Happy Publishversary to me! No, I didn’t coin that word, credit goes to a reader. I’m just borrowing it. Twelve months and three books later, here I am, an actual published author with a wonderful extended family, that includes readers, fellow writers, editors…the list goes on. I’m grateful and appreciate everyone that has become a part of my extended family.
And get this…next year, I actually start making public appearances. I’ve already booked three events. Gasp!
Back on July 21, 2014, my first novel The Scale was published. To my surprise, people actually bought and read the book. My first novel.
Now, you may ask why the surprise?
Well, here’s a list for you:
- Minka has major self-esteem issues
- She secretly pines for her twin sister’s fiancé
- She’s rather on the selfish side (At least I think so. Others might disagree)
- Then enters Jason—I’ll leave it at that (If you want to know what happened, The Scale is currently on sale for $0.99 until the end of August)
So what have I learned during this journey?
Well, people I may never meet have become my extended family. The amount of support I received when my father became ill and since passed away was out of this world.
Be kind and genuine. Social karma and relationship serendipity goes a long way. No one wants to feel like they’re being sold to or only cross your mind when you need publishing advice.
Build your own platform—this is all about long-term marketing, building your brand and a platform for your books. A big part of that is having a polished, interactive website. Always refer readers back to your website. Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media are great as well, but they don’t belong to you. Rules are always changing and one day any of these social media tools may not be around.
This is my current website: www.mikajolie.com but it’s still getting a makeover. Check it out and let me know what you think. While there, sign up for my newsletter so we can stay in touch.
When it comes to writing, as you write your first draft say yes to every new idea, this is not the time for self-judgement and being critical. Let your creativity flow! As my old English teacher used to say, don’t try to fix things as you write that first draft, it’s like trying to run and tie your shoe laces at the same time.
If your reader has to check the thesaurus every few words the meaning, power and beauty of what you are writing will be lost. By all means use an expanded vocabulary in your creative writing but show a little restraint. Readers want to fall into your writing, get lost in the world you paint – too many archaic words will get in the way. Though I must admit I have a thing for words like “Pulchritudinous”, “quaffed”, and “tincture”.
As for outlining—I am the worst! I say do what works for you. Some writers start with careful planning; others begin with a feeling or a single sentence and let it grow like crystals on a string. Sometimes work appear organically. Both methods work for different types of creative writers. Find what works for you!
Oh and there’s that whole marketing thingie…that may have to wait for my next publishversary.