Do your research. Know what the press publishes, what they’re looking for, who their editors are, what their contracts are like, and their history. It’s a tough market right now, tougher than it’s ever been, and if you want a publisher, be sure it is one standing on solid ground.
Speculative fiction author Christine Rains has a wide variety of interests and four degrees to prove it. She’s a woman who wears many hats, as a writer, blogger and geek mum. She’s published in a wide range of genres but always finds herself drawn to the supernatural. We catch up with her to talk what-if questions and book marketing techniques that work.
I realized it doesn’t matter how brilliant a book I write, it doesn’t matter if I wrote a Pulitzer winner, someone will hate it. In fact, lots of someones will hate it. I had to learn to let go of some of my need for affirmation, put my head down and do my work.
After receiving her first bad review fantasy author Devri Walls did something unusual. She pulled up every one-star review she could find on Harry Potter and read them all. It was a turning point. She came to the realization that not everyone is going to like your book and that’s no reason to quit.
Even if you’re lucky enough to be published by a large imprint, you’ll have to do some self-promoting. Gone are the days of being able to hide and only pop out when you have a new book. You have to keep people constantly aware of your existence.
Multi-genre author and screenwriter M Pepper Langlinais always loved making up stories as a child. Now with a long list of varied writing projects, she chats to us about her beginnings as a scriptwriter, trial and error book marketing and the dangers of writing advice overload.
It’s not always physical or social isolation that affects writers, it’s the isolation of being misunderstood... Sometimes the non-writers among us might not “get” what it is we do, or they don’t understand that staring at the wall and daydreaming is a legitimate part of the creative process.
Young Adult author Rachel Rust, creator of the Escape series, begun her love affair with writing while penning her first short story in first grade. We chat to her about approaching publishers with bravado, the value of beta readers in strengthening a plot and writing as a family affair.
Just write. Even if you think it’s going nowhere. Even if you think it stinks. Even if you’re convinced that no one in their right mind would ever, ever want to read it. Because you certainly can’t prove yourself wrong unless you try.
Georgia-based Young Adult author Lindsey Ouimet on drawing inspiration from great stories, the power of perseverance and finding the perfect publisher.
No one has lived your life and sees the world the way you do and that’s what you have to express to publishers. Highlight whatever makes you unique. Write the story only you can tell. Different is good. Weird is better.
Megan Gaudino, author of the Guardian Kiss series, describes herself as a mixture of black clothing, iced coffee and a desire to go adventuring, the sort of combination that naturally forms a writer. She talks about getting her start on Wattpad, bleeding onto the page and reading as much as you write.
You can't please everyone. Everyone has different tastes; that's what makes the world an interesting place.
Alice Rachel, author of the Under Ground series, is a native French writer now based in the United States. She discusses the value of writing for yourself first, how imperfect characters bring a story to life and the need to be authentic.
Writing is my release. When life gets tough, it lifts me. When life is good, it enhances my happiness. It allows me to explore worlds I could never touch with my hands; to comb through thoughts I could never vocalize.
New York based author and poet Sophia Elaine Hanson on approaching publishers, building a loyal reader following and continually evolving as an author.
The writer’s life is one of constant adventure. There will always be a need for great stories, so finish writing yours!
‘After the publication of my debut novel, The Truth About Awiti, I had nightmares that the wrong file was uploaded. I also had nightmares that readers would receive books with blank pages. I can laugh about it now but it was terrifying at the time.’ - Author CP Patrick on nailing your elevator pitch, nightmares post-publication and the difficulty of finding your audience.
It wasn’t until my early twenties that I stopped saying “I can’t” and started doing it. I have been writing with fervent passion ever since. Sometimes we are the biggest thing holding ourselves back.
As a child, Jennifer Wilson loved stories but struggled with reading. She was a painfully slow reader and had issues with dyslexia. It wasn't until in her mid-teens, when a persistent friend convinced her to read the Harry Potter series, that Jennifer found her love for the written word. She is now the author of the New World series, a dystopian YA tale, with the third novel due for release later this year.
I’m inspired by a love of words and how descriptive they can be. I’m one of those who highlights beautiful sentences in books or rewinds an audiobook to hear just how melodic a certain set of words sounds.
As an unabashed lover of all things happily-ever-after, Shaila Patel's younger self would finish reading her copy of Cinderella and fling it across the room because it didn't mention what happened next. We were thrilled to sit down with her and talk about treating your writing like a business, the benefits of networking with other authors and adjusting to setbacks.
My history is no longer mine to keep; it's a story that needs to be told.
Hoàng Chi Truong is the author of TigerFish, an autobiography of growing up in a war-torn Vietnam and coming of age in America as a refugee. She shares her tale to advocate and raise awareness to the issues of refugees in America.
If you want to do it, just do it. As with anything in life, the only way you’ll ever accomplish something is if you pave the road for yourself.
Utah author J. Kowallis, creator of The Enertia Trials series, on channelling Shia LaBeouf’s ‘just do it’ tirade, formulating endings as she writes and viewing criticism as an inherent part of self-improvement.
You don’t need a degree or workshops to write. I’m sure they help most people figure out the craft of writing but it won’t make you a better writer. Only you can do that with practice.
Ohio-based Justin Chasteen is the author of several published short stories and yet to be edited novels. He holds a bachelor degree in Creative Writing yet argues the best way for an author to improve their craft is to write. He talks to us about building character before plot, the benefits of writing short stories and eliminating procrastination with a daily word count.
It wasn’t until My Lea did I finally look at my writing as something more. It’s not just a hobby. It is me. Writing is who I am.
Indonesia author E.Mellyberry entered her first writing competition at the age of ten. Yet it wasn’t until years later than she began to publish and recognize herself as an author. She told us about embracing the isolation of writing, connection through social media and bringing your own voice to your work.
The percentage of authors that explode in the market right out of the gate is very low. We all secretly hold onto hope that we’ll be an overnight success, and while it’s okay to keep that little dream nugget close to your chest, it’s best to have a solid plan built for readership reach as well.
Award winning author E.J Mellow on how a high school fairytales class inspired her to start writing, recommendations for securing an agent and the importance of reviews in increasing readership.
‘Never give up. Even when life gets in the way and every writing door seems to be slamming, never stop writing.’
Advice from genre-hopping, multi-talented author Diana Anderson-Tyler, who fills us in on her life-long passion for writing, parting ways with her first literary agent and how she seeks to find a balance between creativity and consumption.