TEN THINGS I LEARNED FROM PUBLISHING A BOOK

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Psst … guess what today is!  Yes, it’s Tuesday, but that’s not really what’s special.  And nope, there isn’t a major holiday you’ve forgotten or day in history to remember.   It’s my book birthday!  Yay!  Where has the year gone? It seem like just yesterday I released my baby out into the world.

And since it’s my (book) birthday, I thought I would take the time to tell you a few things I’ve learned during the course of publishing a book.  So here it is,

TEN THINGS I LEARNED FROM PUBLISHING A BOOK:

1.  Family and Friends will disappoint you.  Yes, that’s right.  Those people you thought you could count on and who you believed would be your biggest supporters, some of them won’t.  It’s hard and hurtful, but it’s one of those things that you just have to deal with and move on.

2.  This reverts back to number one, but you’ll find out who your true friends are.  I would be lying if I said relationships haven’t been affected.  Some have.  Simple as that.  Writing is a big part of who I am and publishing a book was an accomplishment I’m proud of.  And while I’ve tried to keep in mind not everyone shares the same enthusiasm, there were a few I felt could have been a little more supportive in other ways. It’s okay, though, because you’ll also make new friends.  Great friends!  Who will share your enthusiasm for writing and book related things.  You’ll also find out you have other common interest and before you know it, you’ll be talking to them every day.  Embrace this change.  Friends who support you wholly are a true blessing.

3.  Getting reviews are hard.  Really hard.

4.  My husband can hold down the fort at home all by himself.  Actually, I knew this already.  He does a fine job when I have to be away for work, but when I’m there, I tend to take on the more dominant role of keeping up with things.  But, he fared just fine and took complete control when I needed to shut myself away to meet an editing deadline.

5.  Quitting my day job anytime soon isn’t a possibility.  Actually, I knew this too, but in case anyone is wondering where my writing career is going, I thought I’d throw that in.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to write full time, but then I never considered it an option. It’s always been a hobby and now I’m lucky enough to earn a little from it.

6.  Marketing is equally as tough as getting reviews.  Although my publisher sent me a packet about an inch thick of marketing techniques, I had no clue what I was doing. I was lucky enough to come in contact with a book blogger that had some patience with me and walked me through some stuff.  So, a  big thanks to Whitney at Shooting Star’s Reviews for her help early on in this adventure.  I really have no advice for how you should go about marketing your book.  Each person transverses this on their own terms and different techniques work for different folks.  But if I had to give one piece of advice, it’s to make contacts and make them early.  Unfortunately, I jumped into marketing late.  As in, I waited until it was ready to release to start really talking about it.  My theory …. who wants to hear about a new author whose book isn’t available yet?  I mean, I’m no Nora Roberts, so why would anyone care?  While that may be true to some degree, you’ll find the more contacts you make and the more you talk about your story, the more people you’ll get interested.

7.  Editors can be your best friend.  That’s right.  I loved my editor, Jess.  Being a newbie, I had great concerns about understanding how things worked, but Jess was super easy and explained everything simply.  It also helped that she had my back on some big plot and character changes that were suggested in the second rounds of edits.  I was nearly in tears when I read over all the suggestions and then I got an email from Jess saying, “No, no, no.  I’m overriding this, because …”  and she listed my exact visions for the story.  Had it not been for her, Drive Me Sane would have probably ended up entirely different.  So, yes, find a good editor that you trust, it’s important.

8.  Writing that second book is much harder than the first.  You’d think it would be the other way around, being you have a taste for how things work, but sometimes naivety works to your advantage.  I now constantly find myself looking ahead and always seem to be ten steps forward instead of in the moment doing what needs to be done.

9.  All that time you had to write before seems to get sucked up into a big black hole.  This goes along with the marketing aspects.  I’ve found my time management skills aren’t as good as I thought and I’m easily distracted by social media.  It’s tough to balance writing and marketing while swinging a full time job and family (I’m not complaining here, I know 99% of us do it).  I’ve learned I’m a binger.  Yep, I’ll write, write, write.  Read, read, read.  And then I’ll decide that I’m a sloppy housewife and clean, clean, clean.  Eventually I’ll move on to remembering my family likes more than sandwiches and take to Pinterest for recipes to try.  Then I’ll cook, cook, cook.  You see my struggle here?  I need to learn how to make all this work together.

