Thanks very much Authors Promoting Authors for letting me play in your sandbox today. I write erotic romance as E. Jamie for both Amira Press and Sugar & Spice Press. My first published work was an erotic historical short story called To Love A Knight. Now since then I have published a few more short stories, a novella and a full length novel. You can find out more about me and my books at my website www.ejamie.net
It's been roughly a year since that first acceptance so I thought I would pass on to all of your lovely readers what I have learned in my short time as a 'published' author. In no particular order of importance, here are the top five things I have learned this past year.
1. You'll never be published if you don't submit your work. It sounds like a no brainer but there are 'writers' out there who dream of being published yet never send in their work. A publisher is deluged with submissions every day. They don't have time to seek out your brilliance. If you have a story that will make them salivate and praise they angels, you have to make the first contact.
2.A rejection does not mean you suck and should burn your book. I read a post from a successful author on a message board whose most recent submission got rejected, by her own publisher! Even established authors get rejected. So what do you do when you get that dreaded 'no'? You submit somewhere else, again and again until you get a yes.
3. Sometimes a rejection doesn't mean you suck as a writer, but your writing might. The best thing for a writer next to an acceptance by a publisher is a personalized rejection. If a publisher takes the time to tell you what's wrong with your book, that means there was something about it he/she liked. You are not beyond hope. If you just fix a,b, and c you might have a sellable manuscript on your hands. So take that rejection and get to work fixing a,b and c and then get it out there again.
4. Patience is a virtue. Yes, I just heard your teeth grind. But really if showbusiness is the 'hurry up and wait' business, publishing is the 'submit and wait and wait and wait business. I've been pretty lucky in that I've worked primarily thus far with smaller presses so the waits aren't as long as the bigger NY pubs but waiting is waiting. Look at it as a gift of time. There's no better feeling than having a manuscript come back (ideally with a yes but even if not, send it out again!) and having a new one ready to go out. The more manuscripts you have out, the better your chances of acceptance so while you wait to hear on Book A, get to work on Book B!
5. How sucessful your book is is directly proportionate to how much promotion you do. Even the bigger pubs have authors doing their own promotion. granted, their marketing budget is considerably larger than smaller presses but the fact remains that an author who sells her book will make more money than one who sits back and just expects the money to roll in. I've noticed in months where I work more on promotion, sales are higher than on months that I don't do as much. It really is a numbers game. You get out what you put in.
So those are just a few of the things I have come to learn about this crazy but wonderful business and I hope that you guys get some encouragement from them to get your own work out there and then get busy working on your next one!
In celebration of my latest erotic short story Top Guns by Sugar & Spice Press: http://www.sugarandspicepress.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=37
I thought I'd give one lucky commenter a free copy! Here's a wee blurb:
It all started with a bet. Now Allie has to fulfill her partner Jimmy's every desire. Being Allie's partner on the force at the NYPD, Jimmy's greatest desire is for Allie to be his partner in life as well, and this by the book cop is not above getting down and dirty to convince her.
Just comment or ask me a question about something I may not have covered here and if I know the answer, I'll be glad to help! I'll pick a winner from all entries on Tuesday!