I began searching for a publisher in the spring of 2010 for my first book, Lingering Echoes. I was about as green as you can be when it comes to immersing yourself in the publishing world. I became overwhelmed and intimidated! The innocent idea I’d had as a child that publication was as easy as writing a book and sending it in was squashed, replaced with the idea that rejection was to be expected instead. Regardless, I’m a girl who likes challenges. After my first writer’s conference and researching to educate myself, I followed the traditional method of sending query letters to literary agents, in hopes that these agents would find me a suitable publisher.
After three years of failing to find a literary agent and glumly eying my email folder full of hundreds of rejection letters, I heard about a newer publishing company called Clean Teen Publishing (CTP). Author Holly Kelly, who is part of an online writer’s group with me, was the first to mention them to me indirectly. I decided to take one last shot at this, thinking that if CTP said no, then perhaps it was time to accept that sometimes that first book just doesn’t get published. I would close my book and move on.
I submitted and didn’t hear back for five weeks, even though the website had said they would get back to me in two. Rather than give up, I checked in with Clean Teen and they had no record of my submission. So, I submitted again . . . and a couple weeks later, I had an offer! Six weeks later, Lingering Echoes was published and available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. I’ve thanked Holly Kelly, now a fellow CTP author of the Rising series, for introducing me to them. I’m not sure where my publishing journey would have taken me otherwise!
What I love most about Clean Teen is the personable interaction with them through Facebook. Yes, Facebook is a virtual friendship—and yet, when I had the opportunity to meet two of the team members at a writer’s conference last month, I felt like I knew them—as well as the other CTP authors at the conference. There is a true friendship amongst the publishing team and the family of authors that I hear is quite unique. However, this friendly relationship does not impede Clean Teen’s professional nature. When it comes to publishing our books, whether it’s for cover design, formatting, marketing, or general organization, this amazing team of ladies stays on top!
There are a lot of “firsts” we make in life. I wouldn’t trade this “first” for any other. Thank you, Clean Teen, for guiding me into this fast-paced publishing world and helping replace my feelings of intimidation with solid support. You rock!
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About the Author:
Erica Kiefer was born on Christmas Eve in Southern California to an American father whose ancestors arrived from Europe during colonial times and a Thai mother who moved to the US during high school. Adding to her rich and varied heritage, Erica grew up living abroad in Asia, including Taiwan, Fiji, Thailand and Indonesia. She gained a great respect for the beautiful mosaic of cultures found in various parts of the world. After graduating from International School Bangkok, she attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where she earned a degree in Recreation Therapy. Her career as a Recreation Therapist has allowed her to work with at-risk youth since 2007.