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Archive for March, 2013

The Waiting Game

Spring is here. Sort of. The last few nights have felt more like October than March! We’ve woken up to frost on our cars, even a slight dusting of snow! Much as we’d like to turn the heat off, it’s not happening yet.

One of the hardest things authors do is wait. We wait to hear back on our submissions, for our editor assignment, from our editor, from the cover artist, etc. Even if we’re working on the next novel, the urge to check our email is hard to resist some days. Who doesn’t want to find out what their book cover will look like? Or put aside a work in progress in order to make suggested changes to the one about to go into the world?

This week, I have a new project to help me get through the waiting. Even with the chilly temperatures, it’s spring cleaning time. Time to get rid of stuff we’ve stored for years and no longer want or need, rearrange things. Evaluate what needs to stay vs. what can be let go of.

I’m sure my back will be sore when I’m done. But the house will be cleaner. We started the process over the weekend, and it will continue all week. Today, I plan on tackling my office. There are things here that can stop cluttering up my life, and my mind.

And maybe, just maybe, when I take a break I’ll have an email to squeal about.

BB

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Good morning!

Still no word on the cover art for “Mark of the Successor”. I know…I’m getting antsy to see it as well! But, the staff at Solstice does amazing work. I have no doubt I’ll be blown away.

I had another author ‘first’ last week. An acquaintance of mine is very active in local politics and has thrown her hat into the ring for Mayor. I can’t say I’m a huge local celebrity, but I do have a little clout. A very little bit.

Anyway, she asked me if I’d be able to write up an official endorsement, using my pen name, etc. We had a little chat about it first. Primarily because I felt she needed to know my faith before I did this. I’m not quiet about it, and anyone who Googled me and came across any interviews or this blog would figure it out really quickly. If they’re super-conservative, this could have presented a problem for her campaign. By talking about it beforehand, her campaign can avoid being blindsided.

It led me to realize that authors, big or small, do have a certain amount of sway when it comes to this sort of thing. We are in in a unique position of being able to add a small touch of ‘glamour’ to a candidate or issue. If we’ve presented ourselves publicly as decent, intelligent, and articulate people, our opinions can sway a voter.

This is not a small burden we carry.Just knowing I could convince someone one way or the other is a huge responsibility. It’s a power that can be easily abused, manipulated, or over-used. We are, like politicians, open to public scrutiny. 

I’m only going to be open to endorsing candidates and/or issues that I truly believe in. Because I want to be able to defend my choice if need be. And I want to look in the mirror every day without flinching at what I see.

BB

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Here it is! The big secret is finally out! Check out the lengths I’ll go to for book sales.

411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News

Debra: Before KateMarie gets here today, just want to give you some background about her novel.  Stop over to the book review by clicking here: Book Review of Daughter of katecollins-300x200Hauk and don’t forget that you can find the book on Amazon by clicking this link: Amazon Daughter of Hauk Page, its available in paperback and eBook versions and there are 16 book reviews there for an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars!  Thats exceptional for such a new author!  So, we are just waiting for her to arrive to get started, let me just look through my notes and share some background with you while we wait….oh, I kind of thought this while I was reading the book, she used to play Dungeons and Dragons, pretty cool and, what else…oh, here she is, COME ON IN KATEMARIE <yells to the knock at the double glass doors…

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Good morning!

The birds are chirping, and Athena is happily taking her morning nap on me. My hands are free, and my coffee mug’s in reach. The girls have the day off school, so trying to get a few things done before they wake up.

One of the things I’ve been asked a couple of times by authors who haven’t gotten published yet is if there was anything I wish I’d done before I signed my contract. The list isn’t long.

Start a blog…get an ‘official’ FB page for your work…get set up on Twitter…TELL people you’re a writer!

You don’t have to wait until you’ve got a book deal to start promoting yourself and your work. I’m feeling more confident now, with “Mark of the Successor”, than I did with “Daughter of Hauk”. Why? Because my self promotion machine is already set up and working. I’m in the habit of blogging here each week, being on twitter off and on, and updating my FB page at least once a week. 

