How do I get published?

I receive this question quite a lot on a daily basis. There are lots of different ways to get published, but I would suggest getting started with self-publishing. I think this is an excellent way to get to know the industry and understand just how much hard work goes into writing and publishing a book. There are many ways to source information, i.e Reddit.com (reddit.com/r/selfpublish) and google.com – you need to also be able to ask yourself the right questions. I find you will only truly understand this, if you do the work yourself.

I started with self-publishing, so there is no reason that you can’t!

Do you have any advice for how to publish a poetry book?

I would recommend starting your own Instagram account to share your poetry and try to build up a following of at least 5-10,000 followers. This will prove there are people resonating with your writing and supporting your book/poetry. If your goal is to sell a book, then you need to be able to prove you have a market and also interest in your work.

If you create an account for your poetry and get over 10,000 followers, you can contact my agent and business partner, James by writing to him at james@pepperbooks.org

How did you create your book cover?

I worked with a professional designer and gave him some guidance on what I wanted. People DO judge a book by its cover, so I recommend spending money on a good cover, at least $600 USD+ in my opinion. You don’t HAVE to do this of course, however if you aren’t willing to invest in quality, then why should readers invest their money in your work. In my experience, you get exactly what you pay for. I have had many other poets write to me, complaining that they cannot sell their books, even with large follower bases. Most often, it falls back on a book cover. If you create a cover that is going to sell in the first place, then you are less likely to have this problem.

How did you get published by Andrews McMeel?

I released Pillow Thoughts in August 2016 and they contacted me a few months later, requesting the rights to re publish the book under their publishing company. I attribute this to how well the book was already selling on Amazon. I did not submit a book proposal to them, so I am not the person to ask regarding how to create one. However there are many tools available to understand how to write a book proposal – namely on google.

Do I need an agent?

I don’t believe it matters either way. However, having an agent enables me to focus on my writing and have my agent juggle all the business affairs. This being said, I have someone I trust a great deal and is easy and great to work with. I would recommend doing your research on literary agents and finding one that holds your best interests. Currently my agent and I have been assisting other poets/writers with their manuscripts. You can write to James for further enquiries on james@pepperbooks.org

Can you get Andrews McMeel to publish my book?

A question I also receive daily 🙂 I am not a publisher and I don’t have any control over AMU, I am simply one of their authors. I do not have any part in their creative decisions and I do not send or suggest manuscripts for them to publish. If you are interested in submitting a book proposal to AMU, then I suggest going to their website andrewsmcmeelspublishing.com

Do you do shoutouts or can you check out my page?

I am the type of person that doesn’t stop working – for this reason, it’s incredibly difficult to dedicate time to anything other than works associated with my own projects. While I would love to invest time into everyone, I simply can’t. This doesn’t mean however, that I am not hoping the best for you and your writing journey!

Can I send you my manuscript?

If you have a poetry manuscript and an Instagram page with at least 10,000 followers, then send your poetry manuscript to james@pepperbooks.org

Where do you live?

I live in Sydney, Australia!

How is Hero/Dakota/that cat?

I post a lot about my little fur family and get messages about them all the time – personally I think it’s very sweet and I love that people have taken an interest in them. All three of them are very spoilt!  

Who is Rhian and why is Pillow Thoughts dedicated to them?

Rhian is my fiance 🙂

How do I get a signed copy?

We only do signed copies in certain situations, and because we’re in Australia it will cost at least $50USD. If you want a signed copy, then you can send an email to James via james@pepperbooks.org and CC me into the email on courtney@pepperbooks.org

How do I contact you?

I am adament that I reply to all my emails, as I love hearing from you and it’s very important to me that I reply to you when you have reached out. You can reach me on courtney@pepperbooks.org – while it may take me a week to respond, it is directly from me 🙂

Will you do more Book Tours?

Absolutely. Right now, I am still building my career however I LOVED being able to meet some of my readers whilst touring the US. It’s important when planning a tour, that I will get a return on what I have invested as I do live a long way away from where most of my readers live. I hope to do many book tours in future 🙂

I wrote a book and I am worried someone is going to steal my idea.

Another of my favourite questions – when I was younger, I too had the same belief. Now, with all my experience in the publishing world I can assure you that for someone to steal your work, whether you believe an agent to do this etc is very difficult. Copyright laws differ in certain countries, and I would suggest doing some research into the laws that are applicable to you and your situation. This being said, for someone to steal an entire manuscript, publish it as their own, market it, organise book covers, editors and formatting etc it’s highly unlikely this will happen.

I have a question, but it wasn’t in the FAQ.

You can write to me at courtney@pepperbooks.org