Name: George A Bernstein
Publisher: GnD Publishing LLC
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
George: I was able to retire fairly early, and my wife said, “You don’t love golf or playing cards. Why don’t you write a novel?” I was always a good storyteller, and had written several articles for national fishing magazines, so it seemed like a good idea. I began my first suspense novel, Trapped, in 1990. I attended several writers’ conferences and seminars, learning to polish my craft. Good writing takes more than just natural talent.
Is this your first book?
George: No, this is my fifth, and the third of my Detective Al Warner series. I have two more outlined and one, the 4th Warner novel, partially written
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
George: The Prom Dress Killer is published by small indie publisher, GnD Publishing LLC, in which I have an interest. They are now the publishers for all 5 of my novels.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
George: In the beginning, I researched agents, wrote the best query letters I could … and fielded the form letter rejections, one after another. I attended writers conferences, pitched editors and agents, several of which agreed to read Trapped, but still ultimately rejected it. However, I got some good feedback, rewrote the novel, removing a side plot that I loved after both an agent and an editor suggested it … and then fielded more rejections. Meanwhile, I began my next novel, and then miraculously, after only 20 years, Trapped was selected as “The Next Great American Novel” by TAG Publishers, a small traditional publisher, and went on to become an Amazon Top 100 novel, with loads of 5-Star reviews. Getting traditionally published takes unending preservation and a very thick skin. Be prepared for failure.
Because of this, many authors opt for self-publishing. The problem most have, however, is they don’t do the work required to become a great author. And few of them spend the money for a good editor, which can run well over $2000 for a typical manuscript. Their finished product reflects those omissions. If you just want to write your novel and don’t really care about sales, that’s fine. The typical self-published novels rarely sells 100 copies over its entire life.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
George: Don’t give up; be willing to accept constructive criticism and make changes in you “baby”; and keep writing. Most author’s first novel don’t sell, and stories of famous authors surviving years of rejection before “hitting it big” are legion.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
George: If you’re determined to find a traditional publisher, you MUST get an agent – no daunting task. Most publishers will not even consider an unagented work. The best path to finding an agent is by attending writers’ conferences that feature agent and editor pitch sessions. Agents you meet there will often look at works they would never glance at through normal query channels.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
George: Write what you MUST, not what you think you SHOULD, based on current trends. By the time you finish your book, the current fad will have run its course. You’ll always do a better job on a story you’re passionate about