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Tag Archives: Mary Caelsto

Mary Caelsto 
More choices for authors means more ways to publish and more
publishers. Having a completed, polished manuscript is only part of the work of
getting published. The next step is to find a publisher. With so many companies
arriving on the scene and going out of business, it can be difficult–maddening
even–to find a publisher. So what’s an author to do?
The very first thing I suggest to authors is to leverage the
power of a favorite search engine. This shouldn’t be the only criteria an author
uses to choose a publisher. It can, however, provide a good start. The best way
to search is to use proper terms. The publisher’s full name should be searched with
quotation marks around it to ensure that the name as an entire phrase comes up.
For example, searching “ABC Books” without the quotes will bring up results
with “books” in it, but not the ABC. That probably won’t be very helpful.
Even if the publisher has a unique name, use the quotes. What you feel is unique
may not be when searched against the entirety of the internet.
Next add a modifier. I use a word like problems or issues. The
way this looks in a search engine is like this:
“Publisher full name” + problems
Then, look at the results that come up. Newer dates are bigger
issues, as are venues. Let’s take a moment for some honesty. No publisher will make
every author happy. This means that there is a good chance that some result will
come up. A story in Publisher’s Weekly or other high visibility blog will raise
more alarm bells than a single result from one author.
It is the author’s job to determine which issues, if any, aren’t
deal breakers. Personally and for many authors, any issues make the publisher a
non-starter. There are too many good publishers out there to get caught with the
bad ones.
Beyond a search engine, the next step in smart publisher research
is doing some good old-fashioned leg work. Visit the publisher’s website. Look at
their covers. See if they lean heavily to a specific genre or subset of books. An
author should make sure that his or her books will fit in well with the publisher’s
literary culture (or lack thereof). A sweet romance author in a sea of erotic books
where it’s obvious the website and publisher caters toward the steamier books wouldn’t
be a good fit, for example.
Yet, there’s one more tool for smart publisher research: reading
the books. Yes, this takes time. Yes, this may be an investment. However, the prettiest
cover and best laid out website could conceal books with poor editing. If an author
absolutely cannot find time to read books, then check reviews. Many good review
sites will mention issues with editing or storyline problems.
There’s more to publisher research than these three steps; however,
by starting with these processes, the author will have a good feeling which publishers
will do right by them and whose books the author will feel proud about being among.
Taking some time in publisher research will prevent trouble and heartbreak down
the road. And, there’s a good chance it will lead to better sales.

More Resources

If you’re interested in learning more, join Mary starting August
20, 2014 for Smart Publisher Evaluation for Career-Minded Authors. This week-long
course will dive deep into the art of evaluating publishers so authors can avoid
trouble, find the best fit for them, and know that they, and their work, will be
supported. Learn more and register here:
Daily Writing Inspiration:
Visit her website at
to get her free video presentation Tap Into Your Muse Power to learn exactly how
an author’s muse is the most important tool for today’s working author.

Author Bio

Mary lives in the Ozarks with her husband, three spoiled horses,
an office rabbit, an opinionated parrot, a not-so-itty-bitty kitty committee, and
a charmed chicken (rooster). She’s been published since 2002, working for some of
the biggest and best digital-first publishers. Three years ago, she began The Muse
Charmer to share her insights from being in the publishing industry for so long
with authors. Her belief: it can be easy to be an author today. To that end, she
offers classes, news, and information authors can use to navigate today’s ever-changing
publishing industry.

Author Social Media

Wider Circle by Mary Caelsto.
It might seem odd to turn to the tarot cards when I go to revise a story, but then again, I do write pagan inspirational romances. My next WIP is back from my awesome beta and I’m about ready to revise it before sending it off to a publisher. So, I draw a tarot card.
What am I missing in this story?
Interestingly enough, the card I drew was the two of cups, which is a relationship card. Funny, it is a romance. And there is even a love scene, pretty sensual by my standards. The two of cups talks about being in sync, finding that recognition that yes, this is the one. From my standpoint as the author, maybe I’m missing the fact that this is my “break out novella.” or at least one can always hope. *smiles*
Personally, I believe tarot is a way for each of us to connect with our higher selves, our intuition. Using tarot cards is more than a “gut check”; it is also a way for us to bypass the chatter in our minds and find out what we really think or feel about a specific situation. And now that I am writing this blog and thinking about this story, which honestly I haven’t looked at in a few months, I am thinking that the relationship between the characters might need more definition, more of an arc.
I might not have seen that in my rush to get this story polished (I know that sounds funny since I just said that I hadn’t looked at the story in a while) and off to a publisher. In this case, the tarot card provided a prompt, and a timely reminder of what I should look for in my revision process, because it is, after all, a romance story.
Tarot cards are versatile and can provide information about characters, settings, and even plot lines. With the archetypes found in the tarot deck, one can populate an entire cast of characters for a novel though don’t think you’ll be limited by their appearance in either your book, or your tarot deck. The many facets of humanity are on display in a tarot deck. You might find just the right trait to make your heroine stand out, or find out why your hero doesn’t pass muster with the reader.
Writers are naturally creative, and intuitive, people. This means that the tarot cards lend themselves quite nicely to an author’s thought process. Though they have been used (for better or worse) as prompts for stories, I think that tarot cards can provide a much deeper, and richer, experience for the writer crafting his or her story.
Then again, sometimes the tarot cards simply remind you to pay attention to your story while you’re revising, too.
Last release:

The Wider Circle by Mary Caelsto

Still grieving from the loss of her father, Dharma takes a job in a neighboring state with the hopes that the change in location will help her get on with her life and maybe find her faith again. She arrives to find the job gone and with it her hopes. She goes to a ritual on the Autumn Equinox, a time for thankfulness, and when a handsome man asks her what she’s thankful for, she finds she cannot answer.
Acting as a High Priest in the ritual changes Sid’s life. He’s making plans to move out of state and form a new Wiccan Coven, except he’s missing the other half of his circle–a high priestess. When he sees Dharma he knows there’s a spiritual soul hidden inside her grief, and he longs to bring her out.
But when Sid can’t wait any longer and has to move in order to keep his job opportunity, will Dharma go with him? Can Sid show Dharma that the Goddess hasn’t forsaken her, and that there’s a wider circle for them to explore?
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