Any writer building an author platform knows it takes time, effort, and patience. Sadly, too many first-time authors publish a book without building a strong platform and then wonder why their book doesn’t sell. Too many authors who hope to interest a traditional publisher are shocked when they receive rejection after rejection because they lack a professional network or public presence.
Twitter’s trending topics is enjoying a resurgence of #literarytypos, an exercise in changing a letter or two in the title or well-known line of a famous book to create a groan-worthy variation. If you haven’t already done so, join the fun over at Twitter—or better yet, add your own in the comments below!
“If you knew the world was going to end in two days, what would you do?” the writer Sara Davidson was once asked. “Take notes,” she said without hesitating.
That’s me. The world as I knew it had ended, with a painful divorce I hadn’t seen coming, and I’d done what I’d always done to make sense of things. I took notes.
Many years later, perusing those notes, I could never pull myself away. “What a great story,” I kept thinking. “What an interesting way of putting a life back together from scratch.” By then I’d become a radio journalist, interviewing experts on career change. What struck me, thinking of my own career transition, was how much I’d accidentally done right.
Are you afraid you could never make a living by writing? Do you feel like an imposter when you call yourself a writer? In January I wrote a blog for SixtyandMe.com (which I later updated and posted here) about my fear that I couldn’t make a living as a writer.
That’s a topic many of you have written about; I’m not the only person who has hesitated to follow a dream.
The best comment I received, though, was from one of my editing clients, author and nationally syndicated radio personality Maureen Anderson, who wrote, “I love [your] piece! Would you like to join me on the show to expand on it? It would be a fun way to get to know each other in a different format.”
Was there something you really, really wanted to do when you were younger, but you walked away from it because you didn’t think you could do it?
I wanted to be a writer. I loved to write. I mean, I LOVED it. I kept diaries; I had literally dozens of pen pals all over the world. I crafted short stories that I believed would someday win awards. Writing was in my blood.
I kept my dream of writing professionally to myself, but when I was in high school and exploring college programs, I floated the idea. “You can’t make a living that way,” advised my guidance counselor. “Why don’t you do that in your spare time?” suggested my parents. “Earn a degree in something that will pay the bills” was the message I received.
So I entered college with the intention of earning a business degree . . . and dropped out after almost two years and before attaining an Associate’s degree because I was tired of going to school. I wanted to get on with living my adult life. But I always regretted that decision, and twenty-five years later Continue reading “I Was Afraid to Be a Writer”
The self-publishing authors I work with understand that a professional team of editors and designers are needed to create a quality book that can stand out in a competitive marketplace.
But what happens when the cover you choose hurts instead of helps your book? Do you stick with the cover you and your designer worked so hard to create, or do you go back to the drawing board?
Brigitte Nioche, author of Getting Over Growing Older: A Humorous Memoir of Discovering the Challenges of Aging, faced that dilemma several weeks after her book was published. In celebration of the re-release of her book, she’s agreed to share her story with you:
I believe we all judge a book by its cover! Viewing a book’s cover is like getting a first impression when meeting a new person—that first impression tells us if we want to see more or not.
It is the same when we browse in a bookstore, or even when we scan the pages of Amazon. A cover or title either catches our interest, or we pass over that book.
Several weeks after its debut, I decided to change the cover of my recently published book, Getting Over Growing Older. If you saw it on Facebook, Twitter, or on my blog, you will remember that it prominently featured a picture of me.
If you’ve been blogging for a year or more, you’ve received this notification:
In my case, it’s been four years since I began sharing on WordPress. Like many bloggers, I had great intentions and planned to blog frequently … and those great intentions often went out the window when life got in the way. For some people, blogging slows down because they run out of things to write about. Anyone who has worked with me and has received one of my epistles will tell you that finding something to write about isn’t usually a problem for me. 😉 Continue reading “Four Years of Putting Myself Out There in Cyberspace: Happy Blogging Anniversary to Me!”
Several years ago I was lucky enough to work with Eva Lesko Natiello, who hired me to help her polish her debut novel, The Memory Box, for submission. We were both disappointed when she wasn’t offered a publishing contract, but Eva isn’t one to let rejection stand in her way. Quite the contrary: she set out to learn the business of editing, and she did an amazing job. Her perseverance not only brought her legions of fans (check out her 90+ Amazon reviews!), but also a spot on the USA Today Bestseller list and now a spot on the New York Times Bestseller list! I couldn’t be happier for this amazing writer, and I invite you to read her amazing story:
When I self-published my book, admittedly, it was the last resort. It was the backup plan if I had failed to sell it to a trade publisher. I promised myself that if I could…
Eva Lesko Natiello is the author of NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestseller, THE MEMORY BOX, a psychological thriller about a woman who Googles herself and discovers the shocking details of a past she doesn’t remember.
Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.