What you NEED to be told BEFORE publishing

What I Wished I’d Known before I Published
Part Four
Juliet Madison – Start planning promotional strategies and writing blog tour
posts for your book before you’re published, as these can take up a lot of
Marci Nault – I wish there had been a manual handed to me the day I signed my contract – a published author boot camp. In it, there’d been a list of book bloggers, groups for writers, and wonderful advice by authors who’d been through the process. When The Lake House was coming out, I must say I felt like I was three hours late to a very fancy party where everyone was wearing their finest and I showed up in hiking boots, jeans, and a t-shirt. I didn’t know about Facebook groups or even book blogging. But luckily so many authors took me under their wing and led me to the knowledge I needed. Of course, by then I was about three months late with beginning the promotion of my book and being on top of where ARC’s went out and to which reviewers. So my advice, find published author groups as soon as you sign that contract. Those writer’s will be your saving grace! And realize that the book blogging world is wonderful and they love sharing books so cherish and thank these people with all your heart. 

Ron Fritsch –  How much of the same advice I’d hear repeated over and over: editor, cover, marketing, social-networking, etc. I’m not saying the advice is wrong. It’s a question of how many times one needs to hear it.

Jane Starwood – 1. Never publish a first or second or
even third draft.
2. Line up good beta readers. (Not your mom.) You need people who
will be brutally honest with you about what works and what doesn’t. Ask for
detailed responses. When you get them, consider them carefully, then put your
manuscript away for at least a couple of weeks. It’s hard, but starting another
book is a great way to distract yourself. When you come back to the first book,
you’ll have fresher eyes to see what changes you need to make.
3. If you’re new to writing, take as many courses and workshops as
you can before you attempt a novel.
4. Writing well is hard work, unless you’re a certified genius. I
don’t know any of those.
David A. Tatum – Heh. Having just done this for the first time…
You can do all your homework to plan for and expect all of the big
things, but don’t overlook the minor things you should have learned from
everything else you do on the internet. Like your settings changing slightly in
Createspace when you use their Interior Designer, causing a minor error that
can delay acceptance. Or caching issues in Smashwords if you accidentally
upload a defective file the first time causing your ‘replacement’ upload to be
the same defective file. That sort of thing. Don’t let these frustrations get
to you — most of them can be fixed, and with little effort.
Oh, here’s another one:
The self-publishing industry can change on you in just a couple
months. Find several blogs of professional veterans, both indie and trade, and
keep up with them.
I’d recommend the blogs of PassiveGuy, Dean Wesley Smith and
Kristine Kathryn Rusch, ex-agent Nathan Bransford, and the Writing Excuses
podcast featuring Howard Tayler, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowel, and
Dan Wells. 
Keep in mind that these people aren’t perfect, either — they have egos, can sometimes get locked in a particular way of thinking themselves, etc., so keep looking for new sources as well.

Mike Cooley– I would add Scalzi’s blog to that list and probably Konrath’s. My tip is: go over it and over it until it’s fantastic, then pay an editor to go over it again. Oh, and don’t take one person’s opinion as gospel. You can drain the life out of a story trying to please everyone. It’s not possible to please everyone.

Cheryl Shireman – Hire a great editor. Hire a great editor. Hire a great editor. Oh, and – hire a great editor!

Rikki Strong – Not everyone who receives a copy for review will leave a review, same with everyone who buys a copy of the book or downloads a free KDP copy (for me, with my four books out now, the sales to review average is somewhere between 1% and 5%). Some reviewers also have a very long TBR list. Whatever you do, don’t keep bugging them about it every time you see them, or they may keep dropping your book tot he end of the list.

Karen MartinDon’t wait to start social networking until you have a book ready. Get your FB page up and running, start figuring out Twitter, Goodreads, etc. Start blogging. Start making connections. Otherwise, you’ll have a finished book on your hands and nobody to tell about it.

Just an ordinary day for Karen Martin

A Day in the Life of…
Karen Martin

Well, first of all, most of my writing time
isn’t spent writing novels, and my average day of writing is never average! I
never know what I’m going to be working on next, as I get new assignments from
my clients all the time. I write both fiction and nonfiction for a wide variety
of educational publishers, such as Scholastic, National Geographic, and Oxford
University. One day, I’m writing nonsense poems for 2nd grade, and
the next day, I’m creating the index for a university’s book on bio-terrorism.
It keeps me on my toes, but I like it that way. I love learning about new
things, and my work keeps me researching constantly.

