Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jill's Reality Check on Being a Multi-Published Author

Once you have a few books published, you may reach the place where you can sell a book off a synopsis and a few sample chapters. That’s what happened with my upcoming book Captives.

I turned in Captives yesterday. (Yay!) And now I get to wait and bite my nails until my editor gets a chance to read it and tell me what she thinks. An editor that I share with at least twenty people. And I’m not first in line.

This has been one of the most stressful experiences I’ve been through as a writer.

Why?

The job is so much busier now. Here are some of the ways:

-I’m asked to write faster and under a deadline. I've always been of the opinion that a great book needs time. But with a deadline, it's harder to find time to let the story grow.

-I’m asked to do marketing that cut into my writing time. Ex: Conference calls to plan marketing and publicity, radio and blog interviews, cover questions, title debates, making book trailers, social media, and lots of emails.

-I'm blessed to have two publishers, so I’m dealing with the above from two places.

-And while there are contracts involved, the check is in the mail. No compensation has arrived for the past four months of ten-hours-a-day work.

But that’s the industry. That’s what being a multi-published author is like. It’s a non-stop merry-go-round of ideas, proposals, offers, writing, marketing, editing, rejections, book signings, rewriting, sales (or lack of sales!), submitting new ideas, getting royalty statements, getting more rejections and offers, and writing more books.

All that balanced with your home life, friends, family, church. Whew!

Writing books is amazing. I’m so blessed to be able to do this job. But it’s a job that sometimes has a lot of pressure. This has been a reality check for me.

So are you ready? Is this what you thought it would be like?

A new contest starts on Wednesday, so be looking for it!

34 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Jill! Can't wait to see Captives in its beautiful book form :)

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  2. Whoop! Way to go Jill! I can't wait to buy a copy! :)

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  3. Exciting news on your next book! Congratulations!

    It sounds like the writer's life is much more than just writing!! Of course I knew that there was more invovled, like some publicity, speaking, etc, but I did not realize that there was THAT much!! Wow, way to go!

    I am really looking forward to participating in this next writing prompt! Thank you for doing them Mrs. Morrill; I can hardly wait to begin!

    Thank you!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, it can be pretty busy, but it's not constant. There are seasons of extreme busyness and seasons where life slows down.

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  4. Congrats, Jill, I'll be eagerly awaiting your next book :)

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  5. Congratulations on your next book!
    I also think a good book needs a lot of time to write, so it certainly seems very busy to have a deadline. How much time are you usually given to write? Do you still have time every day (or close to it) to write?

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    1. In my experience, you do still have time for writing - IF you protect it. Because the marketing stuff is something that you never get to mark off your list. And there's an impossible amount you COULD be doing (all the social media sites, all the different blogs you could be on, all the different local schools you can be contacting about visiting, etc.)

      During the weeks surrounding the book release, writing has to be shelved. (Again, this is just what my experience has been.) But usually I can at least get in a thousand words a day of writing or a scene or two of editing. Which is good, because I need it in order to stay sane :)

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    2. And when I said, "but usually I can get in a thousand words" I meant OTHER than the weeks surrounding the book release. When I reread it, I realized that was poorly phrased.

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    3. Stephanie, just wondering, do you write all your scenes in order or do you sometimes write scenes that are in your head at that moment and then piece them together?

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    4. I write mine in order. I tried one time to bounce around and it made revising a nightmare, so I haven't tried it again.

      If I have an idea for a later scene, which I often do, I'll jot it down, including any snippets of dialogue coming to me.

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    5. Ditto to everything Stephanie said. I could market all day every day and still think I needed to market more. For me, it's a hand slap thing. No, Jill! Back to the book!

      Yeah, I tend to stop writing during a book release too.

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  6. Great post! Congrats on your new book... and wow. That all sounds crazy. Insane, actually. But I kinda think despite all the hair pulling, in the end, every writer at every stage still will probably say something along the lines of, "A writer's life for me!", you know? XD

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    1. Yeah. I love writing. And I don't want to do anything else. Just so long as my daughter doesn't say, "Well, my mom was always at the computer." That's why I'm constantly seeking balance, because this can be a very addicting job. I've got to keep an eye on me...
      :-)

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  7. I used to have all these thoughts: "After I get my first book published, I'll be able to get a nice house with my cat and spend as much time as I want writing - or not writing - just what I want. I'll make big bucks selling my books, receive loads of fan mail, and never step foot off my property if I don't feel like it." Seems every day something wakes me up more to the reality that this is NOT what being a published author is like.

    At all.

    Thanks so much for posting, Ms. Williamson. I enjoy your contributions to GTW, and hope to get my hands on some of your books soon. :D

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    1. Thanks, Allison. :-)

      Yeah, I had those thoughts too. Until I got my first "paycheck." Ha ha ha. Don't get discouraged, though. If you love writing, that day could very likely come. But it will take a lot of investment and having several books out there at once.

      Unless you're sitting on the next Hunger Games, of course. Are you??? *grin*

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  8. I self-published my book, just for the sake of avoiding all the technicalities. :)

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    1. And that's fine, Stella, if that's the goal you've set.

      I always wanted to have my book on a bookstore shelf. And it took a very long time. But so does anything that's worth it, you know? Most people attend college for four years to earn a degree. So I put in four more years of learning to figure all this out. And it's been totally worth it. But the learning never stops for any of us.

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  9. Wow! And you're one person! But when you really love something you'll do anything to do it! Good for you, and I hope your book does well! Can't wait to read it!

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    1. Yeah... just one of me, thankfully, though there are many, many more living in my head... LOL

      Thanks, Michelle! :-)

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  10. A great big smile grew on my face as I read this post and I wanted to raise a hand in the air and say "Yes! Me! Me! I'll do it!"

    :)

    Congratulations and thanks for the reality-check that balances so well how blessed you feel and the big sigh of relief you released when sending in this book was finished. :)

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    1. Haha, Rachelle, I had the very same reaction! This is such a desire of my heart, I so hope God has it in His plan for me!

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    2. Just keep swimming, girls! Just like Dory the fish. (Pardon that random, Jill analogy.) And God will use you for amazing things! He's so clever, really. I don't know how he does it.

      *Stands in awe of creator.*

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  11. Lydia Grace HartMay 1, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Just finished To Darkness Fled - LOVED IT! Cannot wait to pester my sisters for the next one - aaah! Must say, it is extremely difficult to read books after I finish books like yours - you just can't compete with the way your books completely draw you in - the wording, characters, descriptions, I can't get enough! Congrats, btw!

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    1. I just finished the whole Blood of Kings trilogy, and loved it! :) Captives should be good!

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    2. Lydia Grace HartMay 2, 2012 at 6:10 PM

      Those books are FABULOUS, aren't they? :)

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    3. You guys!!! *wipes tear from eye*

      Thank you! What lovely compliments.

      This makes me miss Achan. Gah! Achan, where are you, and why haven't you given me more stories for your life?

      *sigh*

      I do hope you will all enjoy Captives... I hope my editor will like it! O-o

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  12. Good job, Jill! I was able to read the first chapter of Captives, and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to read more :)

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    1. Thanks, Abigail! We shall see if and how my editor wants to change it.

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    2. When do you think it will be released?

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  13. Published is something very much want to be, and I've known all along how much work it entails lol. I'm trying to enjoy the non-published realm right now, no deadlines and all that. :)

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    1. Yes! Enjoy the freedom of it, Jazmine! The deadlines are coming! Mwa ha ha ha! But that's not such a bad thing. :-)

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