Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Confessions of a Publishing Noob - Happy New Year!

I've been writing for a long time. Submitting? Not so much. I'm learning a lot, and the more I learn the more I realize that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. In the past year and a half I've completed two novel manuscripts, five stories, finaled in American Title IV, sold one short, joined RWA, sent out 32 submissions and made what seems like 483 faux pas. Yeah. Proofread more than once, guys.

I'm at the beginning of a long cycle of writing and submitting. Compared to the rest of the wonderful women I'm blogging with, I'm a mere baby in the process. From where I stand now, publishing is a strange and mysterious mix of strategy, foresight, logic and luck. On one hand, it's scary. On the other hand, the challenge is too compelling to deny.

By the end of the year, I aim to have two more completed novels, a few more shorts, and have something out on submission at all times. My word count goals are on the calendar, my files are clean and organized, and I feel eager to dive right in. To keep help me on task, I'm going to make myself accountable to others for my progress. The hubby does a great job as a daily word count policeman. My crit partners and I keep track on a larger scale. This year, to help put it all in perspective, I'm also going to report in here once a month with accomplishments, interesting research facts, and the inevitable duh moments that I tend to leave in my wake as well as the hard lessons that result from them.

I'm ready - ready to make this year even better than the year before. To write more. To learn more. What about you, Title Magicians? What's ahead for you in 2009?


Trish Milburn said...

Sounds like you have a good plan for the year, Mel. I think constantly learning and improving and always having something out with publishers is very important. Good luck!

For me, I have two contracted books to complete for Harlequin American, some revisions on my second YA, and I hope to sell into the paranormal market and perhaps a second line at Harlequin.

Evonne Wareham said...

Anyone who calls me a wonderful woman gets my vote! Your plan sounds fabulously organised, Mel. I have a plan - but I keep changing it. One thing I do want to do this year is get a website. If I do we can have an ATIV launch party.

Mel Hiers said...

Hiya Trish! Geez, your productivity always makes my head spin! Good luck to you too. Keep us posted!

Hey Evonne! I think plans need to be mutable. Because without a crystal ball, we really don't know what'll happen in future, right? And a website launch party sounds fun! I need to update my site - it's way too dorky. :-D

Anonymous said...

Accountability is a great idea! Without an outside push or some kind of consequence, like deadlines or a nagging partner, I find I tend to let things slide. First rule of writing success: ain't nothin' gonna get published iffn you don't write it first.

For 2009 I've vowed to sell a novel or die trying. To increase my odds, I figure I'll need to market at least 5 or 6 just to get one "yes". (I have a lot of drafts sitting in the closet, so this isn't as scary as it sounds. Or maybe it is. Check in with me again around September.)


Mel Hiers said...

"First rule of writing success: ain't nothin' gonna get published iffn you don't write it first."

I'm going to put that up somewhere! :-D Some days you need all the motivation you can get. Oh, Pat! Snake in the Glass was awesome!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the "Snake" love. And speaking of which, somebody please write a romance between a woman and a snake shapeshifter. I want to read the love scene but don't want to write it. I'm talking to you, Sav.


Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, gosh, Mel, what good organization. I know you'll hit that right combo and become published.

I'd luv a launch party for your website, Evonne.

Trish, great going and keep on truckin' or publishing!

Pat, I know there's at least one romance snake shifter story out there...I wish I could remember the author. There was a recent discussion on The Haunt and Midnight Seductions chat loops because this other author was thinking of writing a snake shifter story.

And truth to tell a Rattler has been making it's voice known...just a tiny bit, though...we'll see???