December, 2010

Last official post of 2010

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And so now we’ve come to the last official post of my first full year blogging! I had so much fun doing this and I hope that you guys did too and that maybe you learned something you didn’t know before.

I met two of the three goals I had for 2010 and I think that’s pretty darned good!  In case you were wondering, my goals were to write 2 books, acquire an agent, and to have a publishing contract.  Well, I wrote 2 books, started 2 others, finished a short story, and, of course, found my perfect agent.  Came pretty darned close to having a publishing contract, so…I guess it’s really 2 1/2 out of 3 goals.  😀

This year I have some more writerly goals and I’ve decided to share them in the hopes it’ll help me get them in the coming year!

1)  I want to write 3 books (finishing books from last year is fine) and 2 short stories

2)  I want to have one short story accepted somewhere

3)  I want to have a publishing contract

4)  I want to attend at least 1 writer’s conference.

As you can see, I’ve upped the ante a bit there from what I accomplished this year.  I think it can be done.  Though, arguably 2 of those goals are out of my hands. So, those are the ones that I’m most worried about.

So, let’s hear it.  What are your goals this year?

And to sweeten the pot, I’m holding one last contest.  But, I’m doing it different.  As always!  YOU get to pick the prize.  Sorta.  It’s a book prize, not like a car or something.  😀  Just comment below with a goal and what book you want and I’ll choose a random winner.  It is open internationally.  And, yes, you do need to be a follower of the blog, but that’s easy.  Just click over to the left and become a follower.  🙂

That being said, I hope you have a very happy new year!!

ETA:  Comments are moderated (can’t figure out how to turn off moderation.  🙂  Just be patient, all comments will be approved.  )

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Tip Thursday: Advice: Sorting the wheat from the chaff

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Normally I’m all about providing you with tips that helped me on my journey to get published (even if I’m not quite there yet), then I stumbled across a blog today that got my hackles up.  I won’t post a link to the blog, or give specifics, but here was this person, spreading his “advice” like it was gospel around the interwebs and from my experience at least three-quarters of it was wrong.

Then it got me thinking, don’t I spew advice every week and isn’t my experience different from everyone else’s.  Who’s to say my advice is better than any one else’s.  And to honestly answer that question, I’d have to say no, it’s not.  But, and this is the theme for today’s writing, I only post advice that has worked for me, or other (smarter than me) people have said.

So, since the Internet is so large and any monkey with a keyboard (including myself.  🙂 ) can blog, how do we determine what’s good advice and what isn’t in regards to publishing?  Here are my “rules” to what advice I take and what I don’t.

1.  Money flows TO the author:  If a blog or person suggests anything that will COST you money (beside postage or paper or something), then you need to tread with caution.  For instance, the blog I ran into actually suggested hiring a freelance editor before sending your work to agents/publishers.  While not necessarily a to-don’t it’s definetely not a hard and fast rule that you have to or even that you should.  In fact, in my opinion,   while an editor can be helpful, it’s necessary to know how to edit your own work. Agent,  Rachel Gardner, says:

Many agents and editors are uncomfortable with writers having too much outside editorial help prior to being contracted, because it can mask a writer’s true abilities. I’d hate to get you a 3-book contract with a publisher based on that stellar first book, only to find out that you had a ton of help with it and are not able to deliver that quality of book a second time.

2.  Always check credentials:  Take in mind who and where that person is in publishing.  Advice from an editor at one of the big 5 is going to be different than a free lance editor who edits for aspiring authors.  Agent advice is going to be different than an author.  And a veteran author’s advice is going to be different than a newbie.  While each of these people can have great advice, personally I’d listen to those “in the know” before someone who doesn’t have the experience yet.  (And yes, I’m including myself in this.  If you read an article by say my agent, disagreeing with everything I’m saying, than please, feel free to ignore me.  🙂  However, most of my advice comes from hearing it over and over again from those professionals, so I’m pretty sure I’m safe in saying she won’t disagree with me.  😀  Which brings me to my next point. )

3.  Where have I heard this before?  How many times have you heard/seen this advice?  If you’ve never heard it before, chances are you can disregard it if you disagree.  If you’ve heard it a LOT, then you probably want to do some more research on why they’ve said it, then chose at that point to disregard or not.  Who the advice giver is important here because sometimes you have herd mentality, where one person says something and a lot of yes men will agree. It doesn’t mean it’s the truth.

4.  Beware the agenda.  Be sure to read between the lines and see why a person is saying a particular thing.  If a person is saying all aspiring authors should hire a freelance editor and they’re a freelance editor, then you might want to check in a few other places to make sure.

5.  What time is it anyway?  Make sure to check when something was said.  For such a slow industry, the rules change quickly.  Something said ten years ago may not be relevant today.

And lastly because this post could really go on forever, beware anyone tells you to “lower your expectations.”  Publishing is hard enough to keep your motivation up without someone telling you that.  Granted you need to make sure your expectations are realistic, not everyone is like Stephenie Meyer.  (See my post here.)  But there’s no reason not to shoot for the stars.  Publishing is one of those quirky businesses where anything is possible.

 Anyway, there’s a ton more things, but if you take all advice with a grain of salt and use common sense,  you should be all right.

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Writer’s Wednesday: Results and guest post

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First, I wanted to let you know that I’m guest posting over at Adventures in Children’s Publishing about what it’s like after you have an agent and it doesn’t happen like Stephenie Meyer.   I hope you read and comment over there. 

No book review today, I’m afraid.  I’ll get one out for next week, but due to the holidays and revisions for my agent, I’m slacking.  🙂

And now, as promised, the result of last week’s contest.  The winner of The Preacher’s Pride by Jody Hedlund is Sheri Larsen!  Congrats, Sheri!  I’ll get that book right out to you.  I hope you enjoy it. 

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Music Monday: The Game Has Changed

>My newest music obsession.  This one is from TRON: Legacy.  I’m as much in love with the movie as I am the soundtrack so I couldn’t not post it. 

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Fun Friday: Writing Assingment

>This funny interlude brought to by 2pep.

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