Writers go through similar stages before they finally see their manuscripts between covers, but from what I’ve learned, they usually go through them in exactly the opposite way that they should.
Here’s what I think is typical based on my conversations with other writers and my own beginning as one.
WRITE A STORY
SUBMIT THE MANUSCRIPT FOR PUBLICATION OR SELF-PUBLISH
SET UP BLOG TOURS/BOOK SIGNINGS
BUILD A NETWORK OF FOLLOWERS.
If I had it to do again, I’d reverse those steps; at least I’d put “Build a Network” right up there with “Write the Story.” Why? Because once you do publish a book, you’re going to need a lot of people in your corner to help spread the word and bring you chocolates to keep you going. This upside-down plan is important regardless of whether you’re self-published, working with a small press, or working with a large one. The competition in today’s writing/publishing industry is fierce. In 2017 1,000,000 print and eBooks were published in the U.S. alone. How are you going to make any waves in a sea as big as this if you’re all alone?
Besides with a network, you’re not always having to be the one to say, “Look at my book.” The Me. Me. Me. gets pretty old across your social media very quickly.
As a writer of Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, I’ve found two groups that have helped through a lot of learning curves and into publication. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators showed me the ropes early on. I attended their regional conferences, started meeting other new writers, and connecting with established and savvy ones. When I sold my first novel, I attended the New York Winter Conference and was so motivated to keep writing that I started my second novel in my hotel room during the days I was there. They’ve provided a wealth of knowledge and support that helped me build my network and complete eleven books (eight published so far).
When I first heard about The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, I wondered what benefit I’d get from becoming a member. The key word was SUPPORT. While they offered a lot of great information from writing professionals, they also were there when I considered giving up or didn’t have a fresh idea, and they quadrupled my online social media network. Remember, I’d done it all backwards: published, and then started connecting with writers and readers.
These are my thoughts on “If I Had It To Do Again.” What are yours? Do you agree or do you have other ideas about this writing/publishing business?
And now what you’ve been hoping I get to…all the news from #IWSG
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!
August 7 question – Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?
The awesome co-hosts for the August 7 posting of the IWSG are
The short answer to this question is my writing always takes me by surprise. Here’s a list of some of those surprises:
- A publisher actually paid me for my first book, and then asked for a second.
- I wrote more than the one book I intended.
- New ideas keep appearing. I never knew I’d be interested in so many topics–most of which I know little to nothing about until I start a book.
- My current WIP has taken on a life of its own, and I’m writing a totally different book than I set out to write.
I can only imagine what’s going to happen if I keep doing this. Great question, BTW!
We have a new ADMIN at IWSG. Thanks for stepping up and helping us out Juneta Key.
Love having you here. If you haven’t seen her blog, The Writer’s Gambit, go take a look. It’s amazing
The next WEP is here. You can read about how to sign up HERE.
This looks like quite an interesting theme. Love the contents of the red wheelbarrow!
The entries for the next IWSG anthology are coming in folks. Do you have yours ready? Better get cracking. Time’s a wastin’. HERE’s all the information about what to submit and how to submit it.
In my Email Connect today I’m offering an Instant Book to subscribers. I think it’s a nice promotional tool for authors when they’re at book events. Inexpensive and fun. Here’s a YOU TUBE video if you’d like to see how they’re made.
Quote of the Month: “I never want to do the same things twice. I like surprises.” Anonymous