All blogs are property of authors and copying is not permitted.

Click image to one-click your copy of Soldiers of Fortune


Friday, August 17, 2012

Things I'd do differently!!!

Things I’d do differently if I were just beginning to write and hoped to be published.

1. I’d have my website up and running before I submitted my work to a publisher. I’d make the website bold and catchy, and reference it in my letter of submission. I would NOT wait until I was pubbed and needed it.

2. I’d have at least two friends ready to critique your masterpiece before I sent it to a publisher. Friends already authors are the best. Nobody, but nobody, can catch all your glaring errors by themselves.

3. I’d be sure I understand POV and be especially careful to stick to one point of view per scene. I didn’t at first, and still tend to blithely head-hop, not even knowing I’m doing the big no-no. My current editor, the wonderful April Chapman, is deadly on catching my errors. Yes, I know some of the most successful authors blithely ignore POV and head-hop all over the place. None of us are Nora Roberts, at least not yet.

4. This is tied to three. Check and recheck the rules of submission at the publishing house you plan to submit to.

Ellora’s Cave, where I’m lucky enough to have a new series going, will not permit the slightest change of POV. I’m just lucky I have a patient editor. A newcomer can’t afford to twist the rules in the slightest. But it’s also important to be sure your book is submitted in the right format, and right type, the right everything. 

5. Spend a lot of time perfecting your submission letter. Again, give them exactly what they want, plus a smidgeon of originality and humor. But don’t come off like a smart aleck.

Stormy Pursuit, the second book in the Passionate Pursuit series, will be out quite soon. It’s undergoing it’s last edits, catching all the nasty POV changes which I’m still bad at. Forbidden Pursuit has been accepted and I’ve sent in the cover art request. Dangerous Pursuit is in the hands of my beta editor. Haven’t named the next one yet but it takes up the story of the Erricksen family with the first grandchildren. Elves all, I’m sure they will have passionate and lives that make their elfish peaked ears show enough to enchant you all. 


Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Jean, especially #1. It took me a long time to realize that a lot of the promo is up to the author. Getting a website up is so critical.

Anonymous said...

I have reminder notes all over my office to keep me aware of important writing skills, POV being a major one for me. Fortunately I have an editor who is a master at targeting my headhops. What I'd do differently if I was just starting my writing career is take how-to online classes BEFORE I'd finished that first manuscript! I've taken many since then that have helped me improve my writing.

jean hart stewart said...

I agree with you both, of course. So much to learn besides just having a great idea

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Excellent advice, Jean! Doing networking before you sell is another good one. Don't just have a website, but join groups of writers, published and getting there, who are committed to supporting each other. That way you start out with friends who can help you out.

Paris said...

Loved the post and all of your wonderful advice. Good luck with the new series!

Lorna Collins - said...

I agree. We are blessed with a fantastic writing group with over twenty years experience. Many of them are published - quite a few many times over. Having a variety of people doing the critique helps a lot since we are each sensitive to different things.

Also, have someone else read your work aloud! It's amazing how much you catch when someone else reads it. And it really helps to hear dialog actually spoken. Any stilted places become easily identified.

And know your potential audience. Who will read this book? Target your marketing to that group. You may be surprised at who else becomes interested, but start with a target audience.

Talk about your book as soon as you know it's going to be published. Mention it on all the social media.

Join a few industry groups and post to their email loops.

I guess the best thing is to plan ahead and not wait for the book to come out.

jean hart stewart said...

All of you have added wonderful input. Thanks so much...Jean

jean hart stewart said...

Forgot to say I need a second beta editor. Anyone got advice on that? Would be glad to reciprocate, of course....

Katalina said...

I wish I'd known all of those things in the beginning!
Thank you Jean.

jean hart stewart said...

So do I!!!!! Maybe it will help somebody else...

Carlene Rae Dater said...

I agree with all five statements! I always carry business cards with me and hand them out to EVERYONE! You never know who just might try one of your books.

Carlene Rae Dater

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks, Carlene. I do the same but I use bookmarks now. Those are prettier than my cards right now.

Share buttons