With another final under Treasured Claim’s belt, my debut has now finaled five times in three contests for published books. So today seems like a good time to touch upon the contest arena for published books.
Writers are often a neurotic, self-doubting lot, and many of us hope for validation as a means of overcoming that doubt. We never want to think about how that validation is only temporary, but the best we can do is try to create a healthy relationship with our validation desires.
Sometimes as authors, we struggle to create a well-rounded world or characters that feel so real to readers that they experience a movie in their mind. Stories that feel like we can crawl in and inhabit them are often lauded as special, but why is it so hard to succeed in that goal?
Everyone has an ego, a sense of how they fit into the world. In the publishing world, that “everyone” includes the newbie writer and the multi-published NYT bestseller, the professionals of traditional publishing and self-publishing. Sometimes egos are healthy and helpful for getting things done. Other times…not so much.
Writing requires a humongous learning curve. Back when I first started writing, I was frustrated with that learning curve. I wanted to be done and over with it so I could just get on with the process of writing. But after 7 years and 8 completed stories, I’ve gained insights into how the learning curve works.
Back when we first started writing, we might have been writing for ourselves, but for many of us, we expanded our goals somewhere along the line to focus on what others think of our work or how we might sell our work. Are we ready with a plan that will support that next step and the steps after that?
I think it’s safe to say that we often doubt ourselves as authors. If we’re not careful, that self-doubt can creep into our psyche in ways that affects our career choices. Our business decisions should usually be based more in fact than emotion, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes we even reject ourselves to prevent rejection from others.
Ever heard “write the same but different”? Usually agents want something similar enough to other stories that they know they can sell the book but different enough to not feel like a retread. Whether we’re writing queries for traditional publishing or back-cover blurbs for self-publishing, if we can identify how our story is unique, we can better sell our story.
In gearing up for the release of Pure Sacrifice, one frustrating experience was beyond my control. I’ve mentioned before that we should avoid assumptions about our characters, so I waited until I heard a voice that resonated and knew my paranormal character for this book wouldn’t be white skinned. Great! Except…
No matter how good we are self-editing, we can’t catch every unclear meaning or typo in our own work. But there are different kinds of editors, and if we have a limited budget, we might not know what type of editors are most important for our success. Let’s take a closer look at the types of editing and when we might (or might not) need that type of editing.