Sally Murphy:How to Get Published+ FREE Book Give-Way

do-not-forget-aus-tour-heading-324-kbI’d like to introduce Sally Murphy, prolific children’s author.

She’s launching her brand new picture book, Do Not Forget Australia.
It’s a powerful and moving story set in war torn France in 1918. About the special bond that’s forged between two young boys, one French one Australian. And how the village of Villers-Bretonneux was saved!

I’m interviewing Sally to discover her publishing secrets, to share with you.
And how she got started as an author.

1.    Sally, how did you get your first children’s book published?

Sally Murphy

Sally Murphy

I’d already had some educational titles published, but my first trade title Doggy Duo came about because a new publisher (Banana Books) was looking for books for its series. I got their guidelines and studied them closely, and then I read all of the existing books in the series, until I hoped I knew the type of book they were looking for. I then wrote and polished and revised and, eventually, submitted two manuscripts. One of them was accepted.

2.    What was the process of getting ‘Do Not Forget Australia’ published?

First came the idea. Then, after about a year of researching, writing and polishing, I submitted the manuscript to Walker Books. They requested two rewrites before they eventually accepted it. The key was that, although I didn’t get it right first time, I persisted until it was what the publisher wanted.

3.    What are your top #5 Secrets for new writers to get their books published?

•    Read every day – more than you write.

•    Know the market – if you can’t name 10 Australian publishers then you probably need to study the market more

•    Understand that no writing is wasted, even though your first story probably won’t be published. Every time you write your writing improves.

•    Also understand that there is no dastardly plot. Being rejected is not personal. Publishers want to sell books just as much as you do.

•    Get to know other writers. Writing is a lonely business unless you make friends who ‘get’ what it is you are trying to do.

4.    What do you see in the future for children’s book publishing?

I know there is a lot of doom and gloom about how hard it is to get published, but the reality is it has always been hard to get published. It took me ten years to get my first acceptance. I think the industry is in a state of change at the moment because of the rise of digital formats and the globalization of book selling. But there will always be books and readers and, of course, wonderful voices telling those stories. I hope to be part of the industry for a long time to come.

Thank you Sally for answering my questions so honestly and so openly.

Please check out Sally’s blog tour dates.

1st March 2012 Let’s Have Words

2nd March 2012 Kids Book Capers

3rd March 2012 Running With Pens

4th march 2012 Read and Write with Dale

5th March 2012
Karen Tyrrell

6th March 2012 Writing for Children

7th March 2012 Spinning Pearls

8th March 2012 Katwhiskers

12th March 2012 Pass It On

12th March 2012 Kids Book Review

13th March 2012 Under the Apple Tree

14th March 2012 Lorraine Marwood. Words into Writing

1321431481112-book2**What did you think of Sally’s publishing advice and her book?

**  Please ask Sally a question on publishing  or about her powerful book of HOPE.

Every Aussie who asks a question about Sally’s book or about her publishing advice OR comments here on this website goes into the lucky draw to WIN a copy of Do Not Forget Australia.

Good luck! Competition closes on the  7th of March 🙂

ANNOUNCEMENT ... The winner of  Do Not forget Australia is …  Drumroll ... Stephanie Laverie! … Congratulations. You’re book will be posted to you 🙂

Did you like this? Share it:

36 comments to Sally Murphy:How to Get Published+ FREE Book Give-Way

  • Thank you Karen and Sally. I must admit I cannot name ten Australian Publishers off the top of my head!

  • Hi Dawn, I had to think about that one too. Time to get out a copy of Australian Writers Marketplace 🙂
    Great publishing advice Sally !!

  • Sally Murphy

    That’s okay Dawn – the point is to take the time to find our who is publishing and what they’re publishing 🙂 When I wrote that bt I had to stop and check that I could name 10! And Karen is right – the AWM is a great starting point.

  • Thanks for the advice, Sally, and a great interview, Karen. I also stumbled over the 10 publishers so I can see lots of searches going on about that one!

  • “Get to know other writers. Writing is a lonely business unless you make friends who ‘get’ what it is you are trying to do.”

    That would be me, eh Sally? xN

  • Thanks Kathleen for dropping by. Yes, we can all do with adding a few more Publishers to our repetoire! Your name will be going into the lucky barrel. Good luck !

  • Sally Murphy

    You’re welcome Kathleen.
    And Norman, lovely to see you here, being your usual witty self. Yes, I do value our friendship!

  • Hi Norman, Lovely to “meet” you. Thanks for dropping by. I agree with you about writing being a lonely business without friends. Good luck with your writing and the draw.

  • Great interview Karen. Looking forward to reading Do Not Forget Australia Sally, intriguing title!

  • Thanks Emma, Glad you liked the interview. You will really LOVE Sally’s powerful words and Sonia’s emotive illustrations!


    Hey Sally; thank you for your invaluable advice.
    I truly love the book cover because it depicts the flavour of the period.
    Why would I like a copy; free of charge?
    Well! It’s simple; I haven’t had a bloody good read in ages and this book has my name written all over it.
    Best wishes on Don’t Forget Australia and further books down the line. Cheers.

