Monday, January 23, 2012

Bloghop & Book Review - Your Path to Publication

BLOGHOP

Great bloggy friend (and future Mrs. Maine) Sheri Larsen is hosting the Rebel Writer's Pledge 2012 blog hop (link). It's about sharing our goals for 2012.

I never do resolutions. But I decided on January 1, 2012, I wanted to shake things up this year.

What better way than to make a resolution?

So my goal for this year (as far as writing goes) is to view writing books as a career and not as a hobby that might turn into something.

That means being more deliberate about my choices. Less passive. I know, you're thinking, "You were being passive?" Well, sort of. Yeah.

So there you go! And my new, "career" attitude is a great segue into the book I'm about to recommend.

BOOK REVIEW

[Note: Some of you remember Murray Dunlap (link). Murray is a great southern writer, and his book Bastard Blue (link) is on my Kindle. Heads up: the opening voice is absolutely riveting. After I plugged it here, his publisher Kevin Watson of Press 53 sent me a different book to review. So that's the disclaimer.]

But I wouldn't be giving it a super-A+ review if it didn't deserve it.

Your Path to Publication: A Guide to Navigating the World of Publishing by Kim Wright (link) is the book I wish I'd had back in January 2010, before I sent out my first query for my first-ever novel.

Most of us now know how to query and find an agent, but if you don't, the chapters on that subject will give you the steps to do it. Get it if you're just starting that process.

(My only quibble is Wright doesn't mention Querytracker.net, which I think is the #1 most invaluable tool for querying writers. Even if the comments occasionally devolve into wound-licking rejection-comps, for the most part they're a great way to know which agents are responding, how fast, to what, and what they're saying.)

Back to Wright's book. For me, the most gratifying passages had to do with the "what to expect after" portions of the story: after you have an agent and/or editor, after you get a book deal, after your book comes out.

Information like that is hard to find, and I felt like I was chatting with my favorite, wise aunt about her experiences.

She even has an informative chapter on self-publishing (or indie authors) that answered many of the questions I had about that process, from the different options, to price points, to print v. electronic-only versions... It was eye-opening.

Finally, her words of encouragement really soothed my self-doubty little writer's brain. I highlighted almost every other sentence on my Kindle, but passages such as, "False barriers abound, and people who believe in them can drag you down," and "[Writing is] one of the last noble quests people can go on..." really hit home for me.

It felt like my path to publication.

Her story at the very end about the sun tea at the writer's colony made me misty--LOL! I'd never considered a writer's colony before--I'm not a princess! But now, I'm feeling like that's my new writer-dream. Making it to one of those.

Wright has a fun, humorous style and even great advice for how to respond to negative reviews. (Can you guess what it is?)

Seriously, writer-friends, buy this book. You don't know you need it, but you do. And it's a steal for Kindle at $3.99.

Here's the link to the book again (link) and to Wright's website (link). She has several other titles out, fiction and nonfiction.

BONUS!

Last word for the week, and I'll get out of your hair. If you haven't heard, our awesome poet, rock star, and novelist friend Jessica Bell (link) has the Kindle edition of her poetry book Twisted Velvet Chains on sale for 99 cents.

Jessica has such a gorgeous, engaging, and raw style, both in her poetry and her prose. And her music! Get TVC and get ready to lose a day. Here's the link.

Have a great week, reader- and writer-friends! More soon~ <3





50 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

Sounds like a great book to invest in. I'll check it out.

Jessica Bell said...

Just put Murray's book on my wish list :o) Thanks for the shout-out honey. xoxo

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing about it.

SA Larsenッ said...

You are too sweet! Thanks for that plug and encouragement. Changing our mindset and viewing being an author as a career instead of a hobby can make a huge difference. It's a confidence builder. Good for you. Adding this goal to our writer's pledge! (I'll post them all soon.)

Old Kitty said...

