Thursday, June 25, 2009

What it's taught me... by T. Lynn Ocean

My Best Advice for Aspiring Writers… following the theme this month for the blog, I'll give it a go. I recall—and it wasn't that long ago—being crazy excited to learn that my first book had been picked up. I did the happy dance. And then I learned that I didn't have a clue about much of anything in the publishing world. If you're an aspiring writer, or a newly published writer, you may not either. But, seriously, don't let that stop you!!! My fifth novel, SOUTHERN PERIL, is due out this week. And the more I've learned over the years, the more I realize I still don't know. Hey, it's a process.

First and foremost, if you love to write then by all means, do it. Read a lot of whatever genre you want to write. Go to writers' conferences and mingle with those in the business. Subscribe to some applicable blogs and magazines and podcasts. But most importantly, sit your butt down at the computer and pound out some words until you've formed a story! It's never gonna happen if you're not actually…WRITING J

My other advice is that for newly published folks: learn how to self promote. Figure out how to market and sell your work (without spending a ton of your own money). Even if you're with a major publishing house, you'll need to be creative and stay on the ball looking for avenues to sell your book. Network. Get blurbs. Traditional book signings are great, but think outside of that box. Your publisher will do some promotion, but you' must be willing to pitch in. Sell yourself and your books. There are a lot of choices in the bookstores—plenty of ways for people to spend their dollars, in other words. Figure out how to get a bigger share of those dollars.

Personally, I love to write and I get grumpy if I'm NOT working on a project. I haven't made it to the big list yet. And even though that's my hope and my goal, my main priority is doing what I enjoy. Write because you love it.

Cheers, T. Lynn Ocean

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