This morning I went for a walk. Most of the time when I do this, I tend to think. (Ha, yes, that happens sometimes.) This morning I had this thought… “Why don’t I start blogging? And not those spammy kind of giveaway, buy-my-book-kind of posts, but just real, genuine, honest posts that come from my heart.”
It’s the start of a new school year, new beginnings and all that, so I’m going to put my full effort into this. These are my thoughts unfiltered, and I hope you’ll hang around.
Today’s thought: How are my kids growing up so fast? My oldest is 13 and going into 8th grade. My “baby” is 3 1/2. Some people tell me that 5 kids is a lot to have, and most days I agree, but there are those times when I stand back and realize my time with them is limited. They’re all growing up. They’ll leave me behind one day. I just hope I do a good job while they’re mine.
Another thought: I’m about to finish another book. My 13th book. This summer made it hard for me to write, but I’m still managing to get words on the page every day. This book is fun, but I’m looking forward to the next one. I’ve always wanted to write a “girl gets captured” kind of book, and I realized I’m writing one now (Dragon Swan Princess) and next one will be more so (Rumpelstiltskin’s Redemption.)
Also…writing advice: Because I feel like I need to do a better job at sharing this with aspiring authors. One of the questions I get most frequently is, “how do I get published?” Which is the exact question I would’ve asked five years ago. It’s not a simple answer, as there are so many ways to publish. Basically, you have three choices: 1. Self-publish. 2. Small/Mid-level Press. 3. Traditional Publishing. You can also go with a vanity press (you pay them to publish your book) but I don’t agree with that one, so it doesn’t count.
So, where to start?
Traditional: If you’re a new writer just starting out, it’s very difficult to get published with a traditional publisher. Sure, traditional publishers will tell you differently. They’ll say they’re looking for fresh voices and all that, but what they’re really looking for is something highly marketable. If you’re writing a genre that isn’t selling well at the moment, don’t expect a big publisher to pick you up. They’re also super selective and nit-picky, and want any excuse in the world not to represent you, and not every deal is as great as the next. But, if you can get your foot in the door and snag a stellar agent, then kudos to you. I’ll try to post some advice on query letters in the future as well.
Small/Mid-Level press. This is a good option for you if you’re just starting out. For me, it was a good decision because I felt like I had no clue what I was doing when it came to publishing and marketing. Be wise, however. Do your research. Read the books the publisher is releasing to see if your writing and genre is a good fit for them. Are they marketing their books? Do they have a professional website? What do their book covers look like? This may not seem like a big deal. It’s actually a huge deal. Book covers can make or break a book. Make sure you understand their contract. I can’t tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard. Don’t jump on a deal just for the chance to be published.
Self-Publish. A good choice if you want the most control over your books. But beware! There are A LOT of authors self-publishing. There are a few who do very well, but my major beef with self-publishing is that too many authors want to publish too soon, way before their writing is ready, and they aren’t putting out a product that shines. Keep in mind, I have read some AMAZING self-published books. I’m not knocking self-publishing. I want to be a voice of reason here. Don’t jump on the publishing bandwagon just because you wrote a book. You need to learn the craft of writing just as you would perfect any other talent, and in most cases, you’ll have to write several books before you get there.
My last word of advice. Enjoy the journey! Many successful authors will tell you they wish they could go back to when they first started, when there was only writing, no deadlines, no pressure to sale. Keep a little perspective in mind and you’ll do fine.
Ending here. Leave me a comment and let me know if you’re reading this. Honestly, I’m not sure if anyone is reading this blog anymore, so if you leave me a comment, at least I’ll know there’s one person out there in the lonely universe. Introduce yourself and I’ll say hello.