Yay!!!! Off you go along your amazing writerly path armed with the bestest writerly tools out there!! Go, go, go!!!

Take care
x

Sarah said...

It does sound like an excellent book--and treating writing as a career is an excellent resolution. It changes the mindset for sure.

Stephen Tremp said...

Thanks for the review! I've seen this book on a few other sites. I'm going to download it and read it after I finish up a couple books I'm into.

Kelly Hashway said...

I'm here for the Rebel Writer's blog hop. Viewing writing as a career is a great goal. I'm a new follower.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That does sound like a great book. I needed it when I first decided to be a writer.

Great goal! I already viewed my writing as a career. It's my parents who still view it as a hobby (geez, it's not like they've gone to any national conferences lately for THEIR hobbies). Fortunately my husband is more supportive than that. :D

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

great mind frame!

Pat Hatt said...

Sounds like a great and useful read.

Not sure I view it as a career, as right now I just view it as getting the ideas out of my head, but more keep coming..lol...maybe I should think more on that.

Matthew MacNish said...

Too much good stuff!

Pk Hrezo said...

Excellent goal for 2012! I did that last year... embraced the author title for myself, even if I'm not truly getting paid for it yet. It's the mindset.
That book sounds great, thanks for mentioning it!

Clarissa Draper said...

Great resolve for 2012!

Thanks for the book review. Sounds like an awesome book.

Meredith said...

Oooh, I think I need this book. Thanks for the recommendation!

Carolyn Abiad said...

Kim Wright is a fellow Charlottean.:) Way back when, she was a guest speaker at the Womens' National Book Association Bibliofeast. She encouraged me to come out from under the desk - and here I am!

Thanks for the info on her latest book.

Tracy Jo said...

Great resolution. Sometimes, that is all it takes. Thinking about something different and like Terry and I always say...we just need to get out of our own way. :-) Just added the book to my list. It sounds perfect for me because at times I feel so lost on my next steps or even first steps!

Heather said...

That's an excellent goal. Once you embrace that, you know you've stepped onto the right path to reaching the dream. :)

YelenaC said...

Looks like an intereting goals. You have a great resolution, good luck with it this year!

Kim Wright said...

Thanks so much for featuring my book, Leigh!

Lydia Kang said...

Great resolution! It's been a more conscious thing for me too. :)

LisaAnn said...

Love this post, and what a wonderful resolution. This is a huge distinction we need to make, and I'm proud of you for putting it out there! :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

$3.99 is a steal. Sounds like a great book to have. Thanks!

I'm not big on resolutions but I do like to set some personal and professional goals every year. Oh wait. Same thing, huh? LOL

M Pax said...

Sounds like a great read. I'll have to see if it comes in an epub variety.

Cool on the blogfest and congrats to Jessica.

DEZMOND said...

Interesting...

Lisa Gail Green said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I like your resolution. I feel like it did a lot for me (mentally) when I made that decision as well.

Colene Murphy said...

I think as far as resolutions go, that is EXCELLENT! I need to do that myself.

LTM said...

@Kelly--Welcome! I do think it's a definite mindset change. It's subtle, but necessary, I think. :o)

@PK--Right! I'm not sure if I'm doing "author" until I have a book available to buy, but you're right. And the book is awesome.

@Heather--You said it! :o) <3

@Yelena--Thanks! :o)

@Kim--Loved the book. Great work. You made me feel so encouraged. :o)

@Lisa--You bet! And I think that's the thing. It's a mental switch. More soon~ <3

Kris Yankee said...

That's a great goal. I often don't think of my writing as a career - just something that I have to do. Good luck!

Mark Murata said...

I just downloaded Kim Wright's book on my Kindle for PC.

Laura Pauling said...

That book does sound extremely helpful. There are so many aspects of this business/journey that we don't fully get until we experience! But it's nice to know what to expect.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I think visualizing yourself as a published author is a great idea! I'm working on my health for more than one reason...I want to look nice when I go on my book tour. (wink)

Jessica's poetry is really good. I bought her book when it first came out. Well worth the money for a paper version and extremely good value for the e version.

