Updated: Oct 17, 2019
Between this week’s posts and last week’s posts and posts from the week before… I’ve said a lot about the book-publishing process. Stuff like this:
Since being traditionally published does involve signing a legally binding contract, you’ve got to know what you’re signing up for… and what you’re signing away.
Some publishers will try to take advantage of you. Some will try to get the best deal they can out of you. And some will be upfront and wonderful and honest about the whole entire process.
It’s ultimately your job to decide which is which though.
Figuring out the answers to those [query letter-writing] concerns is enough to drive you nuts the first time… much less after the 55th.
And, alas – I truly hate to break it to you – but you might honestly get up that high in your query letter-sending quest. You might easily get higher, in fact.
It can be a brutal process, to say the least.
[As a self-published author] you’ve got to be confident enough to go for it yet humble enough to acknowledge what you don’t know. You should be stubborn enough to not quit but flexible enough to admit when you need a different approach.
And you might want to start saving up some money as soon as you can. Money for buying your own books, setting up marketing opportunities… and taking care of this step that should come before both.
And yet, even with all of that, I truly think that being a published author is worth it in the end.
I’ve thought that for a while, mind you. I’ve been happy to be a published author since I became a published author in 2013.
But I was reminded about one of the reasons why yesterday while dealing with a cold.
While I got up at 6:30 to start my work and I did make the most of the morning from there… I’ll admit that my motivation levels crashed and burned in the afternoon.
I just didn’t feel like doing anything, and so I didn’t for hours on end. At first, I played stupid computer games. But then I decided to go to my bookshelf and pick up one of my own books: Maiden America.
I read how main character Abigail is stuck in Princeton in 1776 when the British come marching through.
I got reacquainted with her family members, including her twin nephew and niece, three-year-old James and Rebekah – who of course don’t understand what’s going on when five enemy officers suddenly start living under their roof.
I got to delve right back into the spy adventure with arrogant enemies… the shadows of dangling ropes… complicated friendships… and so much more. I’d tell you how much more, but then I’d be giving everything away.
And here’s a marketing tip if you're going to become a published author: that’s something you should never do.
Now, I could have enjoyed Maiden America just as well on my computer screen than in a printed, published novel.
However, I wouldn’t have been able to get into awesome historical conversations with many of my readers that way. I wouldn’t have gotten to see history lovers light up to hear that the third book in the series was finally out.
And I wouldn’t have had someone tell me just last week that – after finishing up Maiden America – I was officially her third-favorite author ever.
For the record, I’m genuinely not saying any of that to brag. I’m saying it to encourage other to-be-published authors out there.
If you’ve got a good manuscript on your hands and you really want to go for it, then go for it! Because, honestly?
You just won’t know how worthwhile being a published author is until you try it out and see for yourself.