We are looking forward to having three guests — Shari Randall (Feb. 3), Aimee Hix (Feb. 10), and Debra Sennefelder (Feb. 24) — this month who all have contracts for books, but their books aren’t out yet. They will be talking about their experiences leading up to their books being published. Since all of us have been in the same boat we thought it would be fun to share some of our experiences too.
Jessie: I would say to try to have as much fun with the journey as you possibly can. Releasing a first book involves so many new experiences and it can be a bit overwhelming at times. But it only happens once this way, so taking as much pleasure in it as you can is my best advice.
Sherry: After the jumping around and champagne popping ended, panic set in. What had I gotten myself in? I start envisioning empty launch parties, bad reviews, trolls, the series being dropped before it hit publication. In other words the wild imagination that makes it possible to write took a very dark turn. I took some deep breaths and started reaching out to my author friends for help and support. The Wickeds are my safety net and lifeboat. Find yours!
Barb: You will find yourself lost in a strange land. Traditional publishing is like no business you’ve ever been in. And no one will explain it to you, since most people who work in it have done so since college and to them, everything they do seems, “normal.” Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even though when you do, you’ll be able to hear the sighs of impatience on the other end of the line or e-mail. And as Sherry says, ask your writer friends.
Edith: All of the above! Plus, try to stay organized. I reached out ahead of time and requested guest blog posts around the time of my release, and was even invited to do a few. I felt like I was going to lose track of them all, so I created a Word table, a kind of spreadsheet. I listed each blog, the blog topic, the due date, the sent date, and the release date. It helped so much to see the schedule and know I wasn’t dropping the ball somewhere. Then for the second book I already had a list of friendly bloggers.
Julie: Great advice on this feed! I’m going to add advice that Hank Phillippi Ryan gave me–enjoy every moment of this journey. We tend to hit a goal post and immediately move it down the field. Instead stop, and say “I did this.” You will never be a first time published author again. Enjoy the journey.
Liz: Love all of this advice – especially the celebrating of your accomplishments. You’ll only have one first book, so enjoy it to the fullest. Take pride in everything you’ve done, enjoy the company of fellow writers and don’t be so focused on getting to the next place/book/success that you don’t stop and appreciate the moment.
Readers: What advice have you given people when they embark on a new journey?