How I Got Published: Kate Hilton


I wanted to feature Kate Hilton in this series because her self published novel was picked up by a traditional publishing house.

Kate is the author of two novels, THE HOLE IN THE MIDDLE and JUST LIKE FAMILY (2017).  She is also the author of the non-fiction blog THE PEN PAL PROJECT.  For fun, Kate organizes stuff.  At the moment, she is on the Board of the Writers’ Trust of Canada, and is Deputy Control Freak for Authors for Indies, a grassroots event celebrating independent bookstores in Canada.  Kate lives in Toronto with her two sons, where she is working on her third novel.

I got published in three stages: I self-published, I published in Canada, and then I published in the US.  I still feel as though my own publishing story is unfolding, having entered the US market at the beginning of January.

Before you publish, as we all know, you have to write.  I wrote my book, The Hole in the Middle, while I was working full time.  It took me about three years to come up with a draft that I believed was worthy of publication.

Sadly, not everyone agreed with me.  I submitted my manuscript to 17 agents in Canada and the US.  Most never wrote back.  A few sent kind rejection letters.  Two agents asked for the full manuscript; one ultimately rejected it and the other broke off all communication with me.  In truth, the process was totally demoralizing and I thought seriously about giving up on it, since what had started as a midlife empowerment project was becoming the exact opposite.

I put the book away for a few months and licked my wounds.  Then, in January 2013, I took it out again and read it with fresh eyes.  I still liked it.  I still believed that it could find an audience.  But I knew that I would have to commit to self-publishing if I wanted to get it out into the world.

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