Sunday, January 8, 2012

You Made It

Unpublished writers focus on getting that first book published. It's like a mountain that needs to be climbed, but once you reach the top you've made it. You've passed into that magic land of published authors. Your years of rejections are over. You're vindicated to all the naysayers in your life.

You made it. You're a published author.

Now put down the champagne, box up the chocolates. That mountain you thought you scaled turns out to be a foothill. Unless you are satisfied with having one book published and have no desire or interest in doing another, your career as a writer has just begun.

It can be daunting. Suddenly you're being told you have to promote your newly published book. You need a web page, a blog, a Facebook account, Twitter... to start. Many of these should be put in place before you get that first contract. Not only is it a good way to start promoting yourself, but it will cut down on the things you suddenly have to do yesterday when the publisher says we want your book.

You may be encouraged to join writing groups in your genre. Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and the Historical Novel Society cover most of the genres.

Yahoo has a huge number of writing related groups. I recommend joining Yahoo and searching for groups you think would interest you. Two I would recommend no matter what genre you write, are: Publishing Trove, which is for authors, publishers, agents and promotional groups, and: 
Announce Online Writing Class an excellent resource for online classes, and I highly recommend that writer's of all levels take classes. There are many that are very reasonable.

But wait. You should set up readings and signings at as many bookstores as you can contact, and no, your publisher will not pay to send you anywhere. Going to genre specific conferences are another good thing to do. I recommend them even for non-published authors. Many of them have workshops and you make invaluable contacts, including agents and editors. Once you're published, go to conferences and try to get on panels. Again it's networking.

Your mantra now must be promote, promote, promote and write, write, write.

Authors these days don't have years, or even months between publications. To have any kind of real success these days, you have to produce. A lot.

Pat Brown, author of 12 novels and several short stories and novellas has been published since 2006. Since that time she has attended numerous conferences, her favorites being the Left Coast Crime. As well, she regularly takes online classes to improve her writing. She'd take in person classes, but there are never any held in her area.

Her newest book, LATIN BOYZ, will be released by Amber Quill in February. It's one of her most ambitious novels yet, a story about a young Latino man in the barrios of East Los Angeles who faces hardships both as he tries to protect his family and struggle to come to terms with his homosexuality and attraction to an LAPD patrol officer.

Visit her Web Site
And her Blog


Adele Dubois said...

You're so right about publication being just the first step in the second leg of a long, arduous journey!

Best of luck with your writing career.


Tim Smith said...

Pat, your advice is very good. I learned this lesson the hard way after my first release nearly ten years ago. It's all push, push, push to get your name and books out there. With so many new titles being released each day you have to maintain an active presence to get noticed.

Good post!

Tim Smith

Tina Donahue said...

So much wisdom in your blog, Pat. And so true. Being an author is not for the faint of heart.

P.A.Brown said...

Definitely not for the faint of heart. In fact you need a cast iron stomach, rhinoceros skin, nerves of steel, the patience of Job, and a really good cardiologist.

Oh, and the willingness to work for wages a 10 year old in an Indian rug factory would refuse.

jean hart stewart said...

This blog would find any author in the world shouting 'Amen'. Sometimes promo simply overwhelms me.

Fiona McGier said...

LOL! Pat, you kill me!
"wages a 10 year old in an Indian rug factory would refuse." Truer words were never spoke!

I had such high hopes, of being able to make enough from my writing to be able to NOT have to work 2 jobs! Instead, I work 2 jobs and try to squeeze in as much time as I can stay awake for, to get some writing done! And when I don't, the characters in my head alternately sulk, then invade my dreams to demand that I give them their voices in a book!

P.A.Brown said...

Been there. Done that and the T-shirt cost too much. When I got an agent and sold my first book soon after, I thought I was made. Then my agent quit agenting, my editor left and they rejected book two.

Since then, I'm on my third agent, multiple publishers and a total genre change. I have 12 novels published, a 13th coming in February and I'm making enough to travel 2-3 times a year and maybe a conference or two. I don't have a Mercedes, heck I don't own a rickshaw.

But I keep on writing. I'm thinking I might want to get a brain scan. Maybe it's a mental condition. At the very least I'm masochistic. LOL