My second novel, Finders Keepers, enters the world today, exactly 364 days after the release of my debut novel The Graham Cracker Plot. It’s like having back-to-back children, only childbirth was easier.
There’s a joke about being a mom to multiple children. It goes like this: When your firstborn drops a pacifier, you wash it in special sanitizing soap and then boil it for an hour before giving it back to your baby. When your second baby drops the pacifier, you rub it on your jeans and pop it right back in baby’s mouth.
You could look at it two ways. Are you learning and applying those lessons to the next baby? Or are you just overtired and lazy?
Here’s what I learned from my first literary baby, The Graham Cracker Plot:
1. Googling your name and/or book is like eavesdropping. You’re going to discover some mean stuff.
2. Constantly checking your sales rank/book scan totals on Amazon’s Author Central does not actually increase those sales. It also does not increase your self esteem.
3. You have very little control over what happens to your baby once it leaves the laptop.
4. The one thing you can control is your productivity. Stay off the Internet and get typing. That’s how the next book gets into the world.
5. The book world operates on seasons. You get a few months to shine. Then it’s on to the next batch of releases. So enjoy it.
6. You’re a writer, so write. You can – and should – promote your book, but you’re not a marketer, not a distributor, not a sales person, not a Search Engine Optimizer (whatever that is). Write. Keep writing.
7. Lean on your writer friends. They understand the ups and downs, the joy and the heartbreak, and the endless frustration. Everyone else just wonders when you’re getting the movie deal.
8. Thank your agent and editor, because they’re your partners. In my case, that’s agent Susan Hawk (Jenny Bent Agency) and editor Kate Jacobs. They’re brilliant and lovely, and I wish they lived in the Twin Cities instead of New York. Then we could have coffee and be a trio.
There’s more, but it’s my release day, and I’ve got some celebrating to do. Thanks for checking the blog.
And if you’re kind enough to buy Finders Keepers, consider your local indie bookstore. Those stores are the heart of publishing.