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  • Lorin Petrazilka

Finding Your Way In Publishing

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

I'll be blunt, the publishing industry is a beast. There's a lot to know. It takes time to learn and to navigate. Let's say you wrote your book, you've edited and had other reader's eyes on it to get feedback, then made changes and edited again .... you're finally ready to try to publish and get your book in the hands of readers! But what path to choose?

Traditional: There are many authors that feel it has to be traditional or death, that they will ONLY accept being published that way. Traditional means a publisher will pay you for your book, and they will publish it. Many times this will be negotiated with a literary agent. Some publishers allow authors to submit their manuscript directly to them, most require manuscripts be submitted through a lit agent. Meaning, for the most part, you will need an agent. A good way to find an agent is to use Query Tracker (link below, and it's free!), you can use this handy website to find lit agents, get the information on where to send the query and how, and finally to track who you've submitted to and when. Querying is a LOT of work, expect months. A few pointers: look at the profiles of each agent at the different agencies, and find your best fit. Query only ONE agent per agency, and follow their submission guidelines exactly. Etiquette: always be polite, thankful for a reply, or thankful for a request. Do not, under any circumstance, respond to an email with anything less than positivity and thanks for their time. Word will get around if you lash out at them, they do talk to each other or will even post your response if it's that bad! Querying can really feel like a punch to the gut, but when you get a full or a partial request that's a good thing! Even if they ultimately pass on the project, those requests are a win. Their job is to sell your MS to a publisher, so if they pass it's because they don't think they have the right venue for your book, but someone else might. I listened to a talk with a literary agent at the Writer's Digest Novel Writer's Conference, and she said that if you follow the guidelines given by the agent for submission, you'll be ahead of most applicants because the agents either move the poorly submitted queries to the bottom of the pile, or to the trash. Follow their rules to be seen and make it out of the slush pile.

Hybrid: This may seem like vanity press but it's not. A hybrid publisher shoulders some of the cost of publishing, but you cover the other (usually larger) portion of it. The benefit of this is (depending on the contract) all residuals are yours to keep, as well as your rights. They'll help you through the process, make sure that your manuscript goes through professional editing, formatting, cover design, getting an ISBN and all of the nitty gritty particulars that can feel like a lot to manage on your own. They will make sure your book looks and feels professional, your book will go through all of the same processes that it would if it were traditionally published. Do your research to confirm that a publisher is in fact a hybrid publisher and not a vanity press if you are considering this route. Vanity presses will not care if you have a successful book, if it's well put together, etc. Vanity presses are predatory and will do the bare minimum to get your book out. Hybrid publishing is a great way to go for those looking for a publishing experience that offers the best of traditional and self publishing combined.

Self Publishing: This has had the biggest transformation over the past ten to fifteen years. Self publishing has come full circle to be more widely accepted, and is now synonymously called Independent Publishing. Being independent means everything is on you to wade through the process that books going through traditional or hybrid publishing get. Many times though, the books are getting the same quality treatment that traditionally published books are. Authors have taken back the power that would be handed away with traditional (mostly regarding rights and royalties, but also includes content and cover choices) leaving authors to be in control of final content, cover design and more. It is true that there may be some books that are self-pubbed that should have gone through more editing or more beta readers in order to find flaws and to tighten up those stories before being released to the world, but there are a great number of authors putting out quality work independently. Amazon has made their submission and quality checks more stringent, which is helping to ensure readers have a satisfying reading experience. A huge difference for the author is also the release time. Traditional can mean YEARS upon years before a book comes out. Remember how I said some authors feel it will be traditional or death for them? It very well could be that: death. Not to be overly dramatic, but the process of finding an agent, the agent shopping around your manuscript, finding a publisher to print it, then the book finally coming out is a process that is most likely years long. Self publishing can cut down that time drastically. If you are ready for your book to come out, you can find that route with self publishing. My editor David Martin Lins said something I'll never forget, he said he got tired of asking for permission. He didn't need permission to publish his book the way that he wanted, it could be seen in the exact light he wanted with independent publishing.

