This month marks my first full year as a published author. My debut novel A GOOD EXCUSE TO BE BAD released this time last year, the sequel SOMEONE BAD and SOMETHING BLUE releases in two weeks, and book three sits on my editor’s desk being edited as I write this post to you. In honor of my small anniversary I wanted to share some helpful truths about this first year to you.
- Know when to pick your battles with your editorial team
- Have a flexible and jolly attitude about your story. After you turn in your finished manuscript your editor will come back to you with a list of edits they would like for you to do, in order to make a better book. Be cool about it and make the changes. The quicker the better.
- But don’t be afraid to defend certain important things. For instance in my state we called the middle part of Georgia “Middle Georgia.” However, I had a copyeditor who kept wanting to change Middle Georgia to “the middle of Georgia.” I had to express in a respectful and firm way that that phrasing must stand. So know when to pick your battles.
- A lot of hands and eyes will be in your book. Yet, some mistakes still don’t caught. So you have to drop what you’re doing and comb through the pages. Usually you get a few weeks or less to read through that. Don’t take it lightly.
- One of my biggest mistakes this year was not communicating with my editor at the right time or at all. My mom had become sick and I foolishly thought I could care for her, my family, my business, and write a thriller. Really?! What I should have done was contact her the moment after my mom was diagnosed and talked to her about what was going on. Instead my health suffered and my story. I know I could have written a better story if I weren’t stressed with that looming deadline on my head. She gave me the extension and helped me to write a better cleaner novel. So Don’t make my mistake. Keep your editor in your loop. Be realistic about what you can do.
- You need to know if you have one or not, so that you can identify any shortfalls you will have to catch in your own marketing campaign
- You also want to work with them on your campaign. They are pros at this and can shed a new light on how your book is perceived to your reader.
- If your PH doesn’t have a publicity department, then build a relationship with sales and marketing. They will use the same marcomm (marketing communications) to sell your books to distributers.
- Public library systems are on a strict budget. They are going to acquire books they believe their patrons will read. If you want to get into your local library, you will need to connect with the collections department manager and the branch manager. And be prepared it is going to take a while.
- Promote that event a month before it happens. Folks won’t know you’re there unless you blow the trumpet early.
MIRANDA PARKER is the Kensington Books author of the Angel Crawford Series: A GOOD EXCUSE TO BE BAD (July 2011) and SOMEONE BAD and SOMETHING BLUE (July 2012). She has appeared at the 2011 National Book Club Convention, the 2011 Decatur Book Festival, the 2012 SC Book Festival and has been featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, RT Book Reviews and Publishers Weekly. She also contributes to THE BIG THRILL and is the Social Media Person for ITW’s Debut Author Program. Visit her at www.mirandaparker.com.
If you would like to join the International Thriller Writer’s Debut Author Program please click this link.
If you would like to contribute to THE THRILL BEGINS contact Miranda at mparkerbooks at gmail dot com or Twitter @itwdebutauthors