARLOTTE BLACKWOOD). HUGE lifesaver by reading that.

It’s also taught me that I might have fun marketing a novella. I mean, the average person has a short attention span, as proved by lengths of television advertisements, television show segment lengths, and the number of explosions on most films, but the fact of the matter is, novels are just a much more marketable sale. They’re more expensive, they’re what people expect. Selling a 20,000 word novella rather than a 80,000 word novel might be tough, but it’s always good practice, even if I end up having to self-publish in the end while I finish my novels.

The fact of the matter is, none of this is easy, quick, or painless, but in the end it will be worth it, even if all I get is a huge stack of rejection letters and severe lack of email replies (because they don’t reply to the ones they don’t want, generally, so you don’t have to worry about getting too many rejection emails). It’s character building, it’s a reminder that as much as I love Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, and Charles Dickens, I am not them and I have to work very, very hard until I have a prayer of that. That’s fine. It’s worth it. I’ve never been a particularly patient person, but I’ve found recently that when it’s something that matters, it doesn’t matter when, just that you get there eventually. Waiting a month for a reply on a partial doesn’t sound as daunting as it would have a year ago. It just gives me more time to work on my novels. And school, and stuff.

Keep on writing,


A Big Hello From Charlotte

This is a preliminary post to say hey, welcome you to my blog, and thank you for checking me out. Here’s a little bit about me…


I’m an author, and I’m on my third round of edits for my novella, Dead.Blood.Dead., which my friend N.C. and I will be working on until we feel it’s ready for publication. If you’re an artist and you’re interested in getting in touch about making some cover art to be submitted with the story when I start contacting publishers, let me know.


I’m going to be posting updates on my experiences with the process of getting published, whether I can get a company or if I end up going with self-publishing, so if your’e an author or aspiring author, this is a great place to get tips, share experience, etc.


On top of my novella, I’m working on the first novel in a trilogy (working title: To the Death), another novel (working title: Morrison Girls) that will include some poetry in the novel, and another novel that I will be co-authoring with a good friend of mine, E.M. (working title: What Can I Do?). My friends, N.C., E.M., and A.B. will be referred to by their initials in posts which they appear unless they let me know they want to be referenced by name, out of respect for their privacy. Descriptions in detail of the stories will appear when they’re in the process of publishing and not before in order to protect my intellectual property. I’m trusting, but I’m not too trusting. I’ve watched a few too many crime shows. 😉


Don’t hesitate to contact me or comment, especially if you’re also an author/aspiring author, or you know free ways of making my blog look nicer, because if I’m being perfectly honest, I’m an electronic idiot.