The great news is, there is more than one path to have your work out in the world, and your path to publishing could be more that one route. Give yourself time to learn the ropes and to find the best way forward for yourself. If you're ever wary of an offer, reach out to other authors through Facebook writing groups, you'll find lots of authors are glad to help you avoid a potential pitfall. When you succeed, we all succeed!



I'm halfway through the draft for the final book in my Vale Born series and recently picked up steam with progress! I started out only knowing a little of what would happen, bullet points of a story really. I wasn't entirely sure and I was also feeling some pressure because this is Lily's last book, I had to look at what was important to round out her arc. What was the story I wanted to tell? It was slow going at first, and now that I know where it's headed, wow, it's picking up a lot! It's an emotional process to prepare for the idea that this will be her last book and it will finish out the series, but I am also ready to move on. We aren't entirely done with the world of Alternis however, as there will be a duology spin off set in the future, and with mostly new characters.

* This is a temporary cover until the actual cover reveal!



Fellow author Katie Zaber has another book coming out! Book 2 of her DNA: Demons N Angels series is on the cusp of releasing at the time of this blog.

It's a fantastic and highly rated Women's Paranormal Fiction series.

Raising Hell: How to Survive the Terrible Two's releases August 3rd!

Check out the blurb below, and the character interview with the MC!

The voices tell me to wake up, but with two children under three, I’m awake. Believe me.

There’s just so much pressing on me.

Crystal, the woman who runs Shade, the secret group who imprisoned me, is still out there and I cannot rest until I have ended her. I need supernatural allies to do that, though, and they are hard to come by. Witches, vampires, and weres refuse to unite against their common enemy, choosing to hide in seclusion while innocents are hunted and turned into lab rats.

Meanwhile, my best friend is entering a new phase of her life, and I don’t want to miss a second of her happiness, despite the dire warnings from a powerful psychic in the mall.

And then there’s Lucas, the man who will never say he loves me and rejects the idea of marriage.

He loves me even if he can’t say the word. Right?

So what if there are dire predictions popping up all around me? I have more than enough to deal with. My kids will be fine. Just fine.

Won’t they?

MC Interview:

1. Where are you from?

Growing up, my family was constantly on the move. Currently I live in Orlando, Fl.

2. Were you raised in a religious household, do you still believe?

My parents raised me to rely on science and told me religion was for the weak minded. Now I

realize how powerful it can be. I don’t believe in any faith. My son is an angel and my daughter

is the Antichrist. I don’t need further proof.

3. What do you look like and what is your favorite style?

I have straight brown hair and I used to have hazel eyes that change color, but since my first

pregnancy; they have stayed bright green. I’m a mother of two, I’m lucky if I can find a brush for

my hair.

4. What do you do for a living?

I’m a stay at home mom. Lucas makes enough money in his angelic hospitality business. I stay

out of it, but I spend his money.

5. What is your biggest wish/desire/goal?

To raise my children into good people and save the world from their destruction.

6. Do you have a crush or love someone? Who do you hate?

I love Lucas, even if he hasn’t said that magical four-letter word. He refuses, but I’m sure he

loves me based on his actions.

If I ever see Crystal from Shade, I will kill her. I promised myself and my family that I would keep

them safe and that means ending her and her horrible crimes.

7. What would you change about yourself if you had a magic wand? If you have a magic, what is

stopping you from waving it?

I don’t want to change anything, but I would love to know who I am. My power is stronger that

any witch and is mysterious. I want to know more about myself so I can control my powers that

seem to be extreme.

8. What is your greatest fear?

I can’t save my children and the world.

9. What makes you happy?

Hearing my children giggle, long nights with Lucas, hanging with my best friend Melisa, and

spending time with my favorite witches, the Belcans.

10. Do you have a hobby?

I love to read, but with two kids under the age of two, I don’t get too many opportunities.

11. What kind of pet do you have?

I have a dog named Shuck who’s always by my side or protecting my kids. Lucas surprised me

with him when I was pregnant with Seraphina. He’s the best guard pup.

Follow Katie on her various platforms!

Amazon Author Page -


Goodreads -

BookBub -

Facebook -

Twitter -

Instagram -

Newsletter and FREE ebook of Ashes and Blood -

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