But on a typical writing/work day, here’s
how it goes:

9:36 am (approximately) – Wake up, after
having been up late last night reading some book I just couldn’t put down,
brainstorming for my upcoming novel and/or novella, or playing Jurassic Park
Builder because I was too wired to sleep. #WorldsWorstSleeper

9:37 am – Stumble 16 steps to the “office”
and prep a one-cup of extra bold, boot up computer. Proceed to social media, do
not pass go, do not collect $200. Spend way too long putzing around on Facebook,
Twitter, Amazon KDP, Smashwords, Goodreads, my blog, emails, and Pinterest.
Cook and eat breakfast in there somewhere.

10:45 am – Realize I need to get down to business
if I want to get any work done today. Sigh, and click open the folder to my
external hard drive, where I store all my current work projects. Check my work
email to make sure there are no urgent client messages I need to return, then
get down to work.

11:45 am – Make lunch for Mom. (She lives
with me in her own little suite in the house.) Back to work. No lunch for me
yet; I just had breakfast.

2:15 – When the weather is nice, take a
turn around the neighborhood with Mom to get some exercise, not to mention take
a break from computer eyestrain/get some sunlight so I don’t start looking like
one of those no-pigment-having creatures that hide away in caves at the bottom
of the sea their entire lives. Twenty or thirty minutes later, back home and
back to work.

4:30 pm – Look up and realize it’s time to
make dinner for Mom. Some days we dine together, and some days I keep working
through the dinner hour.

8:30 pm – Wrapping up work for the day
because I’m too cross-eyed to see the screen anymore. At this point, I may be doing
“work” work or personal projects:  blog
posts, writing or editing my next creative piece, formatting a new book to
upload to the internet, checking up on any marketing promos I’m currently
running (such as blog hops or Rafflecopter contests), and so on.

9:00 pm – Spend an hour or so chilling with
Mom, watching the shows we can both stand to watch together:  The Paradise, The White Queen, Two and a Half
Men, American Pickers, Castle, Chopped, and Flea Market Flip are a few of the
usual suspects.

10:15 pm – bubble bath, hot tub, and/or back
to the computer for a stretch of evening productivity that sometimes lasts
until 11:30 or midnight. Usually working on personal projects at this time, as
my brain is too fatigued to do the intellectual heavy-lifting required by most
of my work projects.

11:45 pm – head to bed with an e-book or a
tree-book. Read until sleepy, fall asleep. Or, get a second wind and read

2:30 am – at which time I force myself to
turn off the light. Meditate, hoping brain will cooperate and settle down into
slumber. But some nights I’m up until…

5:30 or 6:00 am – If I’m really wired, I’ll
hit the computer again. I finally fall asleep around bird o’clock, but still
invariably wake up around 9:30. On days like this, I take a long nap in the

Rinse and repeat, occasionally throwing in
date night or an evening out with friends to break up the routine.

Glamorous, no? 



Kate Adams has it all figured out. Five years out of college, she’s got a steady job, a home she loves in the big city, and good friends who always keep her laughing: her stylish but nosy roommate Evette, happily-married Cecie, and of course, good old Mitch, her seriously cute co-worker who’s been stuck in the Friend Zone since the day they met. 
Everything is going just fine—until the night Kate crosses the line with Mitch, and the boundaries between friendship and love begin to blur. Things get even more complicated when hunky JP enters the scene. What’s a girl to do? Add to the mix a spunky little pug Kate never expected to fall for, and her neatly-ordered life is starting to look more like a dog’s dinner. Maybe her roommate has the right idea after all: forget the men, and stick with a canine companion instead. 

It’s time for Kate to figure out what she really wants in life. But can she dig her way out of the mess she’s created before she ends up permanently in the doghouse?

E. Martin, M.Ed.
 is a full-time freelance writer/editor. She has
been in the publishing business since 2004, working on books and publications
for major and independent publishers, universities, businesses, and private

Prior to entering the field of publishing, Ms. Martin worked as a
Senior EFL Fellow (English as a Foreign Language) for the U.S. Department of
State in Romania, a Junior EFL Fellow for the U.S. Department of State in
Jordan, and a teacher-trainer for the U.S Peace Corps in Mauritania, Jordan,
Romania, and Morocco.

