Five Ways to Spring Forward

It’s March and spring is almost here! *peers out the window at snow banks and frozen sidewalks* Or at least that’s what they tell me. This week we’re talking springing forward on The Ball, more specifically, looking ahead at a future in publishing.

So much in writing, at least when you first start, seems to focus on getting that first book published, either finding an agent and getting a publisher, or finding the freelance resources you’ll need to put out a professional self-published book. All attention is given to that first book.

But what happens after you’ve released your first book baby into the wild?

hippo

Chances are, you started writing because that’s what you want to do for a living, so writing one book is never the end. Here are five things to keep in mind as you spring forward yourself.

1. Write another book, preferably in the same category as your first at least in the beginning. “But I want to write what comes to me! I don’t want to be pigeonholed,” you scream. Trust me on this. When you first debut, readers pick up your book not because they recognize your name, but because they want to read that type of book. Obviously, you want these people to also buy your next book, so you should write something similar. You probably won’t keep a lot of readers if you write a steamy historical romance for book one, then publish a gory horror book for book 2. So put some thought into the kinds of stories you want to spend a lot of time with. It doesn’t mean you can’t switch categories later, it just means you need to have a little consistency to start off a career.

2. Learn to balance multiple projects: You’re going to need to be able to plan, write, revise, and launch different books at the same time. It can get overwhelming, so make sure you’re on a publishing schedule you can maintain. And don’t forget to have a life in there somewhere, too.

sheldonstressed

3. Keep reading: With all those projects at different points, it’s important to keep reading, too. One, it’s essential to good writing. Two, you should keep up with what’s being published in the genres you write. If a slew of ninja-pirate rom-coms have swamped the market, then you should probably wait before writing yours.

4. Make writer friends: Having friends that know the ins and outs of life as a writer is invaluable. If I could add another caveat, I’d recommend having friends who have both more and less experience. You’ll learn so much from those who have been through it all before, and you’ll gain clarity by sharing your experiences with those newer to publishing.

5. Connect with your readers: All of your hard work is worthless if you don’t have readers. They are why we do what we do, so make sure to interact with them, be it online or in person. The internet makes it so easy to build a community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or even your own website. Schedule contests and events. Make it easy for them to share their excitement for your books.

So, dear reader, those are a few of my thoughts looking forward. What about you?

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Amy Reichert

Amy E. Reichert is the author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE (Simon & Schuster/Gallery, July 21 2015), about food, love, and second chances, and where serendipity comes in the form of a delicious coconut cake. Find out more at amyereichert.com.

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Author: Amy Reichert

Amy E. Reichert is the author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE (Simon & Schuster/Gallery, July 21 2015), about food, love, and second chances, and where serendipity comes in the form of a delicious coconut cake. Find out more at amyereichert.com.

4 Replies to “Five Ways to Spring Forward”

  1. Great tips, Amy – and all 100% true! Especially the part about building a support structure with writing friends. The writer’s life can be difficult, especially in the early years of a career (who am I kidding…I don’t think it ever actually gets “easy”) and it’s so critically important to have friends walking the path with you!

    1. Thanks, Susan! I already find that having writer friends is crucial to survival. There is just too much to know beyond just writing the words. And it’s people like you and your amazing publishing law tips on Twitter that make it a little easier for the rest of us!

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