Like most wanna be authors, I went into this whole idea of writing a book – and getting it published – with a sweet naiveté akin to a toddler approaching a pit bull that was trained by a backwoods psychopath.
All it takes is a great story, well written, with likeable characters and some good imagery, right? A wonderfully intelligent and inspired publisher will pick it up and – voila! – I’ll have myself a contract, with plans for publishing the whole series.
Oh, how wrong I was. There’s so much more to it. First there’s the editing process, which I am beginning to realize could go on for years. Every time I reread a passage, I want to write it a little bit differently. And, as I’ve received reviews from a few friends (which, fortunately, were generally very promising), I recognize still more passages that need improvement.
Then there’s the question: to agent, or not to agent? I was blithely on the path toward submitting to publishers without an agent, but then a talk with my friend Kyra Jacobs made me doubt the wisdom in this. So, I’m now in the early stages of researching and querying agents.
Another thing to consider: Publishers want an author who already has a national platform. My blog gets an average of 375 hits a day, about 80% of which might actually be people. Honestly, I can’t imagine who these 300 people are.
Did you hear the echo? Try it yourself. I swear there’s an echo.
Seriously. Sometimes I don’t think anyone’s really out there. I’m convinced that I have five friends who read the blog, but perhaps a publisher can be convinced otherwise?
Honestly, though, when I looked at my numbers today and compared them to those from a year ago, I realized that my traffic has actually increased by about 2.5 times. Do I have the national platform publishers want? I’m not sure. But, I’ll celebrate the growth, and thank the readers who are out there for their ongoing support. (Now, would you please, please, pretty please add a comment, so I know you’re really out there? I swear I hear crickets chirping.)
Regardless, I need to continue to grow this platform, so now I’m researching how to increase blog readership.
Then, there’s the fact that my hubby isn’t a big fan of my “work” that has yet to bring in any real money, so I also need to make a better effort to monetize the site. How to do that? (Note the new Google ad. My old blog was still somehow drawing in a few pennies a month from a Google ad, even though I haven’t posted to it in a year and a half, so I figured I’d better throw one on this site as well.)
Then there’s the fact that I need to get out and network with other writers, to share in the joys and sorrows of this biz, learn from them, and hope that – maybe – they can even learn a little something from me. I think I’ll enjoy this aspect of author life, but for now I’m just struggling to figure out where, how, when, and with whom I should do it.
So, that’s the reality of writing. It’s one tenth creative art and nine tenths research, marketing and administration. The creative art fills me up to overflowing, makes me feel that I am fulfilling my purpose in life, and using my God-given talents for His glory. The research, marketing, and admin part sucks me dry, uses up what little spare time I possess, and leaves me feeling that I’m peddling and peddling but my tires are bare and I’m going up the road to Mt. Evans.
Don’t worry, I’m keeping the faith. I believe this is God’s work, and He will provide everything I need. Nonetheless, I ask for your prayers, encouragement, and any advice you may have to give!
P.S. Thanks to my friend, author Kyra Jacobs, who has very generously shared her time and knowledge with me. If you enjoy a good romantic suspense novel, grab a copy of her book, Armed With Steele! The cover may seem a little steamy for my readers, but I promise it’s quite tame by romance standards! 🙂 And as an added bonus, it’s set in my hometown of Ft. Wayne, IN!
And, yes, that’s an affiliate link. Monetize, right?