Saturday, April 11, 2015

Path to Publication Lessons from Author Suzanne van Rooyen + Giveaway!

I'm thrilled to have Suzanne van Rooyen, author of I HEART ROBOT, joining us today to share her advice and lessons from her road to publication.

Please join me in giving her a warm TTI welcome, and make sure to scroll to the bottom for a chance to win your own copy of I HEART ROBOT.

Guest Post by Suzanne van Rooyen

Everybody's road to publication is different. There is no single map of how to get there, but a multitude of routes and some may meander while others might lead to a few dead ends before ultimately getting you where you want to go. There are quite a few things I wished I'd known though before starting out, as it may have helped me better choose my route.

I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen
1) Writing is rewriting

I was not prepared for the amount of revising and editing that was required in order to get published. I've never had a problem editing my work, but I was still shocked to discover that I would have to go through at least one round of content edits before line edits and finally proofreading before signing off on the polished manuscript. If you're new to writing, best you make friends with Track Changes because writing is rewriting.

2) You can get picked from the slush pile

I had my first book published without really understanding that agents are awesome and I should've maybe queried agents first before publishers. I also didn't understand that I, as a mere mortal, could even get an agent by sending out queries. You do not have to be connected or well-known or have anything other than a good book to get an agent. If you want to go the traditional publishing route, having an agent is essential.

3) Having an agent doesn't guarantee success

To be honest, once I signed with an agent I thought that was it. In a few weeks, we'd be hitting up publishing houses and a few weeks later I'd have a three book deal and life would be grand. Not exactly. Having an agent is often only the first step toward success and does in no way guarantee a sale of that or any book. Having an agent does, however, open a lot of doors and is vital for when deals are eventually offered to help you understand the small print so you don't up selling your soul.

4) Writers need a thick skin

I thought I understood this. I thought I knew what getting a crit back on work would feel like because I'd had teachers squiggle red pen on my essays in high school. I thought I understood how getting negative reviews would feel because I'd read a bunch of negative reviews about books I loved by other authors and even that hurt me, a mere fan. I had absolutely no clue just how brutal this industry could be. If you want to be a writer, you need to be brave enough to show your beloved work to others, to accept that some might not like it (they may even hate it) and won't be afraid to tell you before or after publication exactly what they think of your word-baby. But that's okay because you can learn from it – or ignore it – and become a better writer for it either way.

5) Writing is hard

Writing as a hobby, as something you love to do in your spare time isn't the same as having to crank out words with a deadline approaching, and it definitely isn't the same as trying to write something commercially viable in a saturated market when next month's rent depends on it. Writing professionally is hard and there will be days when you'd prefer to be gored by an angry hippopotamus than look at blinking cursor on another blank page.

That said, I'm fairly proud of the journey I've taken toward publication and I'm glad I've got this far, because I'm fully aware that there's still a very long way to go.


Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen

Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who won’t belittle her musical aspirations.

Q-I-99 aka ‘Quinn’ lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power.

Tyri and Quinn’s worlds collide when they’re accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn’s love of music brings them closer together, making Tyri question where her loyalties lie and Quinn question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, Tyri and Quinn make a shocking discovery that turns their world inside out. Will their passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?

Author of I Heart Robot


Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making
friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Enter for a change to win a copy of I HEART ROBOT by Suzanne van RooyanFive (5) winners will receive a digital copy (INT)


  1. Fascinating. Both the advice and the book! Love the graphics on the heart by the way. Everything about this post blows me away!!

  2. Great giveaway - looking forward to reading this book!