This week marks my 3rd anniversary as a published writer and the release of my 9th book. On social media, I’ve endured scrolling through everyone’s opinions lately on politics to parenting. So now you get to hear 9 things I have to say about publishing…
1. BIG or small, your goals are your own.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of someone who has made (or is trying to make) the USA Today or any best seller list. It’s amazing to be included in the launch party for a writer with a bigger following. However, don’t lay their roadmap on top of your own successes. It will only bring on the “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” comparison. Can you adjust your goals? I hope you do—Don’t forget, I was only ever writing ONE book!—but based on what you want not what others tell you to want.
2. Writing is absolutely the worst “get rich quick” scheme.
I’m not saying that writers can’t have incredible successes in this industry. But you have to have the money and the TIME to invest first.
3. Develop a thick skin.
Not every book is for every reader and that’s okay! You’re going to endure criticism for your genre, the distribution channel, your characters, plots, covers, the way you advertise, your style guide, that you write too steamy or not steamy enough, that you’re wasting time trying to be someone you aren’t (tell those particular people to f*ck off)… The list is never-ending.
As a side note: I interviewed a writer friend for my blog who commented that her self-confidence “shot through the roof” after publishing and couldn’t agree more. I am more “me” than I ever have been. I don’t apologize for being the mom/wife/daughter who writes romance novels. I’m too busy to care what others think and the only opinion that matters outside of my own is my spouse’s.
How do I manage when it’s obvious a non-writer is judging? My 10-second method to shut down those internal voices of doubt is pretty darn simple:
# of filings I’ve made with the US Library of Congress: 9
# of books they hold copyrights to: 0
4. Allow yourself to laugh at the stupidity of things, but don’t waste your time getting upset.
❤️ How many hours did you lose scrolling though threads for cockygate? (Yeah, me too. I could have written a book instead. Lesson learned.)
❤️ The big name book blogger who agreed to read your book and then reneged because they didn’t enjoy books in that point of view. Yet, you could quite literally e-mail them a dozen of their 5-star reviews for books written the same way. (Yes, this happened. Yes, I took the high road, thanked them for their time, and never contacted them again.)
❤️ The pirate who reaches out for you to e-mail them a PDF because they can’t figure out how to side load from Book Funnel/Booksprout/Prolific Works (Instafreebie) and/or the reviewer who will read for you for the low-low cost of <insert your obscene price here>. Don’t even respond unless it’s to forward the message to customer service. **Or post to a forum so that we can all have a giggle at the stupidity of bad scammers.
5. It’s impossible to do everything.
Anything you see about my books I have touched.
❤️ I write it
❤️ I blog it
❤️ I design it
❤️ I proof it
❤️ I file the copyrights
❤️ I format it (epub, mobi and paperback)
❤️ I upload it
❤️ I UPDATE IT
❤️ I submit it for promotion
Where is my limit? I do have an editor. And because I want to use the skills that I went to college for and have OCD control over my brand (oh, yeah, I branded it too!), it stops me from releasing as often. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to write a book a month. Instead of feeling discouraged, I remind myself of how much I love *almost* all of those activities, that they make me self-sufficient, and that I’ve stepped up to challenges I hadn’t known I was capable of.
6. Don’t cheat or be nasty…Unless you can live with the consequences and your conscience later on.
People. Find. Out.
7. Life is going to get in the way…And those real-life characters need you more than your readers.
…And it’s going to suck sometimes. When we moved from NH to NC my family had to come first. I lost my readership, and any traction gained in 2016. The Indie market evolved. It became saturated and mature. What it took to get back where I am today almost broke me. #PMA, I did it once and can do it again.
8. Your biggest fans will likely NEVER read your book(s).
Support comes in so many forms! Do not overlook the simplest word of encouragement or the times that your family has prepped and eaten dinner without you so that you can meet a deadline.
9. Find a tribe and love them hard❣️
Writing is isolating and most of us have introverted tendencies. It’s in our nature to over-think. Whether it’s joining an online forum, going to a local RWA meeting, or creating relationships with other writers find a least one someone OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME who understands your kind of crazy and the issues that are part of this industry. Bonus: The more you build them up with words of encouragement the more your own cup will refill.