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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far

Published authors share their best tips and advice on how to get published, how to find a literary agent, and how to be sell more books.

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far: Augusta Scattergood

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2. Pay it forward. I was lucky. When I decided to try my hand (no pun intended. No, really) at writing, one member of my newly-formed critique group had done a favor for another writing friend, now hugely popular, famous, and very, very kind. My own friend passed along my first manuscript to her, and I am eternally grateful. Whenever possible, share all the goodness others have bestowed upon you.

GIVEAWAY: Kami is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Elizabeth Garner won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far: Jane Higgins

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Jane Higgins, author of the acclaimed YA debut, THE BRIDGE) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning.

GIVEAWAY: Jane is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: threetuis won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Trebor Healey

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3. Use public transportation and talk to strangers. There’s a wealth of material out there on the bus. It’s where I learned about dog exorcism and the training regimen of a boxer. You can even try out your own characters with random people. You can be anybody on a bus—it’s quite liberating. Use it as a classroom and approach people who you might never meet in your daily routine. And listen, listen. I guarantee you if you just ride a bus around for an hour, a short story or two will emerge.

GIVEAWAY: Trebor is excited to give away a free copy of his novel, FAUN, to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: LynnFlickinger1 won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Noelle Sterne

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1. After all the time, send-outs, get-backs, and hard work, the ecstasy of acceptance is fabulous and tear-filled. Let yourself scream, cry, feel the nervous soaring rise in your chest. If you can share it with someone, all the better.

GIVEAWAY: Noelle is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: leeannniazi won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Carolyn Marsden

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1. Participate in other art forms. While writing is indeed an all-consuming, infinite endeavor, it can be helpful to engage in other art forms as well. Any kind of creative enterprise helps keep the flow of creativity vibrant and strong. Plus the guiding principles of all art are basically the same–theme, light and dark, repetition … For me, dance and painting/collage inform my writing and push it in new directions.

GIVEAWAY: Carolyn is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Rendon won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Emily Hainsworth, Author of THROUGH TO YOU

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2. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals. As in many aspects of life, it helps to have friends working toward similar goals. I didn’t know anyone else who even wrote YA when I started out, but I quickly found supportive friends beginning their publication journeys, just like me. Almost every one of the people I met back then now either has an agent or a book deal. You can boost each other up the rungs of the ladder—you don’t need someone at the top to pull you up. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far: Kami Kinard

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from kids writer Kami Kinard.

GIVEAWAY: Kami is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Ardent Muse won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Eric Griffith

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Eric Griffith, author of BETA TEST.

GIVEAWAY: Eric is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Kimmyjewel won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far: Joanne Brothwell

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Joanne Brothwell.

GIVEAWAY: Joanne is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Simeon won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Megan Bostic

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from young adult writer Megan Bostic.

GIVEAWAY: Megan is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: SJ Mitchell won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Mike Mullin

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from YA writer Mike Mullin, author of the ASHFALL series.

GIVEAWAY: Mike is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: LovesKangol won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Leah Bobet

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Leah Bobet, author of ABOVE.

GIVEAWAY: Leah is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Zephyrsaerie won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by K.M. Ruiz

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1. Be Patient – The whole hurry up and wait aspect of the publishing industry is so very, very true. You will be waiting on agents, while on submission, through the editing process, right up until release day. Sometimes there will be little flurries of action (Cover! Blurbs! Reviews!), but for the most part, keep an eye on the book working its way toward reality and know that when it arrives, you might actually miss the lead up.

GIVEAWAY: K.M. is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Lisa won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Suzanne Johnson

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1. Outline, outline, outline. I wrote ROYAL STREET front to back, beginning to end, with a lot of meandering in between. Said meandering bits got hacked through multiple revisions. Meandering wastes time. I learned quickly that if I’m going to hold down a full-time day job and expect to write multiple novels in a year, I have to be a plotter, not a pantser.

GIVEAWAY: Suzanne is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: annabelle2024 won. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Emmy Laybourne

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Emmy Laybourne, author of MONUMENT 14.

GIVEAWAY: Emmy is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Lina won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Steven Raichlen

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Steve Raichlen.

GIVEAWAY: Steven is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Carol won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Olivia Newport

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Olivia Newport.

GIVEAWAY: Olivia is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Kaylyn won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Melanie Gideon

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1. Don’t Google yourself. It can only lead to heartbreak. If you simply must know what’s being said about you and your work in the blogosphere, get a friend or spouse or sibling to do periodic Google searches for you. But, and this is very important, insist they curate. Suggest they say things like “Gosh, I don’t see anything but five star reviews. Okay, maybe a few four stars sprinkled in.” Suggest they don’t say things like “Why does @gogirlcrunchy hate you so much?” Tip: don’t be in the same room when said loved one is doing Google searches. And if you are in the same room, do not, I repeat do not look at the expression on their face as they scan the results.

GIVEAWAY: Melanie is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Heather won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Nina Benneton

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from novelist Nina Benneton.

GIVEAWAY: Nina is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Jami G. won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Katharine Quinn

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from historical fiction writer Kate Quinn, author of historical romance novels.

GIVEAWAY: Kate is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Tammy Nischan won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Chuck Greaves

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from mystery writer Chuck Greaves.

1. Nobody Knows Anything. It’s an article of faith in Hollywood that nobody knows anything. Which is to say that even the sharpest producers, the most talented directors, and the biggest A-list stars will invariably attach themselves, at some point in their careers, to a real stink-bomb. Or will, conversely, pass on what proves to be a nine-figure box office smash. What I didn’t realize was that the same holds true for publishing. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Kirk Russell

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from crime writer Kirk Russell.

One of Kirk Russell’s earlier crime novels, SHELL GAMES: A JOHN MARQUEZ CRIME NOVEL, has been selected by Amazon for promotion in its Kindle Daily Deal on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. For one day only, this ebook will be priced at just $1.99. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Miranda Kenneally

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from YA writer Miranda Kenneally.

1. Writing is still hard. Just because I have an agent and a book deal doesn’t mean that all my writing is supposed to come out perfectly the first time. Writing is still very hard work, no matter who believes in your raw talent. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Samantha Vamos

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1. If your manuscript doesn’t sell and you’ve done all the editing you believe you are capable of doing, set the manuscript aside and begin another. My first two books, Before You Were Here, Mi Amor (Viking, 2009, illustrated by Santiago Cohen) and The Cazuela That The Farm Maiden Stirred (Charlesbridge, 2011, illustrated by Rafael López) were each written years before they sold to their respective publishing houses.

GIVEAWAY: Samantha is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; you MUST leave your e-mail with the comment or else we will not be able to contact you; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: Colleen won.) Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Heather McCorkle

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from YA writer Heather McCorkle.

GIVEAWAY: Heather is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within one week; you MUST leave your e-mail in the comment somewhere or else we will not be able to contact you; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail; international winners will receive an e-book. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Dawn won.) Read more

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