These are all things it took time for me to get used to doing on a regular basis. Have they helped me sell books? I’m not sure. But it’s gotten people to know who I am. Perhaps, in time, the sales will follow.

Just letting people know you write, adding a few snippets here and there of your work, creating a buzz about your type of storytelling can make the difference. You can get people talking about you. As long as it’s not negative.

Speaking of negative, I had to do a new ‘first’ as an author last week. I blocked someone from my author page on FB. The individual had left a couple of comments that made me uncomfortable to start with. But, I went to his page to see if perhaps he was a huge fantasy fan. He is…just not my kind of fantasy! His page was full of pornographic pictures of his junk. I’m not into that. I don’t get off looking at someone else’s stuff. If anything, I felt like scrubbing my brain with bleach afterwards just to get the images out of my mind. He made it very obvious that a) he hadn’t read anything about me, just looked at my new headshots and b) he saw me more as an object than a person.

Few women I’ve ever met would want to be viewed that way. We are people. We have brains, emotions, thoughts, desires, and feelings. We’re not blow up dolls. And we aren’t interested in stroking your ego if your entire sense of self revolves around sex.

The headshots came out fine. I put three on my FB page, and came out with a ‘winner’ to go on the back of “Mark of the Successor”. I was in contact with my editor last week! Still waiting on the cover art, but they’re amazing people. I don’t want to rush them!

I’ve got one more surprise for you all! I had a terrific interview last week, and it’s going live today. Once It’s up, I’ll share the link here. In the interview, I agree to one of the craziest things I’ve ever considered!

BB

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You’ve heard it over and over, I’m sure. But you really don’t want to be the author editors and agents remember for all the wrong reasons.

For example, if you get a rejection from a publisher and they actually took the time to give you a critique of your work, don’t email them back and tell them they’re wrong! They’ll be talking about you. Yes. But not in a good way.

This industry is small, and people know each other. Even if they haven’t met face to face, they will know who each other is at a convention. Do you really want to be the author they talk about over drinks when they’re telling stories of the bad behavior of writers? Do you want to be the butt of the joke? Because, as the agent or editor you insulted tells their war story about you, those listening in will be taking mental notes. Your name will be remembered, but not in a good way.

Rejection is part of this business. For me, I was more scared that I’d get an acceptance letter! I was used to being rejected by my peers by the time I finished elementary school. Take a deep breath, realize they’re not saying ‘no’ to YOU, but your story.

I know, I know. The stories we write are part of us. And it’s hard to muster the courage to submit that child of ours to begin with. There’s something I do, though, that might help you.

After I send off a rough draft to my crit partners, I deliberately wait to open their responses. I give myself at least two weeks, if not a month, to regain my perspective. By distancing myself from the emotional attachment to the finished draft, I can see their comments with a much more critical/analytical eye. I don’t instantly cringe and wonder what they have against me as a person. I can nod my head and see the point, or choose to keep the part as I originally wrote it for various reasons.

The same can be applied to query letters and submissions. We all hope the first House we submit to will offer up a contract, but that’s rare indeed. You will get rejections. Understand that now. But don’t be THAT author who can’t take rejection well. If you get a rejection that includes a critique of your work, hold onto that email. Don’t fire off an angry email immediately. Rather, a polite thank you and you’ll take their suggestions under consideration. Then wait. Give yourself that distance. Then reread the critique.

They probably had some valid points in there.

And you won’t be the laughingstock of the water cooler.

Onto other ramblings….

My photo shoot is tomorrow, weather permitting. I’ve got a friend or two coming over for moral support. This is far out of my comfort zone! However, I’ve done a lot over the last year that qualifies as that. Ever so slowly, my world is expanding to include things I once balked at. The trick is learning to be comfortable with the new while retaining a connection to the old. Have I changed as a person? Yes. But I still remember where I came from, why I started this journey to begin with.

BB

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