Book Nerd Guest Post
Ego, Deadlines, and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night
by J.T. Geissinger
And by this weekend???
Book publishing is a business, one with a bottom line all businesses share: profit. For the novice author with dreams as big as the federal deficit, this can be tough to swallow, but I learned a few things in my journey to publication that might save you a Tylenol or two.
1. Put your ego aside
Easier said than done, I know, but an absolute necessity. You must develop the hide of a rhinoceros and not only listen to critiques of your work, but solicit them. Critique partners and supportive/trustworthy friends will help you refine and revise your work until it gleams, so get it out there and let the feedback pour in. You’ll be a better writer for it. One caveat: there is a big difference between critique and criticism. If anyone ever says anything remotely resembling, “Your story sucks/you have no talent,” you should cut that person out of your life immediately and forever. Even if it’s your mother. Especially if it’s your mother! Naysayers are a black hole from which your ego might never escape.
2. Learn to write under deadline
Besides running out of Merlot, there really is nothing more terrifying than making the transition from a lackadaisical, whenever-I-can-get-to-it writing schedule to the totalitarian, you-will-produce-the-manuscript-or-be-shot deadline imposed by a publisher. Suddenly writing isn’t so much fun anymore. Suddenly it’s (gasp!) work. If you’re planning a career as a writer, give yourself daily or weekly writing goals, and stick to them. Write when you’re sick, when you’re tired, when you’d rather be watching Modern Family. Because once you get a publishing contract, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing. And by then your family will be accustomed to your absences.
3. Give up the deadly/soul killing/totally unachievable goal of perfection
Your manuscript will never be perfect. NEVER. There, I said it. The goal shouldn’t be perfection, it should be completion. Seriously, there are many saleable, unfinished novels gathering dust on shelves because the author couldn’t push through to the end without perfecting that one sentence, that one paragraph. Don’t allow yourself to get mired in the quicksand of perfection. Get it done, get it out there, then let it go.
4. Think like a CEO
That is to say, long term, big picture. If you’re going to have a successful, long term career as an author, you must deliver the goods (your work) in a timely manner (on deadline) in a pleasing, consumer-oriented format (unless you’re going to write very highbrow literary fiction, which almost no one will read) and it also has to stand out from the competition. How are you going to do that?
Research. Which in this case = reading. Read everything, within and outside your own genre. Get a feel for what works, what doesn’t and why. Then use it.
5. The Green-Eyed Monster
A final word about jealousy. Don’t allow yourself to go there. There are better writers than you. There are worse writers than you. There is room for all of us, because the public has such a huge array of tastes, and the market has niches both big and small. Jealousy kills creativity. Don’t try to write the next Twilight, the next Hunger Games, the next anything. It will always come off as false and the readers will know it. You can’t fool them! Don’t try to predict the next big thing and write for that. Write for one reason and one reason only: because you love it. And therein lies your soul.
Morgan is beautiful, smart, sexy…and about to die. Convicted of treason against her shape-shifting kin, she is given one last chance at redemption; discover the hidden lair of the enemy intent on destroying every one of her kind, or forfeit her life.
Xander is ruthless, heartless, cold-blooded…and assigned to kill her if she fails in her task. Expecting to feel nothing but contempt for the traitor under his watch, the assassin accompanies Morgan on her search, but as the two race through the heart of Italy while the clock winds down to zero hour, he finds himself drawn into a dangerous web of desire as powerful as it is forbidden. Their passion will test everything they believe in, and endanger the future of the tribe itself.
Sensual, edgy, and action-packed, Edge of Oblivion is a must-read for lovers of dark paranormal romance.