A warm welcome to the lovely Claire M. Caterer, whose middle grade novel The Key & The Flame released just last week!
First of all, let me say thank you to Rachael Stein for hosting me today on The Book Muncher! She asked me to talk a bit about the publication experience today, which turned out to have a few surprises. Here are the four truths about the biz that I’ve learned on my publication journey.
1. Publishing is really slow.
Years ago, I dreamed that someday I’d get the Call from an editor, we’d work on my brilliant manuscript, and within six months, my book would be on the bookstore shelves.
Between finished manuscript and bound book, it was 3 years and 4 months—10 months to find an agent, another 10 months of revisions with him, 2 months to get the Call, and 18 months from there to bound book. And I’ve heard it taking longer than that—much.
2. They get excited about your work.
This should have been obvious, but I was unprepared for how pumped my editor was about my book, talking about my characters as if they were real people. When I had lunch with her, she uttered a very un-kid-friendly expletive about how gorgeous the cover was. Maybe publishers of adult lit are jaded; I don’t know. But kidlit pub folks really love books.
3. Promotion costs money and time.
I knew I would be responsible for a lot of the promotion for my book. But I didn’t realize how much time and money that would entail. A professionally designed website, printed bookmarks, travel to conferences or book festivals, swag and other items for giveaways—these are costly. But the time it takes to organize and purchase it all is enormous. I don’t do nearly as much blogging, Tweeting, and Facebooking as some authors I know, and yet I have spent nearly as much time on promotion as I have on writing.
4. A network is essential.
Meeting people is hard for me. That’s why I stay in my room and talk to imaginary people on paper all day. But in a fit of writerly enthusiasm, I joined the Lucky 13s, a network of kidlit/YA authors debuting in 2013. The writer’s life is a lonely one, and when you’re pubbing for the first time, the journey is bewildering. No matter how supportive your mom or spouse or dog can be, they won’t really understand what you’re going through the way another writer can. From advice on writing, revisions, web design, book trailers, and changing agents to just offering a shoulder to cry on when it’s all going to pot, the Luckies cover it all. This road would have been so much harder to travel without them.
And now for a contest! Claire is offering a giveaway of a Fab Bag o' Swag with signed bookplates, stickers, tasseled bookmarks, and a charm bracelet to (1) lucky winner!
- US mailing addresses only.
- Contest ends 4/15/13, at 9 p.m. EST.
The blog tour continues tomorrow at GreenBeanTeenQueen, where Claire will talk about how one city’s library was her anchor during the early writing years. Get the full blog tour schedule right here.