Wednesday, October 3, 2012

IWSG - Wednesday

Ode to October, how I love thee so! Not only do you bring cooler weather, but my two weeks of vacation is just around the corner, as well as the annual Witches' Costume Ball my friends throw during your visit. The theme this year: alter ego.

As always, I'll have pictures to share afterwards. ;)

In honor of today's ISWG post, I  thought I'd share a few things I heard recently from a writing coach.
What's IWSG, you ask? Click on the pic below to find out more. But first! read on....



During a local SCBWI meeting this past weekend, Joyce Sweeney, author of 14 traditionally pubbed YA novels and mentor to 38 novelists, shared some of her expertise on things to do before and after you're published.

I'll share the ones I found most helpful:

* Craft is overwhelming. ( lol no kidding!) It may take years before you find the genre you're best at. In order to come up with fresh and brilliant stories, we have to do our time in the trenches. This means we're in for years of learning before we can truly start to market ourselves.

* 4 years of writing before breaking into the traditionally pubbed market is fast
  10 years is average. (wow)

* How long it takes, is no measure of how good you are. (love this one)

* You have the right to an answer when you send in requested work. Check back with agents/editors after a couple of months, and don't feel like you're bothering them. This is a business. Treat it like one.

* If you're getting rejections because agents/editors aren't connecting to your MC, it's probably structural. Get back in there and figure out why. ( I suggest watching all of The Plot Whisperer's videos on YouTube!)

* Once you're pubbed, you can't impact sales as much as you hope. Sometimes, it's simply the high concept that sells. Do what you can do to promote, but don't kill yourself.

* Have a market strategy that makes sense to who you are. If it's blogging, blog. If it's public speaking, speak.

* Be smart about what your brand is. After pubbing your first book, give readers something to associate with your name brand in your second book. Are you an adventure writer? Romance?

* Educate your family and friends on how the market works in order for you to be successful. Tell them they are helping you by BUYING your book. We are starving artists. We need their support by them spending a few dollars on our book.

* Plan for success, and don't forget to enjoy your journey. Each one is different, and there's no right or wrong path.


Thanks for stopping by! Anything to add? Do you disagree with any of these? Please share!

41 comments:

Cherie Reich said...

Those are great things you've learned. And it's so true about not being able to impact sales as much as you hope to. :)

M.J. Fifield said...

An alter ego themed costume ball? That's so awesome. I'd love to go to one of those. Well, I wouldn't but my alter ego sure would. Have fun!

Love the tips, especially the 'how long it takes' one.

Crystal Collier said...

A Witches' Costume Ball? Ohh, I want to come!

I completely agree about the Plot Whisperer series. Such a great resource. --And the writing time, 100% agree. I've known too many people who write a first book--pop it out in a year and expect to get a contract. Heck, I was one of those ten years ago. (Guess it's about time to get this career on the road.) Writing is such a skill of patience and development. There's always more to learn, and new ways to improve.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Great list. It's all just common sense, but needs to be reiterated regularly, because it's easy to forget when you're feeling insecure!

Isis Rushdan said...

I wish more people understood that they are helping by buying instead of asking for a free copy.

E.J. Wesley said...

These are brilliant! We're doing 'marketing NA' at the lit chat in a couple of weeks, and I'm bookmarking this to share.

Also going to check out the Plot Whisperer's... :-)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Excellent advice. 10 years? Sigh. I suppose what is good is worth the wait!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Very sound advice. It took me 25 years. LOL. I've always been a slow learning. Happy IWSG, PK!

Laurel Garver said...

Thanks for sharing these, PK. I especially like the one about a marekt strategy that makes sense to who you are. I love to teach and probably ought to be looking for more opportunities to work that love into my marketing plan.

Mama J said...

10 years is average? Eek!

Barbara Watson said...

Love the info, especially the tip about four years being fast and ten is average.

sydneyaaliyah said...

Great tips, but the 10 years gave me pause. But, no worries. I will stick with it.

S.P. Bowers said...

Love the info. I'm excited ten years is the average. I'm still hoping to bring that average down but it is a relief to know it's not just because I stink.

