Hello, RU Crew! I can’t tell you how happy I am to welcome back the lovely, talented, smart as a whip Nancy Naigle. She’s also pretty darn fun to be around–just ask Bret Michaels! Nancy is here to talk about her publishing journey and she has five great tips to help you along your own path.
How do I get there from here?
I think this picture pretty much sums it up.
Which road will you take?
When I first started pursuing my dream of being a published author, I had a checklist with each step carefully outlined with a time-oriented goal. I was ready to go!
Quit laughing! Okay, okay – so I was pretty quickly disappointed how nothing seemed to go according to plan. Who knew there was not a well-defined process to getting published?
You see, in my day job I’m a process gal. I’m a Six Sigma Black Belt and for me … a good process with check points and measurements = success.
This tried and true methodology is rock-solid, usually, but not in the wacky world of publishing. Publishing breaks all the rules, and now that there is so much change in the industry as the number of bookstores shifts, online options changes, and we see more and more in the way of digital and even Indy books, all the rules we thought we knew are going flying out the window, too!
My journey was full of hiccups, so for all y’all who are feeling like it’s taking too long, getting frustrated or worried that it will never happen for you…join me for this little lesson in tenacity. Hopefully, when all is said and done, Rocky Road will be your new favorite flavor.
Keep on writing, because being published is a matter of WHEN not IF you’ll be published.
My first contract was with a small publisher and there wasn’t one doggone thing wrong with that, except that I jumped in with all the excitement of a puppy on a piece of bacon and didn’t ask the right questions.
What I wanted was not in line with what the small publisher had to offer. I got my rights back and self-published. Sweet Tea and Secrets took off. I accomplished a lot on my own, but I couldn’t do everything that I considered my parameters. So, I made another move. This time under contract with a big publisher, Montlake Romance. This release has the sparkly touches of a professional editor, new twists, and a sassy sweet cover. Sweet Tea and Secrets is being embraced by new readers with as much enthusiasm as the first, but it’s been a rocky road!
It’s okay to take a step back or make a lateral move. Just keep your eye on the goal, and assess those goals along the way. They’ll change. The one thing you can count on is change. What worked yesterday, may not work tomorrow.
#1 Know what you want from this journey. Set those parameters now, before you get anxious or so excited you can’t make a good decision.
- Is having your book in print important to you? Audio? Digital?
- Marketing – ARCs – Reviews
- How prolific will you be? At what pace do you write? You’ll need to know this to be able to make good delivery date commitments.
- Share other parameters to consider in the comments below!
#2 Know that it’s hard work and prepare now for the future.
- Purchase your domain name and build that website now while you have the time.
- Know who your platform consists of now (church, school, groups etc). Grow it!
- Marketing materials are less of a burden when purchased along the way. My husband still teases me about the amount of stuff I’d accumulated for the “big day”. Well, when it came…I was ready. I had all kinds of promo materials to help get the word out. There was no stress, because I already had it hand.
- Write your press release. You’ll have to tweak it later, but you’ll have a start.
- There’s no end to this list. Share your prep tips in the comments. What helped you?
#3 Be your own biggest fan. Okay, don’t go all super diva, but it’s true that if you love your story it will show when you pitch it. If you aren’t absolutely in love with the book, why the heck would you expect a complete stranger to be?
#4 Have faith that you will be published. Embrace that knowledge and don’t let it go.
#5 Don’t give up. I think the secret ingredient to the best darn Rocky Road you’ll ever experience is tenacity. Have a double-dip!
RU Crew, what questions do you have for Nancy? Has your road to success included a few ups and down, twists and turns (doesn’t have to be writing!)?
Debut author Barbara DeLeo joins us on Monday to talk about writing craft.
Virginia author, Nancy Naigle, writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense in hopes that readers will find an escape from their hectic day-to-day in the make believe worlds she creates. Get to know Nancy on facebook, twitter @NancyNaigle or visit her website at http://www.NancyNaigle.com
- Debut Author Series: Nancy Naigle, Author of Sweet Tea and Secrets
- Weekly Lecture Schedule for October 31 – November 4, 2011
- Weekly Lecture Schedule October 1st to October 5th
- 8 Tips for a Successful Co-writing Partnership by Kelsey Browning
- Don’t Stop Believing! Words to live by – Karin Tabke