    Garry. 🙂

  • Thanks Garry for supporting Sally’s book. Do not Forget Australia. Good luck in the competition:)

  • Sally Murphy

    Thanks Garry and Emma.
    The title comes from a sign which is hanging in a school yard in the French village of Villers-Bretonneux

  • Best wishes with the Book Sally. It certainly looks the part with that very appropriate cover. Some good tips about the publishing as well and some things to think about.

  • Great interview. 🙂

    My question – how do you know when your manuscript is ready to submit?

    And another one 😉 – if you have an idea for aspects of the story that would be better told in the pictures, how do you put that in the manuscript?

  • Steph L

    I liked Sally’s advice about ‘reading more than you write’ and the fact that publishers are not ‘dick dastardly’ types (i added the dick bit). my girls would get more out of this book than just a great story as one set of their grandparents live in France.

    Good luck and have fun on your blog tour, Sally.

    Great interview, Karen. 🙂

    cheers, Stephanie

  • Thanks Melissa for dropping by with two thought provoking questions for Sally. Good luck with your writing and in the draw 🙂

  • Hi Stephanie, Loved your remark about publishers NOT being ‘dick dastardly’ and human like the rest of us.
    Yes, your girls would love the book’s French connection with their grandparents. Good luck in the Give Way!

  • Wow Karen, you just get back and you’re straight back into it!
    Great to see different aspects of publishing, there are so many changes going on in the industry now. Love the advice to READ more than you write 🙂

  • Hi Charmaine, this Blog tour was organized weeks ago before I went overseas and I received a few updates while I was way to keep me “in touch”.
    Yes, I agree there’s many changes going on in the publishing industry and its up to us to keep informed. Good luck with your upcoming launch of My Zombie Dog.

  • Hello ladies… thanks for another interesting interview. I’m enjoying this tour very much. I tried to drop in earlier, Karen, but the ‘puter froze. Seems OK-ish now.

  • Thanks Sally for dropping in. Glad you’re enjoying the tour and your ‘puter is back in action!

  • Really nice interview Karen, well done. And Sally – The layers keep peeling back! How lovely to follow you through this tour and still learn more about you and the creation of this fabulous book.

    Keep having fun!

  • Hi Kaz, Glad you liked the interview. I’m Loving the blog tour too & learning so much about Sally’s career and her latest book 🙂

  • Sally Murphy

    Sonja – thanks for the wishes 🙂

    Melissa – you are never positive a manuscript is ready. However, if your manuscript has rested for weeks (or months) and you come back to it and can see nothing that needs changing it is possibly ready to send out – especially if you have also either studied the craft somehwere else, or had feedback from critique buddies etc.
    Re illustrations – it is best if you avoid telling the illustrator how to do their job. But if it is absolutely essential that something must be told only through the illustrations, then a note in iltalics is acceptable.

    Steph – thanks heaps. And I hope your girls get to see the bok and to discuss it with their grandparents.

    And thanks so much Charmaine – I have been reading a book a day this year, and am sure it is paying dividends with my writing.

  • Sally Murphy

    Oops – missed two. Thanks SallyO and Kaz also for dropping in 🙂

  • Great interview and answers. Thank you ladies!

    I have to admit that I don’t read as many books from beginning to end as I know I should. Yesterday I read a chapter from ‘Libraries of the Ancient World’, the newspaper, part of a non-fiction craft book, a chapter from ‘Bridge Basics’… And ‘Do Not Forget Australia’, again. That must be about the fifth time this week.

    I’m hosting Sally and Sonia on March 6th on
    Please come and have a look in Sonia’s studio and learn a little of the backstory behind the book and leave another comment for a chance to win a copy (drawn on Sunday). It’s wonderfully inspiring. Congratulations Sally and Sonia! And thanks again, Karen.

    All best wishes

    Peter Taylor

  • Thanks Peter for dropping by. Its fantastic that we both get to host a leg of Sally’s blog tour 🙂

  • I loved the 5 secrets to publishing.
    I’d love to know if your research involved international trips?

    Can’t wait to see the book myself.

  • Hi Jackie,
    I agree … I love sally’s 5 secrets to publishing too. I ‘ve read the book … you’ll love it too 🙂

  • Another great blog. I’m loving each little gem that you reveal along the way, Sally. I particularly liked your take on the future of children’s publishing. It’s so easy to forget that it’s always been tough, for one reason or another. But it’s not impossible – and the tougher the challenge, the sweeter the victory. 🙂 (I remind myself of this!)

    Thanks for sharing, Karen and Sally!

  • Sally Murphy

    Thanks Peter for dropping by.
    Jackie – I WISH my research involved an international trip. Unfortunately, my budget didn’t extend that far. But one day I will get to visit the village, and am sure when I do it will bring the story home to me even more!

  • Great to finally catch up with this post. well done all.

  • Thanks Dale for dropping to support the Blog Tour!

  • Thanks Kathryn, Thanks so much for supporting Sally’s interview. I liked Sally’s comments on the future of publishing too:)

  • Kerry Tolson

    I heard a review about this book last night on ABC radio and was eager to find out more about this book and the writer. What a beautiful jacket and what a great story – I wish both Sally and the illustrator – Sonia all the very best with sales of the book. I also liked Sally’s tips for getting published – especially getting to know other writers – the support of other writers is so important, they understand only too well the insecurities and loneliness that writers feel. Great interview – Thanks!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.