When I look back on all the stuff that was firing at me during the time I was trying to figure out how to go from being a writer to a published author, I can think of 10 key things that were the most helpful in the road to publication:
1) Not all rules were meant to be followed. In other words, just because one publishing path worked for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for another. Be flexible. Be open. Investigate all publishing options, be it traditional or self-publishing or a combination of both. For me, I chose the traditional route.
2) If choosing a literary agent, choose wisely. Use all the resources available to investigate before you query—Query Tracker, Publishers Marketplace, Writers Market, other writers, etc.—to research the agent and literary agency that will be right for you. Remember: you should choose an agent with whom you can have a long-term relationship, someone who’ll stick by you when/if your first book doesn’t sell or doesn’t sell right away. Make sure you’re choosing someone with a track record of sales. If you’re choosing an agent that’s new to the business, make sure it’s someone with an established agency. If that agent maintains a blog (and most of the good ones do), follow it to get a feel for the agent’s style and personality.
3) Keep writing. Always be thinking about (and writing) your next book and your next book after that, even as your book goes out on submission. Your sanity will thank you.
4) Write every day. Enough said.
5) Make sure to have a life outside of writing. Oftentimes when you get sucked into your story and you can’t seem to break away from your laptop, remember it’s important to stay connected—with family, with friends, with other writers, with your pets—whoever makes you happy.
6) Don’t follow trends. In other words, don’t just write a werewolf book because werewolves are the cat’s meow at the moment. Write what’s in your heart. Trends come and go. Maybe you’ll write something new and exciting that’ll start the next trend! Be bold.
7) Pay it forward. The publishing world is small and karma is very real. Be kind. Be a human being. Get to know your fellow writers and others who work in the publishing community—editors, agents, bloggers. Help where/when you can. You’ll be glad that you did.
8) Social media, it’s here whether you like it or not. Establish yourself in all of the usual places but, for the love of god, do not spam people. Do not talk to people as “followers.” You’re not building a cult. You’re trying to foster relationships. If you can’t have fun at it, don’t do it.
9) Have at least one critique partner. And, no, I do not advise that the one person is your mother. She’ll love everything you write. You need someone who can give you honest and constructive feedback.
10) If you don’t love writing stories, choose another profession. You’ve got to love what you do, particularly in this field. Whoever said that you needed thick skin to survive wasn’t kidding.
About the Author
Liz Fichera was born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois. She moved to Phoenix, Arizona, after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cactus and people who’d never seen snow. She was wrong. It certainly didn't hurt that she met her future husband in Phoenix too.
Most of her stories are set in the American Southwest because she thinks the desert is a cool place. Living in Phoenix, she's surrounded by Native American culture and influences, not to mention intriguing Hohokam petroglyphs and centuries-old canals. There are over 20 tribes in Arizona and she's lucky to be neighbors to the Gila River and the Salt River Indian Communities.
When she's not busy writing her next novel, she likes to travel, visit museums, support local theater productions, hike, and pretend that she's training for a triathlon. She posts a lot of photos from her desert and mountain hikes on her Facebook and Twitter pages. In no particular order, she's been chased by javalinas, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and even one curious black bear.
Visit Liz's website
Check out Liz's blog
About the Book
Get hooked on a girl named Fred…
HE said: Fred Oday is a girl? Puh-leeze. Why is a girl taking my best friend's spot on the boys' varsity golf team?
SHE said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate me—especially Ryan Berenger.
HE said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green? That is crazy bad. Fred's got to go—especially now that I can't get her out of my head. So not happening.
SHE said: Ryan can be nice, when he's not being a jerk. Like the time he carried my golf bag. But the girl from the rez and the spoiled rich boy from the suburbs? So not happening.
But there's no denying that things are happening as the girl with the killer swing takes on the boy with the killer smile…
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