Not human babies, silly. More “word babies” — a.k.a. books. I cannot believe how many people write only one book and lay all their hopes and dreams on it. I never went that far, but I was guilty of putting my one book on through the submission process and endlessly obsessing over it for a long time before starting a new one.
THIS IS BAD!!!
1.) Most published authors can tell you that their first few novels were rejected before they made their big break. Stephen King had several novels and countless short stories rejected before he wrote CARRIE and became my hero. The fact is the majority of first novels fail. Most published authors didn’t land a book deal until their second, third, or even fifth manuscript. In my case it was my third. Don’t be disheartened. Your first manuscript provides priceless value in learning your craft. There may even be a few spare parts you can recycle.
Guest column by Brooklyn Ann, a lover of witty Regencies and dark
paranormal romance. Brooklyn Ann combines the two in her new vampire
series. Her debut novel, BITE ME, YOUR GRACE (March 2013,
Sourcebooks Casablanca) is in stores now. RT Book Reviews
called it “a charming debut,” while Publishers Weekly said, “Ann’s
breezy and entertaining debut features strong prose and interesting
characters.” Her second book, ONE BITE PER NIGHT, releases
in March 2014. The former mechanic turned author lives with her
family in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Find her at Twitter and Facebook.
2.) If you’re not occupied with another project and wasting your time stalking your one project, you might just do something stupid and blow your career.
Time spent stalking agents and editors online could be time better used writing your next project. Also, agonizing over rejections and waiting for responses provides unhealthy stress that can make some people snap and ruin their chances at landing a book deal if they publicly complain about rejections or the publishing industry.
Nothing is guaranteed in this industry. The only thing you have control over is yourself and your writing. Use that control to create a new world and new characters.
3.) You’ll never grow as a writer. To become great at anything, you need to do it a lot.
If you don’t write often, then you’re not much of a writer. How many paintings do you think Da Vinci did before the Mona Lisa?
I don’t have the exact number, but I know the answer is: tons. To become proficient at a trade, one needs to constantly practice and strive to make each work better than the last. Remember to keep writing and look to your earlier works to see your improvement.
4.) If all you ever talk about is your one “baby,” people are going to get bored quickly….unless it’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
We’ve all encountered those people who either have been promoting their one book for over a year, or worse, the ones who have been working on the same project for an eternity and a half. (That was me with my first novel).
This drives everyone crazy. We all despise redundancy and most people only prefer to read a book once. They will go even more insane if they enjoy your writing and you have no more forthcoming.
Even the big hit authors are not exempt. If Margaret Mitchell had other books perhaps her rabid fans would have calmed down a bit about Rhett and Scarlett. Of course, she died shortly after so we’ll never know.
Think of recent current hits. These authors were all anyone could talk about for a long time. Now we are sick of hearing about them because there’s nothing new to say.
5.) If your one “baby” dies, it won’t be so devastating if you have others.
Rejection can be crushing and nothing feels worse when you come to the realization that a novel you’ve worked on for so long needs to be trunked. The devastation was mitigated for me because I had a new novel in the works.
Knowing you have other stories to market gives you unbelievable confidence in this difficult industry.
6.) When you do get a publishing contract, it’ll likely be for more than one book. Nobody likes a one-hit-wonder….again unless it’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
When I received my first publishing contract it was for three books. However the editor was hesitant because I didn’t have any other books in the subgenre. I believe the fact that I had other books under my belt that swayed her decision in my favor. I have since completed all three books in that series and am working on finding homes for my other projects.
I cannot express how wonderful it feels to have written so many stories that have resonated with so many readers.
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Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:
- Why “Keep Moving Forward” May Be the Best Advice Writers Can Hear.
- Write to Express, Not to Impress.
- Agent Interview: Elizabeth Evans of Jean V. Naggar Literary.
- NEW Agent Seeking Clients: Sara Sciuto of Full Circle Literary.
- Sell More Books by Building Your Writer Platform.
- Follow Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter or find him on Facebook. Learn all about his writing guides on how to get published, how to find a literary agent, and how to write a query letter.
Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
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