So, as most of you know, my novel, Emma Jean's Bad Behavior, debuts on February 12th.
The road to getting published was long. Veeeeerrrrry long. And I learned a few things along the way, like what it takes to get a book out into the world. So today I look at 5 tips that allowed me to finally succeed at that.
Here's the deal: you all know the basics of how to get published, right? You research agents and publishing houses that might be a good fit for your book, write a stellar query letter, and then you send it out. And send it out again. And again. That process hasn't changed, even with the advent of indie publishing (which is a whole different process), and it's not likely to any time soon.
But what you might not know is what lies beneath the above process, the mindset that you need to develop in order to find success in the publishing marketplace. And that, my friends, is what this article is about. This mindset is in some ways as important if not more important than anything else, because developing a strong underpinning to what you do as a writer will carry you through your career.
So, here's to a publishing mindset, which takes:
1. Willingness. You need to be willing to do the things you think you don't need to do–like establish an author's platform while you are writing the book. You need to be willing to master social media, start a blog, begin connecting with your future audience. Long gone are the days when all writers had to do was sit back, write and let their publishers do all the marketing. You'll be expected to participate, and it's going to be a lot easier if you get a head start. Agents and editors look at things like your blog, and your social media presence these days.
2. Consistency. There's nothing sadder than coming across a blog whose last post was six months ago. Or a year ago. Start your blog and be consistent with it. Get on Twitter, and keep tweeting. Polish your query, and keep sending it out, even after you've been rejected a gazillion times. Work on your WIP regularly, as often as you possibly can. It's the writers who keep at it who eventually get the win. I know, I'm one of them.
3. Determination. Are you going to quit the first time it gets hard to accomplish your daily quota of pages or word count? Are you going to stop the second you get a rejection? Are you going to give up when you can't figure out how to format your novel to indie publish it? You better not, because both of those things will happen a lot. To be a successful writer takes determination and perserverance in spades. If you don't force yourself to do whatever it takes to send the work out, your words will remain stashed in a drawer.
4. Creativity. You can be the most lyrical writer in the world, but if you don't
find ways to plant yourself in front of the computer, the words won't
get written. It all begins and ends with the writing and if you put the writing first, everything else will take care of itself. Master techniques to get your butt planted in that chair.
5. Craziness. To commit yourself to a writing-centered life and vow to get published takes a bit of craziness. It just does. It's ever so much easier to be content at a 9-to-5 job, come home, eat dinner and turn on the TV. Not you, because you come home, eat dinner, and turn on the computer to write, with no guarantee that anyone will ever see those words. That's crazy, isn't it? So be it. I happen to believe it's also the most important thing you can do, crazy or not.
How about it? What do you think is the most important mindset a writer needs to have?
**If you're interested in learning more about publishing, I'll cover what I've learned in the bonus session of my Get Your Novel Written Now class. Registration is now open, with early-bird pricing in effect until the end of the month. Register now.