Romancing the Genres is celebrating its eight-year anniversary this month. Thanks to Judith and Sarah for keeping it going and monitoring us bloggers, which probably feels like herding cats at times. 😉
I was about to be published eight years ago. I recall the steep learning curve of contracts, editing, and other nuts and bolts of getting published. But my most vivid memory is seeing the first book with my name on it—priceless!
I’ve experienced eight years of being a published author, and while I wouldn’t trade it for anything, there were a few things I had to figure out the hard way. Here are some tips for those of you who are new to this journey.
Always keep the writing craft as your first priority. It’s easy to get distracted by the business of writing, but if you don’t have a first-rate book, there’s nothing worth selling. Take your time with revisions, and don’t rush to publish before the book is 100% ready.
Closely related to the above: Writers evolve and get better over time. Keep learning about your craft by taking classes or reading about writing topics. Work to refine your writing, even after you have several books out in the world. Use a critique group or partner to help you with the process.
Cultivate your group. Find writers who write similar books, and look for readers that like your genre. You can find them in writing groups (like RWA, SCBWI, etc.); also in social media, conferences, and events at your local libraries and bookstores. They serve two purposes: they’ll give you positive energy to keep you writing, and they’ll also be a good group to subscribe to your newsletter if you decide to go that route later on.
Be ready to roll with the punches. Things will come up at home or work that prevent you from writing. Publishers will be sold or go under, editors will change jobs, or sales will go down at some point in your career. (Or maybe all of these—it happens!) Keep faith in yourself, and regroup to plan your next move.
Above all, persevere. We’re pulling for you. You can do this!!!