10.  There are certain times of the day I’m more creative.  I have a difficult time coming home from work and trying to write.  Writing a love scene while your thinking about dinner, the kids bath time, or all the laundry you need to do just doesn’t work out too well.  I’m at my best late in the evenings when it’s all quiet or very early mornings.

AND NOW FOR MY AWESOME NEWS !

You amazing people are the first to know, because I haven’t announced this anywhere else yet, but Amazon has bought the digital rights to Drive Me Sane.  So, not only do I get to celebrate today, I’ll be celebrating again next week when Drive Me Sane re-releases with Amazon’s encore program on August 4th.  I’ll have a slightly different cover and I believe a new price.  So if you haven’t read it and you’re dying to, I’m telling you to wait, because you’ll get a better deal 🙂

I’ll also be celebrating with a giveaway on my Facebook page with a $25 Amazon Gift Card, digital copy of Drive Me Sane, and some author swag I have coming.  So if you’re not following me on Facebook, hop over now and give me a like :).  I’m real close to 500 followers!  Plus, that’s where the giveaway will be announced next week.

In closing, I’ve learned a lot.  Did I make some mistakes?  Yes, I did.  Would I go back change some things?  Absolutely! But that’s the great thing about writing.  It’s an ever changing industry that really doesn’t require a set of rules.

 

 

Comments ( 12 )

  1. Replyaetherhouse

    Interesting note about the family and friends....sort of somber, but I'm sure it's very true. I haven't had the opportunity to find out who my real friends are yet, aside from a web series I did back in college. It surprises me who will still mention that to me and ask "what happened to the next episode?" Holy cow, great news about Drive Me Sane! I've never heard of Amazon Encore, but it seems like a great opportunity. You are quite a pro for sure :)

    • Replydenarogers

      Thanks, so far I am impressed with the Amazon Encore program. As for the family and friends, it is somber and unfortunately true, but it also helps to thicken your skin a bit, which I think anyone in the arts must have, because literally everything we produce is personal to us.

  2. ReplyE.L. Wicker

    People do let you down, it's sad, but true. I'm so glad you published Drive Me Sane, because if you hadn't I never would have met you. <3 <3 <3

    • Replydenarogers

      Thanks, Em. I'm so late on responding to stuff :) But I am soooooo happy to have met you too!

  3. ReplyAaron Saylor

    I found the first was the hardest, but the next ones aren't necessarily easy. I also found that disconnecting the Internet while writing helps stay on task, big time.

    • Replydenarogers

      Number 1 definitely the hardest. And you're right, disconnecting helps, big time! I'm working on that and learning to pace myself. Work in progress, here.

  4. ReplyEmilia Leigh

    Dena, congratulations, and what a great post. It's incredible that the actual "writing" of the book is only the very first step, that's why I hope you manage to enjoy drafting your second novel. I am still to experience most of the things you talk about, so thank you for the insights. Your write-write-write, clean-clean-clean process sounds painfully familiar, and it properly made me giggle. I wake up everyday hoping to be able to find the right balance, and the time, to do everything, but let's face it, life happens. And I get it, when I was starting my blog I thought I'll get a lot of support from my family and friends but it turned out to be very different. What you've achieved so far is amazing, enjoy and celebrate! And the Amazon news is so exciting! xxx Emilia Leigh

    • Replydenarogers

      Thanks, Emilia! Yes, writing the book is only a very small part of the process and for me, I think it's the easiest. As for the balancing, it's coming slowly, but I'm getting there. I'm a strict scheduler in life as a whole and my biggest mistake has been to not apply that to my writing. So, I'm working on that. Hope you're making headway with your book.

  5. Replyrachelcarrera

    WOO HOO! What exciting news about Amazon, and also Happy Bookiversary! Your list is incredible, and I'm sure we could all learn a lot from it. Thank you for your candor. <3

    • Replydenarogers

      I try, Rachel :) Thank you, I was on the fence with the Amazon thing at first, but it has turned out to be a good opportunity.

  6. ReplyMary Rowen

    Dena, I just read this now, so I'm a little late to the party, but congratulations on being accepted into Amazon's Encore program! That is really terrific! Yay!!

    • Replydenarogers

      Mary, I'm always late these days, so no worries and thank you!

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