Ms. Martin served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two
years, teaching English in the Errachidia Province of Morocco. 
Modogamous is Ms.
Martin’s first novel.


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Excerpt from Modogamous

Chapter 1

Chapter 1 ~ Keepin’ It Kate: “A New Year, A New Reason to Jump Off a Bridge”

~January 3~
Crappy New Year’s, folks!
Oh, don’t mind me. It’s just been a bit of a rough week.
“Come on, Kate. Surely it can’t be that bad,” you say.
Well, that’s very kind of you. But yes, it can be that bad.
“Why’s that?” you say.
You know, the usual. I got fired. My boyfriend dumped me. And I think I may have lost my best friend, too. ‘Cause I’m an idiot like that.
Pardon me while I wallow for a moment. **sigh**
Okay, moment over.
On the up-side, I wrote a special poem to commemorate the occasion, just for you, dear Readers. It’s a bit late for the Christmas theme, I know, but what the hell. I’ve messed everything else up lately, anyway. What’s one more screw-up to add to the list?
Would you like to read it? You would? Oh, thank you! Really, you’re too kind. I don’t know what I’d do without you guys sometimes. Well, without further ado, here it is:

‘Twas three days after New Year’s, and all through the house
The bottles were empty, my feelings to douse. 

The bills were all stacked on the table with care,
In hopes that some money would soon be paid there.
Alas! There was none, for the cash had dried up,
Since my job I did lose at the store known as Pup.

And I in my sweat pants and looking like crap,
Had just settled down for a post-drinking nap.
When up in my head, there arose such a clatter,
It rattled me! But I knew what was the matter.
Away to that night, my mind flew like a flash,
It tore open my heart, and my nerves it did smash.

‘Twas the Eve of New Year’s when things came to a head,
And my heart was ripped out, and they left it for dead.

But let me explain just what happened that night,
And you’ll see, reader dear, why I’m in such a fright.
The evening began with such cheer and such glee!

On the arm of my man, as glad as could be.
A handsome young lad, and so virile and strong,
I thought I might swoon! What could ever go wrong?
Now Prada! Now Vera! Armani! Dior!

On Gucci! On, Pucci! On, Chanel! And much more!
The dance floor was swirling with such fine array,
As the young and the hip danced the cold night away.
And then, in a twinkling, my heart hit the roof.

When I nearly committed the year’s biggest goof.
The moment when everything first went awry
Was the song where I danced with another young guy.
His eyes—how they twinkled! His spirit, how merry!

Then he whispered sweet nothings that turned my cheeks cherry. 
As he drew me in close, my heart started to pound,
But the next thing I knew, he was sprawled on the ground!
I had to escape; I was ready to leave, 
But alas, I’m afraid there would be no reprieve.

I raced ‘round the club, searching through every room,
‘Til at last what I found was my own dismal doom.
I peeked through a door, and my boyfriend I spied.
Thank God! I had found him. I started inside.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, 
But a ho-ho-ho-HO who was nibbling his ear!

Then came Bachelor Two, and things really got tense,
For that’s when the shouting and cursing commenced!
Then laying a fist just below my date’s nose,
He turned words on me, and my aching heart froze.
What was there to do but to bid them goodbye?

I gathered my things, and I held my head high.
But they heard me exclaim, ‘ere I tramped out of sight,
“Crappy New Year’s to all, and you all can me bite!”

Do you have a memorable day as an author?

This month authors have an opportunity to write “A Day in the Life of…” and this needn’t be an average day! I could be a special day they’d like to share: the day it hit them they were an author, the day they met their editor, the day they realised becoming an author wasn’t easy…

It’s going to be fun. So, not in any order, the authors who have booked their slot are:

Cindy MacDonald
Lynn Marie Hulsman
Karen Martin
Joan Porte
Elizabeth Myrddin
Carmel Harrington
Louise Wise

What about you? Do you have a memorable day you’ll never forget, or an unusual writing ritual? We’d all love to hear about them. Remember to leave your purchase links if you leave a comment!

Best wishes,