Linda Jackson said...

I agree with all the points. Thanks for posting. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I found what makes sense to me - I'm a blogger.
Some great tips!

Johanna Garth said...

Those are great common sense tips. In retrospect I feel like so many of them should have been obvious, but they aren't when you first start down the writing path. Thanks for sharing them PK.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've been writing for 28 years (literally as long as I could write, I've been a writer), and haven't been published yet. Part of it's my own fault, for giving up so quickly when I was querying years before. Now I realize it just wasn't time yet for me to become a published writer. A lot of great writers had to wait years before finding success.

Suzi said...

10 years average. Ouch! I guess I have a long way to go.

VikLit said...

Very sound advice and thank you for sharing it.

Karen Walker said...

What a great list, Pk. Thanks.
Karen

Brinda said...

I love those Plot Whisperer videos.

Old Kitty said...

Thank you for these very practical and sober points! What I'm getting from these is how it all takes time and effort and patience - so long as you work towards a goal and give it your all! Yay! take care
x

Roger Lawrence said...

Thanks for the tip about ten years average for breaking into the market. There might b hope for me yet.

Nick Wilford said...

Well, if 10 years is average I'm halfway there - that's a positive way to look at it! Some really great ones here. :)

Kim Lajevardi said...

Great IWSG post! All of the points you mentioned are especially important to remember during insecure weeks.

RHYTHM AND RHYME said...

Great advice thanks for sharing. Enjoyed the read,

Yvonne.

Cally Jackson said...

Very insightful advice. I like "How long it takes is not a measure of how good you are."

I like the weather change in October too - but here it's getting warmer rather than colder. Bring on summer!

I'm looking forward to seeing your photos of the party. I uploaded a video of me opening my first box of The Big Smoke copies in my IWSG post yesterday. Such an exciting moment! :-)

Mary Aalgaard said...

I love this one "Plan for success." It's the self-fulfilling profecy. If we plan for failure, we'll get failure. If we plan for success, we'll achieve it. Also, define success. It can be each sell. It can be a good comment. It can be sharing the story with someone who really connects.
Nice post. Thanks.

jamieayres.com said...

You are a wealth of information,girly!! THanks for sharing . . . I think a lot of us forget to enjoy the journey after working so hard to get here, and that's the most important part:-)

Shelly said...

Realistic points! But my family help. Ha! They're expecting free copies.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

http://www.shellysnovicewritings.blogspot.com/

Lynda R Young said...

"4 years of writing before breaking into the traditionally pubbed market is fast. 10 years is average" YIKES!!!

Kristina said...

Great post! Thanks so much for stopping by my GUTGAA entry this week.

sjp said...

great points, will have to remember those :)

Kittie Howard said...

Great tips, PK. Thanks for sharing. I especially liked the marketing part. Hey, enjoy that Ball.

sewa mobil jakarta said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Wisely said, Pk. I was lucky in choosing a genre. It occurred to me early on that I was always attracted to a certain type of story: lots of suspense, characters in emotional turmoil.

The last from the end has been the hardest part of being a writer. Educating my family... That two 2 published novels and a few awards before it sunk in that I can't give my books away for free. LOL.

William Kendall said...

Great tips, PK!

Donna Yates said...

Wonderful post, Pk. Thanks for the great information.

Barbara said...

I’m reading your posts in reverse order – having read the latest one I can see there are going to be lots of good things I don’t want to miss.

Looking forward to your vacation pics.

jaring futsal dan rumput futsal said...

Thanks for sharing nice information with us
jaring futsal | jaring golf | jaring pengaman proyek |
jaring pengaman bangunan | jaring pengaman gedung
http://www.toko-jaring.blogspot.com/
http://www.pusat-jaring.blogspot.com/
http://jualjaringpengaman.blogspot.com/
https://pancasamudera.wordpress.com/
https://pasangjaringfutsal.wordpress.com/
https://jualtambangmurah.wordpress.com/
https://tokojaring.wordpress.com/
https://jualjaringfutsal.wordpress.com/
https://jaringfutsal.wordpress.com/

Michael Twin said...

Nice Post, Thanks for your very useful information...