Before I became published with The Wild Rose Press, I volunteered to be a preliminary reader for them. This involves reading a submitted manuscript and evaluating the story as thoroughly as possible, giving suggestions where you can or commenting on anything that didn’t ‘gel’ with you as the reader.As a reader, it is such an honour to read these works early on. You get a real appreciation for all the hard work that goes into creating a story and a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at how an author’s mind works. The sense of pride when a story you worked on is published is similar to that of a proud Aunty. And when that same book gets great reviews – the sense of satisfaction is immense. I’ve been lucky to have read three books which I’ve thought were outstanding and gone on to see them get five-star reviews. There is nothing like having your idea of a good book validated by other’s thoughts on the same.
Of course, along with the good comes the not-so-good. I remember one story in particular made me want to hurl my e-reader against the wall. In the end, I apologized and told the coordinator I was unable to finish it, listing my reasons – and believe me, it was a long list! J Luckily for me (and my e-reader!), that was the only one in two years I’ve been unable to finish.
I credit the preliminary reading with helping me improve my own writing to such a standard, that I was offered a contract for my very first submission. It also gave me confidence in my own ability to tell a story, lending me the courage to finally send something in to someone. After all, these people whose stories I’d been reading had been brave enough to try. I should be too.
So when you submit your work to a publisher, who knows? You may just have been the inspiration to motivate another scaredy-cat writer to actually get their stuff out there and seen – helping another onto this exciting roller-coaster of a ride called publication. At the very least, you would have given someone a few hours of pleasure and taught them something new.
If you’ve ever thought about being a reader for a publisher, I’d urge you to sign up. What's stopping you? It is so much fun and I doubt you’ll regret it!
Photos courtesy of Photobucket