1. You can’t hide under a rock and just write.
Sadly, I thought I’d publish my book and then go back to writing. Marketing, who needs that? Who even knows what it is? I soon learned that even though I aspired to be a recluse author like JD Salinger, it’s not going to sell any books. Initially I said I’d never have a blog, never have an author photo, and never do twitter. Yup, got them all now. I can’t say I understand marketing yet, but I’ve learned a lot about social media and I’m trying. I’d still rather just write, though.
2. Outdoor events? Expect bad weather.
My first author appearance was at an outdoor book festival. It poured rain. We all looked like drowned rats once we made it to the booth and there was literally a small river running through the back of the tent. At least my books were dry. Not too many people showed up. In some ways, the weather helped because I wasn’t nervous at all by the time I did my reading because I didn’t expect anyone to be there. Next time I’ll be sure to wear boots, though.
3. The editing process is hard.
I’ve been a technical editor for more than 10 years. I know how to write and I thought my book was pretty good. But working with an editor prior to publication is a whole different level of editing. Getting my manuscript back with notes on every single page was disheartening to say the least. It was embarrassing how many times I repeated the same phrases. How could I miss those things? But in the end, the process was really worthwhile and my book was much better for it. With any luck I’ve learned a few things that I’m applying to my current work in progress to make it easier to the next time.
4. People do judge a book by its cover.
I’m not good at visualizing. It was hard to imagine how I wanted the cover of my book to look. I’m fortunate that my publisher gives authors a good deal of input into their covers and employs some really talented cover artists. I love the finished product. Other people seem to also, since I’ve had a lot of compliments on the cover. A great-looking cover does make a difference, and every little bit helps.
5. Fans are cool.
Every author loves an audience. While not everyone will like your book, it’s heartening to get good reviews and hear from individual readers who like your book. That’s a big reason to keep writing!
Cindy Young-Turner has always been an avid reader and became fascinated by mythology and Arthurian legends at an early age. She quickly decided she enjoyed creating her own worlds and characters and set to work writing her own stories. She won her first writing contest at age twelve, a local contest calling for stories written in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. Cindy believes genre fiction can be just as well written and valuable as literature. The universal themes of love, hate, revenge, and redemption are present regardless of whether our characters live in the distant future, on other planets, or in fantastical realms. Her first novel, Thief of Hope, reflects those themes and shows that even a downtrodden pickpocket can become a leader in the fight against oppression.