Stephanie Smith is a contemporary inspirational romance writer whose debut novel After September will be released in September 2016. She’s always had a love of the written word but it wasn’t until she was in her forties that she wrote her first novel. Her heart’s desire is to continue to write stories that bring glory to God while offering hope to people of all beliefs.
Connect with Stephanie:
Did you use an agent to find a publisher?
I spent months seeking out an agent to represent me. As each door closed, I looked into publishers that didn’t require an agent. Just when I was about to go the self-publishing route, I was contacted by Desert Breeze Publishing and offered a contract. I was in disbelief when I read the e-mail. I actually thought it was spam and had to read it a couple of times to understand it was legitimate. After pitching the idea of turning After September into a series, I was contracted for two additional books!
How important were your social platforms to the publisher?
A lot of agents I pitched to required a marketing strategy, so I began the process of creating an online presence. I’m sure it helped my publisher to know I’d already started the foundation of having followers prior to being offered the contract. I don’t think I realized how important it was to have a platform, until I signed my contract.
What caught the publishers attention to acquire your book?
I’m not sure about that! I can say what caught my attention about this publisher is their willingness to accept Christian fiction that deals with “real life” struggles, which is what I write about. People make mistakes, but God’s mercy is bigger than any of our mistakes. That is the message I want readers to know and am grateful I found a publisher who understands. Praise God!
I hope you enjoyed this brief interview with debut author Stephanie Smith. If you didn’t catch it, her book After September will be released September 2016. What we can learn from Stephanie’s journey is that agents and publishers like to see a pre-existing social following to consider supporting/publishing you. Also, getting an agent isn’t an absolute need to get published, although those in the publishing industry would still highly recommend you find one. Chances are if you happen to get acquired by a publisher without an agent, they will eventually encourage you to get one.
Please leave comments for Stephanie about how she got a book contract or anything else you were left feeling curious about.
And don’t forget to come back to Living Lit Up next Tuesday!