No, I’m really asking, now what?
A few weeks ago, I finally wrote the last sentence of the novel I have been writing for the past two years.
As soon as I finished, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride.
I was joyful. Ecstatic. I had finally accomplished something that I had dreamed about doing as a little girl, and I was proud of it. So proud! I mean who cares if nothing ever came of it, I WROTE A BOOK!!!!!!! If no one else liked it at least I did, and I was okay with that. So what if I poured two years of precious time and effort into this thing? I didn’t need anyone’s approval, I was a strong independent woman who has accomplished a DREAM!!!!!!!!!!
I WAS A CHAMPION!!!!!! Right? … Right?
Well, yea, I was technically right. But here’s the thing about books. There not worth much if no one reads them. So, how was I going to get people to read it? and enjoy it? As I stared at the 107,000 words I had written ( I know, it’s long) I couldn’t help but think, Now what?
So I did the only thing I could think of. I entered a contest.
I wasn’t under any delusions that I would magically win and suddenly become a best selling Author. I entered because they promised feedback, and feedback is invaluable. Creating my entry also forced me to look at the first two chapters of my book with a critical eye. It forced me to edit. It forced me to cut. All in all, it made my story better.
So, that was a good start! I took a first step! I am going somewhere!
And after that first step, I arrived at the same question .
So, I’m entering more contests and trying to gather some draft readers. Truthfully I’m just stumbling around, sort of lost. I am taking some time to read other people’s work, because I think a good writer has to be an avid reader . My inbox is jam packed with books, just waiting for me to review them! I can’t wait! But I am worried this new experience is going to change my ability to critically review. Will I still be honest about flaws? Will I be too connected to the author’s feelings, and suddenly be too biased?
Am I going to say “good work” to everything, just because I truly understand the blood, sweat, and tears that went into these pages? I open the first book on my list nervously. It’s written by a favorite author of mine, Kate Avery Ellison (review coming soon!) and I dive into the story.
Thank the book gods, I think I’ll be okay!
I have always enjoyed looking past a book’s surface and focusing on the details. Pacing, world building, and all the technicalities have always held a little magic for me. Suddenly I notice these intricacies more. I can read between the lines so much clearer now.
I am excited to post my next book review. I think it will be one of my better ones.
As far as my own book goes, I’m still stuck on island “next step is unknown”.
Anyone out there have any suggestions? A map? A guide? Anything? If so, please, send me a message in a bottle. I could use some book direction.
That’s so exciting! Congratulations on finishing your work–that must have felt amazing. 🙂
I have no advice to give or a map, but I’m sure tons of places on the internet have guides for this kind of thing. Are you thinking of publishing it?
I did indie publishing through createspace. Free to publish on kindle and paperback on amazon… they have services you can pay for such as reviewers, editors, marketers, cover designers – or you can do the completely free option and try to market/edit/cover design
Also check out Thomas M Watt’s blog – he is currently in process of indie publishing and marketing his second novel and is posting a lot of useful information he comes up with – as well as posting short vlogs on his twitter with updates about how he’s doing stuff… https://thomasmwatt.wordpress.com/
Well, it depends on what you want from your career. Do you want to try for an agent? A big publisher? A small publisher? Or self publish? I would suggest finding a few beta readers and start with that. Have them read it, people you know you can trust to be honest with you, even if it’s not nice. Once they give you feedback, go from there. If there are no problems, then you can look into your publishing options, but if they find stuff, you can revise. I spent 4 years on my debut. My other 3 have taken less than a year each. Once you get that first one done, the others are easier. Good luck! And, congrats!
When I first thought I was finished, I submitted to agents and small publishers. 19 queries and 19 rejections. Ha. One of the editors of the publishers actually gave me feedback on what it needed, so I went through another round of revisions. After that I submitted to another 11 and received 5 contract offers. The one I chose was a small, but growing publisher who ended up publishing my first three novels. In December I launched my own house and I plan to do my own from now on, along with one or two titles from other authors each year. The other titles won’t start for several years, though. I knew I wanted at least two or three with a publisher before I did them myself. So, that’s what I did. Now, I’m ready to take a different route. Good luck to you! Workshops do help tons. I did several while in the process of my first.