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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Biggest Thing I've Learned About Publishing

One thing I did not expect to learn about when I decided to publish my book is how much, desperately, I would HAVE have to learn PATIENCE.
Rome wasn't built in a day.

Here is a list of things you have to be patient about:
1. Getting through your first draft:
When you have ideas in your head, and maybe they're all jumbled up or maybe they're in a specific and planned order, you want to get them down quickly or you feel like they'll blow away in the wind.  But it takes time, and sometimes it does blow away with the wind and you stare at your computer screen with major writers block.  And sometimes you have to watch the kids or clean the house or, you know, shower.

2.  Your first draft will never be good enough:
When you finish the last sentence of the first draft you can't help but think, "Brilliant!  Georgous!  I just wrote the best book that's ever been written."  Believe me, you haven't.  What you think you've written is not what's actually on paper and you must revise revise revise.  Don't even bother sending it to anyone, not even your mother.  Edit it first and then send it to your beta readers.

3.  You have to figure out how to portray with words the story that is in your head:
Have you ever read a book that is a decent book but needs just a bit more editing?  I have.  In fact, recently I read a book where the whole plot of the book is about a boy and a girl who, after years of desire, finally decide to get married.  And then, suddenly the guy does something bad and now she can't trust him and they don't get married.  And the last chapter is about her getting married to this guy's best friend.  What?!  So why wasn't the book about their story?
One thing I have to work really hard on is writing.  Haha, I know that sounds funny, but listen, I am a good storyteller.  I've got great stories in my head.  But actually using words instead of ideas is a different thing altogether.  So you may think you've written a good story, but really you have to have other people's opinions to find out if you've been able to put down on paper what's really going on in your head.

4.  As soon as you hit 'Publish', hoards of people will not rush out to buy your book.  No matter how many friends and family you have:
Unfortunately, just because it's easier these days to publish, doesn't mean that people will buy your book.   I remember reading a great article by Brandon Sanderson.  He'd written 8 books and sent queries out and, after no word from agents, was feeling very discouraged.  But he pushed through his discouragement and started writing the next one.  And, finally!, an agent called him about his manuscript and wanted to buy it immediately--a whole year after he sent out his manuscript.
I'm so grateful that I didn't have to wait so long to publish TRISTEN.  However, even though you don't have to wait forever to get noticed by an agent (if you're self published), you still have to pay your dues getting noticed by readers.

5.  Amazon is like the popular girl at school who doesn't even know your name.  Yet:
This was one thing I wasn't sure about when I started writing.  I thought that Amazon would help market my book.  And only when when a sweet friend and author opened up about her experience did I realize that they don't really.  I decided to publish anyway.  I must be a masochist.

6.  Marketing is pretty much pointless until you have a few books out (unless you write nonfiction):
I've got some great ideas in mind for marketing, and would love to attend some conferences, but I think it's kindof silly to pay money to market 1 book, when I can pay the same amount of money to market 3 books.

7.  You have to publish your books in order:
Ever since I wrote the first book in the TRISTEN series, Book 4 has been screaming at me to write it.  But dang it, I have to write the others first cuz I'm not sure what exactly is going to happen before then.  And now that I'm done with the second one, the third one is jumping up and down, "My turn!" it screams.  But, once again, I'm in the middle of writing Book 2 and 1/2, which is a novella and is important to have a preface (in my mind) of Book 3.  So even though I've got major plot points and action scenes just dying to come out, I MUST WAIT.

So if you think that you're going to spit out a book and become an instant success, there is a small possibility that you just may.  However, don't get discouraged if you don't.  What percentage of authors attain that kind of success that quickly?  I can really only think of one or two.  And yet, there are so many out there who are successful, so don't give up, keep writing, and just BE PATIENT.

My name is Fleur.  And this is my blog.

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