Thanks once again to South Carolina Writer’s Workshop for having me as a guest. When Lateia asked me to blog every three weeks about the ten months between my initial sale and when my Hill Country Holdup hit bookshelves, I wondered what I’d ever find to share that may be interesting.
There were a lot of topics to choose from today. A lot of things have happened for my career this past month or so. I have a second sale to announce. And thanks to my terrific agent, .38 Caliber Cover-Up will be a February 2011 Harlequin Intrigue release. I just received the title this morning and I’m announcing it here first. I haven’t even told my hubby yet (he’s out of town).
I love it. It fits the story perfectly. And no…*I* didn’t think of it. LOL
So since May 13th, I’ve sold my second Intrigue with a very quick delivery date at the end of July. The sale happened on May 28th. I haven’t even received the contract for .38 Caliber Cover-Up, but I’ve finished the AFS (Art Fact Sheets) for the cover, submitted blurbs, and was assigned my title. I’m still waiting on the cover for my first Intrigue which is released in September.
It all feels surreal. Last year at this time, I was awaiting the July results of the Daphne du Maurier contest (where I received the requests from my agent and editor). This year at the national Romance Writers of America conference in July, I’ll find out the results of the Golden Heart winners. (For those of you not in RWA, the GH is the highest unpublished writing award the organization offers. HCH was still eligible as See Jane Run last November when I entered.)
Things change fast. So my question for you today is this: ARE YOU READY TO BE PUBLISHED?
I’m certain that everyone who hasn’t experienced that First Sale Call is thinking this is a fairly silly question. OF COURSE YOU’RE READY. And yes, everyone’s ready to experience the euphoria of selling their book, their baby manuscript, their dream. But are you ready for the work?
This is not a disillusionment article. I am so excited I can hardly keep myself in my chair to type. But sharing this experience is sharing the reality. If I can have two sales with two releases just months apart…then so can you.
Be prepared. Have more than one manuscript ready for submission. Have your website established and ready to update. Have your social networking practices–including limiting the amount of time you network–in place. Research what type of publicity you want. How much money are you going to spend (making certain you don’t spend your entire advance). Are you going to blog? Or just be a guest blogger? Where? How often? Do you give yourself time-lines and deadlines before you sell? Do you work harder to finish a deadline you set for yourself or just shrug it off as not important? Do you give yourself a reward for finishing/completing those deadlines?
Lots or questions and I know there are more. These are a few things for you to begin thinking about. It’s extremely easy to take two years to polish and finesse a manuscript. But if you want a career as a writer, you need to make a very important decision: How many books per year are you capable and WILLING to write (and polish)? When you sell your first manuscript and they ask for a second…will you be ready?
This week’s lesson (to be) learned: For me, learning how to juggle (think about) three manuscripts at once is something I did early in my writing career. Getting back to that capability isn’t a struggle, it’s just changing a pattern. My advice for the unpublished author who wants to write at least two books per year is to learn how to WRITE one manuscript, PLOT one manuscript, and EDIT one manuscript –yes, all at the same time.
‘Til next time,
Some upcoming topics of discussion:
-An On-Going Behind the Scene Look at Getting Ready for Publication
(promotion, character sheets, log-lines, bios, etc.)
-My Hero Has Brown Hair?
-Targeting Your Book & Choosing Your Market
-Seeing Your Cover For The First Time