A Beacon in the Publishing Storm

Issue 63

A Beacon in the Publishing Storm:

One Writer's Voyage


S. Durham

Copyright © 2011, S. Durham, All Rights Reserved


If you had told me five years ago I would be a published e-book author, I would have politely shaken my head and said ‘no thank you, I’m a print woman all the way’. How shortsighted our vision is when we are stubborn and weighed down by our portly dreams.

Five years ago I set sail into relatively calm waters, content writing my stories, and a distant hope of crossing the vast sea, destined for that much talked about, yet allusive and narrow passage into the published world. Little did I know, the tempest that lay ahead of me.

My story, finally polished to what I thought of as perfection, was ready to be seen by the world. The small gullies of water crested and rocked my boat only a little as I began sending out queries and synopsis’. With each rejection, the sky grew darker. The sea started to churn and toss my little vessel around until my internal navigation began to spin around, and I frantically wondered if I should abandon ship--do what God intended for me to do on this earth, not what my errant heart wanted.

However, what often happens with stubborn souls, I raised my fist to the mountainous waves and hooked my tenacity belt securely to my craft. The storm gathered intensity--agents didn’t want snail mail queries anymore, send everything electronically (save paper and all that). Rejections came in the form of no reply at all. How I missed those posted SASE letters, telling me nicely that the agent had to pass on my work. It seemed the publishing world was suffering from the floundering economy, as well as everyone else.

I held on for dear life though, as vicious gales blew me around my little boat...and I wrote another novel. Pressing down the roiling negative self talk within my psyche (I told it to shut it’s yap) I began to fall into the rhythm of these endless waves of self doubt, determined to traverse this chasm of uncertainty.

Lying listlessly in my little ship, counting the hills and valleys, I suddenly glimpsed an illumination on the bleak horizon...a year ago a new e-publisher was breeching the electronic publishing world. With renewed spirit, I hoisted my ragged sail and pointed it toward the light...and sent out another query.

Two weeks later, true to the publishers word, I received an email back. With my eternal hope dampened by so many rejections, I sighed and opened the email. The following words met my bleary eyes: The editors have reviewed your manuscript and have come back with a unanimous Yes!

Cautiously, my vessel approached this rock with the steady beacon of light. Yeah I had to read that email at least ten times before I believed it wasn’t a cruel joke. Then I grasped the nearest outcropping and climbed on board the rock, which is called Muse It Up Publishing. The next day, dawn arrived and I discovered...I had stumbled upon a solid company in the e-publishing world.

Over the last year, Lea Schizas, chief editor and owner of Muse It Up Publishing has proven without a doubt, she is not only an astute business woman, but she has an uncanny business sense. Lea has more than a hundred authors in her stable, and because she encourages comradrie within her house, there is an air of trust and team concept many authors haven’t experienced before. Lea’s philosophy: slow, steady, and smart building of a company is spot on. Simply put, Lea does what she says she’s going to do.

In the beginning I was told I would have three editors, a content editor, a line editor and a final galley editor. My cover art was brilliantly rendered, and by the time my book was published and released April of this year, I was more than confident my novel had been expertly handled, and very proud of the finished product.

Lea is not a one man show, rather by hiring excellent staff: from a fire cracker of a marketing director, stellar editors, a talented cover artist team, and a technical guru (who knows her stuff), she is the wizard behind the proverbial curtain. Lea Schiza’s publishing house is built on passion first, but it is the rare integrity and grit the woman possesses, which sets her apart.

I’m not here to compare publishers, because after all when you’ve been pulled from the storm, and your standing on solid ground, why would you go shopping around? I am certain there are other equally good publishing houses, and talented editors out there in the cyber ocean, but I have found my port, and I’ve no need to wander ever again...