THE GIANT ROLLER COASTER RIDE
First appeared as an RWA PRO-ORG Class Bootcamp--Part 2.
THE LONG UPHILL CLIMB
More than once, Iíve described the last 14 months as a non-stop roller coaster of smiles. And thatís definitely true. But if you stay on a roller coaster too long, you tend to get a little motion sickness. Having been in RWA for ten years, I thought I was prepared to sell. Thought Iíd stayed in line and learned what I needed to know. And for the writing...I think I was--I mean am prepared. Everything changed with a phone call and the dream became reality.
The publishing market has changed dramatically since I began reading romance as a teen. It continues to change daily with new technology for readers and in the world of social media. Seriously, the writing--I love it. The social media? Well...I have to admit that I could live without it. I happen to envy the days I didnít carry a data-capable cell phone. I loved sneaking off to the movies without anyone knowing. (But I do admit I feel safer and love the security, so donít get me wrong.)
The reality of my sale to shelf time-line is a little under 10 months. There were a ton of things I needed to know. Basic things I thought I knew, but didnít have the particulars on how or where to find the answers. There are loops, yes, but Iíd gotten off almost all (outside my chapter) and the information is inconsistent from publishing house to publishing house. And things start whirling by at light-speed. More than anything else...I thought I had time.
And then I sold my second book on May 28th. Better news? They wanted it for a February 2011 slot. Even grander news? I had 9 weeks to write about 50,000 words. Incredible. Then complicate matters and throw in knee surgery. Ouch...
So I spent June & July writing my second book...every minute writing...and I was unable to concentrate on getting promotion ready for the first book. I didnít have ďrealĒ business cards at national. Didnít have book marks. My website wasnít ready when an Intrigue author introduced me to the eHarlequin community. I submitted my book and had three weeks where I was slammed with playing catch-up (and moving my daughter to her own apartment at school).
I still havenít had professional head shots made. Still feel like Iím catching up. And I think thatís something you can avoid. I have a long list of tips for you in the next couple of days.
ARE YOU READY FOR THE DROP:
FREE HANDS OR HOLDING THE RAIL?
BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR WRITING HABITS.
BE reserved about your social media habits.
SEE what your realistic pace is to plot, write and revise.
SET goals now. SET deadlines now. SET time limits now.
DEVELOP good habits NOW.
AND always have two books/proposals ready.
This sounds very elementary and fundamental. But are you aware of your writing process? Do you depend on others to help plot? Critique? Proof read? What if youíre on deadline...but so are they? Remember, LIFE happens to all of us. TIP: record how much you write and the number of days so you can get an idea. You might want to record major events/problems to let yourself know what was going on at the time.
Setting a goal is the first step to achieving anything. Write your goals down. Visualize your dream (how do you see your book?). Set deadlines with rewards when theyíre accomplished.
Never get caught without another proposal ready to be sent to an editor. It might be the result of a rejection or the second sale. Just be ready. In the loving words of my two good author friends Cherry Adair and Sharon Mignery told me when I first sold: ďWriters write. Donít get caught up in the promotion mumbo jumbo. Write the next book.Ē
AND for those of you who want to prepare:
Keep a journal this week (if you donít already) regarding your writing habits (new words/revised pages/blogs/, how much you exercise, and how much time you spend tweeting or on email or on Facebook (even just reading). Iím the only one who needs to see your answers. Just YOU & ME. No need to exaggerate. No need to fudge. Get honest with yourself.
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Intrigues where honor & danger collide with love.
.38 CALIBER COVER-UP Feb 8th
HILL COUNTRY HOLDUP still available
2010 RWA GH WINNER: Series Suspense & Adventure
2010 RT Best Series First Book Nominee
Copyright 2004-2011 Angi Platt Morgan -- all rights reserved, please obtain written permission before use.