Sophia Chang said...

I am really excited for you about this pledge! I'm all about going pro in as much as possible! :)

Lynda R Young said...

I'd not heard of that particular book. It sounds great. I'll have to get that one :)

April Plummer said...

You know, I just recently, when I decided to self-publish, looked at my writing as a career. My day job, the one I hate sitting behind a computer for 8 hours a day doing the Federal budget, is what helps pays bills. Yes. BUT. WRITING is my career. It's my love, my passion, and it's what matters most. I think, if you're going to make one goal, that is a great one!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Thanks for the rec! I'll add it to my TBR. :)

Bish Denham said...

Okay, that seems like another book on writing I need to get. Thanks for the tip!

Christina Lee said...

Sounds good! AND I have Jessica's poems--WOOT!

amo said...

I know exactly what you mean about being more deliberate in your choices. I call it "taking myself seriously" (without taking myself seriously, if you KWIM). To say "Yes, I *am* a writer" (or whatever it is we're trying to be) and not just downplay it to "I do a bit of writing on the side"; and then make choices accordingly. We can't expect others to take us seriously if we don't ourselves.

Janet Johnson said...

Sounds like a great/helpful book! The what to expect after stuff IS hard to find.

And kudos for you for deciding to view writing as a career. I haven't made that conscious decision yet. I think I'll be there soon. :)

DL Hammons said...

Nope....not seeing it. Leigh...passive?
Nope!

:)

Ella said...

Wow, sounds like just want I need...
Thanks for sharing and Congrats on the resolution, the path is paved for you. Follow the road to your dreams :D <3 555

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Leigh
That book sound great. I have done a lot of research, mostly by trial and error into self publishing as you may guess. I think persistence is key and offering specials until readers discover you and then hopefully they will search you out. I bet a I can learn more from that book though. Thanks,
Nancy

Shannon said...

Great review. And I LOVE your resolution! Great way to approach reviews. <3

Hart Johnson said...

I think you've got a great resolution! I should probably make a more intentional plan, too. Sounds like a great book, too.

Theresa Milstein said...

I love the attitude you have about writing now. I've had a similar epiphany. Nothing is going to stand in my way of making room for it everyday. I can't use a full time job or a grad class as an excuse to make me lose something that's part of my well being and something I'd like to get paid to do full time someday. If I don't invest now, it'll never happen.

Thanks for the book info. I'm going to look it up now.

Michelle Merrill said...

This is a book I need right now! I'm getting ready to query for the first time and I'm all nerves :)

As far as resolutions go, I put mine on my blog a while ago. I want to write two more books (one already done), revise three books, and get an agent...oh, and also work on whatever my agent wants! Kind of a big list, but I have all year :) Good luck with your career goal, sounds like a great one!

Melissa Sugar said...

Sounds like a great book, Leigh. I am going to get it now along with Jessica's. Thanks for letting us know. Also thank you for putting a button/link on your sidebar to my contest.

I just sent you an email. Be on the lookout for it so it does not go to spam. It is from sugarlaw67@yahoo.com.

walk2write said...

I am so backwards (sigh). I still don't have a Kindle. When I do, though, both of these books will wind up on it. I know I can trust your reviews to be right on the mark.

Your advice in the previous post was right on too for me today. Thanks, Leigh!

LTM said...

@Kris--thanks, girl! I write for a living, so it's easy for me to say, "I'm a writer." It's the "I'm a novelist" that I cough on. :D

@Laura--I got several lightbulbs from it. I was amazed. You're right. There are so many questions we don't even know to ask on this journey. :o)

@April--Bravo! (a?) That's exactly what I'm thinking, too (see up there, my comment to Kris). There are things we do to eat and then things we do to live. Yes? Thanks, girl! :o) <3