On this sunny Saturday December morning, I’m sitting on the porch with author Penny Estelle. Much like some of my other porch guests Penny and I are talking about her writing journey and some of the realities we face along the way. Hopefully this will educate and inspire upcoming authors to know what to expect and how to deal with those sometimes harsh realities of our chosen field. We’re sipping coffee this morning and eating cinnamon rolls, as we’re not yet through the holiday season and ready to move away from the treats. 😀 Let’s listen to Penny’s Trip Down Reality Lane:
Picture this – You put your heart and soul into a story. You work on your manuscript for a few days and then re-do most of it because it just didn’t click. You agonize over simple things like a heroine’s name or eye color, edit, research a certain era or when the railroad came to a certain state just so you have all the facts right, edit again, and on and on it goes. But there comes a time when you have the perfect manuscript!
You slip that baby into an email and send it off to a publisher and a few days/weeks later you get a……..”We love your story and we want to offer you a contract.” After you catch your breath, you scream, “Oh my God! I got offered a contract! They want my story!” The hardest part is over, right? Call the realtor and have them start looking for the dream house that sits on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean!
Maybe you should take a peek at the contract. Of course you bypass everything and go directly to the royalties. HMMM – no actual royalties, but you will get 40 to 50% of the sales (if they buy from the publisher) Well, of course they are going to buy from the publisher. DUH!
It doesn’t take long for reality to smack you right in the face once it is on the market. The money is not pouring in and if Amazon is involved, which it most certainly is, your piece of pie is cut to a sliver size.
This story was MY reality with my first book. When Solstice Publishing offered me a contract for Hike Up Devil’s Mountain, I went through all the above! Then I learned the meaning of the word marketing! (I’m still not crazy about that word) LOL
But, for me, it’s been awesome getting to know so many wonderful, supportive people who have been in this game for some time. Authors are a very close knit group of strangers. I can turn to most any author I’ve met in the writing field and they are ready to offer up any advice that worked for them.
I certainly have not gotten rich and my beach house is a VERY DISTANT DREAM, but one still in the foggy recesses of my mind!
I enjoy writing stories, and for me, I’m still in the learning process, and I’ve been doing this for three years! But my name is getting out there and I try every avenue that I hear about!
Soooooo, my advice would be love the actual writing aspect first, and the rest, eventually will fall in line!
A quick pitch on marketing…..I have no idea what, all of a sudden, will cause a spike in my sales. I use twitter, I have guests on my blog and others let me barge in on theirs. I offer giveaways and get in blog hops anytime I can. All I can say is marketing, for me, is always a learning process that I am constantly working on.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your trip down reality lane, Penny. It’s not an easy path we’ve chosen for ourselves, but you make a great point in your advice to writers. Write for the love of writing, always looking to improve your craft and the rest will fall into place. Find out more about Penny and her latest book on my Porch Guests page.