I do a lot of contextual editing for a couple of boutique publishers and more than a few aspiring authors. “Editor” is a title that is a lot like “mother,” especially when one is working as a freelance editor. Part coach, part grammarian, part business administrator and part cheerleader, it is always worthwhile.
The fun in working with early authors in this new publishing environment is that they accept and embrace the technological advances that are available now but weren’t when this dinosaur embarked on her “professional” writing career eighteen years ago. Books can be printed and ready to take home in about the time it takes the local barista to make a double-cocoa espresso latte. Slip your credit or debit card into the vending machine, pick the title, and voila!! Instant book. Two years ago a publisher friend of mine saw the prototype at the Independent Book Sellers convention in New York–last week I saw one in the Orlando International Airport. Holy Cow!!
Anyway, even as my alter ego Lynn Kathleen (with writing partner JJ Dumont) is excited as can be about an agent who really likes the Amazing Grace Trucking Series, author NL Quatrano is just as excited about having 3 Kindle books available right now, and her first Point and Shoot mystery Murder in Black and White scheduled for publication in print and e-book formats before mid-summer. Yes indeed, it has been an exciting six months around here!
So, how do we go from being the owners of a shoe-box full of rejections to being published authors? You have to keep writing, keep learning and applying that knowledge, and you have to keep submitting!
A few other things that have made a difference for me and many of the authors I know include…
- Surrounding yourself with writers who think outside the box, have lots of energy, and love to laugh;
- Setting a writing schedule and keeping to it, even if it means buying a special calendar dedicated to your writing, and a ladybug kitchen timer to keep you in the chair for the amount of time you promised;
- Writing short stories or articles as well as your novel, so you have lots of great things to submit to magazines, newspapers and e-publications;
- Attending conferences that provide workshops and networking opps that will move your career and knowledge forward;
- Submitting your work regularly wherever possible, including to reputable critique groups (in-person or on-line)
- Reading up on all the latest business buzz at least monthly;
- Taking time to enjoy friends and family and sunshine on a regular basis;
- Writing the dream on a LARGE sheet of paper and keeping it posted all around you so you never lose sight of it! Visualize your title on the New York Times Best Seller List!
While those of us who write, generally write because we can’t NOT write, that can also make our world pretty isolated and small. Depression lurks just behind the office door. Keeping the dream alive is far easier with a little help from your friends–you’ll not only get by, you’ll thrive! See you in the Amazon store, I’m sure!!
Keep smiling, keep writing, keep submitting!
You can do this!