It’s a bit nippy here again in the Sunshine State, but that still doesn’t stop me from sittin’ on the porch with some of my favorite authors. It’s a cuppa joe kind of day, so I’m sitting here with debut author Missy Turner. She’s about to experience her first release and was sharing some of what that’s like with me. Let’s listen…
“My name is Missy Turner and I am an Author.” Words I have always wanted to say. Now I actually can. Somewhere out there in the world, is a story that I created and my editors, at Solstice Publishing, painstakingly repaired so it would make sense.
So as a debut author, what have I learned? I would like to say everything, but that would be too broad of a statement. So let’s just say I know more now than I did when I began. Let me break it down:
See that screaming head guy? That is me when an awesome idea comes into my head and it just has to come out. So I grab a paper scribble down ‘the idea for the best story ever’ and at some point begin to type it out. Spell check it. Plot-holes check it. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Send it to my editor.
Now when the editor receives my story it probably looks something like this:
Then she somehow turns it into this:
So here is what I have learned:
- Writing has almost as many rules as math. To learn them you have to practice, practice and practice some more. (Ice writing hand and repeat.)
- Your editor is your best friend, when she gives you suggestions, take them willingly. As rough as you think your editor is on you. The people paying money to read your work will be even rougher.
- Develop a thick, discerning skin that can absorb constructive criticism. The thick skin is so that unfavorable reviews will bounce off you. You have put yourself out there. People will judge you. You have to be able to tell the difference between the people trying to help and the people trying to bring you down.
- You have to be prepared to market yourself. The hard work begins after your book is published. You have to get your name out there and get noticed.
- Fellow writers and Editors in Chiefs are a wealth of information. They give great marketing advice and I found most of them are supportive and willing to help you
All in all it’s been a wild exciting whirlwind. I can only speak from my own limited experience, but if you are reading this now, don’t be discouraged. The book selling, the lobbying for readers, the relentless search for reviewers,Oi, it’s exhausting. Remember this. You wrote a book! YOU WROTE A BOOK AND IT WAS PUBLISHED. Congratulations. First time is always the hardest. Take all the hard lessons you have learned from this and use them to make your next project that much better.
Keep your head up and remember the words of Ernest Hemingway:
Thank you for having me on your porch swing, Kelly. It’s back to writing for me.
Thank you, Missy. You’re insight as a debut author is amazing. Thanks for sharing it with us today. You can find out more about Missy on the Porch Guests Page.