Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5 WOW Wednesday: Lessons On Launching a Book and Becoming an "Author"

COMPULSION is out in the world as of yesterday. Literally. It's in my nearest Barnes and Noble, and Target and Walmart and all kinds of lovely, lovely, lovely indie stores. Someone even tweeted a photo of it in the Philippines.

So how do I feel about becoming an "author"?

It's hard to be coherent, but in a word, I feel grateful.

These WOW Wednesday posts are supposed to be the one tip that published authors want to pass to other writers about what most helped us make the leap from aspiring author to published author. So here's my tip:

Hundreds of incredible people make it happen.

First, there are the authors who have written the books that inspired us to read and write. As authors, we have to be readers first. We have to love the genre we're writing within, and we need to know the  current books that are being published within the genre. Going on tour with a bunch of fantastic authors, I'm spending so much time fangirling, I can't even tell you how embarrassing it it. Here's me fangirling over Melissa Marr at our event on Saturday.

Next, there are the amazing people you meet on your journey. The people who become YOUR people. I am so lucky to get to share my debut weekend with my besties Cici and Carol, two wonderful women I met at my first SCBWI conference when I was just starting to write YA.

There are critique partners who read your manuscript in the middle of the night -- all night -- and reassure you when you doubt and find all the things that you can't see for yourself.  COMPULSION wouldn't exist without Jan Lewis and Susan Sipal. And they don't just let me thank THEM, they actually send *me* flowers. How crazy and lovely is that?

And then there are all the bloggers who wrote posts and created a community where I could actually learn how to write a novel. I've been learning from people like Lisa Gail Green, Julie Musil, Natalie Aguirre, Angela Ackerman, Becca Puglisi, Stina Lindenblatt, and sites like Writer Unboxed, Pub(lishing) Crawl, and so many others for years. I continue to read them, because they constantly teach me something new.

My agent, Kent D. Wolf, and Amanda Panitch, who first read the manuscript at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin, has been amazing. Annette Pollert, who acquired the manuscript and edited it for Simon Pulse, was beyond wonderful. And there are literally not enough words to describe how smart, lovely, enthusiastic, endlessly supportive, and dedicated the team at Pulse has been. From Mara Anastas, the publisher, to Mary Marotta, the VP and Director of Sales, who with her team worked miracles in getting COMPULSION to so many places, to Carolyn Swerdloff, the Assistant Marketing Director, who worked with the incredible marketing department to create an unbelievable campaign for this book, to Teresa Ronquillo who got so much blog coverage and handled our Compulsion for Reading campaign, to my lovely, lovely editor, Sara Sargent, who is basically an orchestra director pulling the best out of me and creating a gateway to everything that is this book. There is just not enough meaning in 'thank you' to express my gratitude.

The authors I've met along the way through blogging, who have been kind enough to share their experience and expertise. Words fail here too.

There are the fabulous authors who said kind things about COMPULSION. Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wendy Higgins, Claudia Gray, Kimberly Derting, Megan Shepherd, Kendare Blake, Kat Zhang, and Leah Cypess -- you have made ALL the difference in this book. SO much gratitude, I can't even . . .

My beyond fantastic blog partners, Alyssa, Lisa, Erin, Katharyn, Susan, Jocelyn, Becca, and Shelly.   The bloggers and readers who have helped spread the word about COMPULSION are the engine behind this book. THANK you! And I can't even begin to tell you how much joy and how many tears you have given me with your kind comments.

My street team! OMG, I love you guys! You're so amazing.

The readers who have come to our events so far, you guys ROCK. Being part of the Compelling Reads Tour these past four days has been a joyous, eye-opening, and uplifting experience. I've loved every moment, and can't believe how lucky I am to get to do it for two more weeks.

Kimberley Griffiths Little, Wendy Higgins, Martina Boone (me :)),
Melissa Marr, Leah Cypess at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA 

Wendy Higgins, Kimberley Griffiths Little, Jessica Spotswood,
and me at the Bethesda Library with Politics and Prose.
Most of all, there are the people who were kind enough to buy this book and help me spread the word yesterday, before yesterday, and hopefully today and tomorrow. Everything I've done so far on COMPULSION, every word that the characters speak and the actions they take, are now turned over to you. I love hearing from you, and I love sharing this story with you.

That's my second big tip for aspiring authors: understand that what you put on the page is only a fraction of what readers bing to it and take away from it.

Whether you're a reader, or an aspiring author, or both, I hope you love COMPULSION as much as I do.

Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me!




  1. Am learning so much from watching you debut. And it was so sweet of you to mention me. So excited for you! Hope you have a fantastic debut and tour. Awesome how you've connected with so many awesome authors too.

  2. Thank you, I need to fill myself up with success stories to overcome, the "it is so hard to get published these days," people (who don't actually write). I will check out those sites you recommended as well. And congratulations!

  3. Congrats on a great launch! I started reading Compulsion last night, and I'm loving it!

  4. I think blogger ate my comment from yesterday. Oh well. Martina, I basically gushed about how wonderful you are, and how deserving you are to have this moment happen at long last! And since I'm reposting my comment, I also get to add that I started the book, and can see already that YOUR BABY IS BEAUTIFUL. I am so very proud of you, my friend! <3


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