This month my biggest insecurity is time and my inability to beat it into submission, but that's for another post. Because I just happen to have the perfect IWSG post already in my back pocket---written by Carol Oates, a wonderful author of supernatural Young Adult and New Adult stories. I originally posted these 4 publishing wisdoms from Carol at my Facebook page to celebrate her recent release, Shades of Avalon, and she's graciously agreed to let me re-post them in one volume here for your benefit.
You can tell Carol thanks at her blog, on Twitter, or at her Facebook page. Alrighty then, shall we let Carol take it away? Yes, yes we shall...
It’s been four years since Shades of Atlantis began the editing process. I’ve developed as a writer. I’ve also mellowed a little about the daunting publishing industry. Here are a few things I’ve figured out.
1. It takes a village to raise a book
I’m sure most people realize that the book fairies don’t magically transform the (scrawled by hand in my case) first draft of a manuscript into a shiny, beautiful book. But, before I decided to publish, I really didn’t understand the extent of work required from so many people. Up to that decision, I was writing for my own pleasure and I didn’t much care if I had missing words or plot holes. Publishing is like an iceberg, only 10-20% is visible, the rest is below the waterline. When I decided to plunge in, it involved gathering trusted people around me that I knew would point out the flaws in my work. That’s before the manuscript even hit an editor’s desk. Manuscripts go through many hands even before distribution and promotion come in to it.
2. Publishing doesn’t leave a lot of time for writing
I used to thing publishing and writing were the same thing. When I set out years ago to publish, I had this fantasy of sitting at my desk in my writing cave all day…writing, or attending bookish events to commune with readers and bookish type people. All while someone else took care of everything else—see point 1. Those book fairies, maybe. In truth, only a portion of my time goes on writing books. The rest is spent doing the production stuff in getting from manuscript to book, communicating with readers(fun bit), organizing promotions(fun bit), keeping up to date with the industry(can be filled with drama lamas). And reading, of course(back to fun bit).
3. No one knows the right way to publish a book
Lots of people will swear they do, but the truth is there is no one way, no sure fire route to success. Every author is different in what they want to achieve with their career, if publishing is even a career to them. Each project can demand a completely different approach. When looking at an individual project, we’re talking a glass slipper being tried on by every disappointed girl in the village, rather than one-size fits all slipper socks. What one author claims worked for them may only work for them, that one time.
4. The opening night nerves never go away
Shades of Avalon is release seven, and its feels like a special one because it’s the sequel to my debut, Shades of Atlantis. You’d think, I’d be used to release days by now but my tummy still flutters wildly every time I think about my work being out in the world on those first few days. The outpouring of support in the book community can be wonderful and overwhelming in the best possible way. It goes a long way to soothing my frazzled nerves.
Have a great rest of your week!