Today we welcome author Ed Londergan and his new work: "The Devil's Elbow" a thrilling historical story.
THE DEVIL'S ELBOW
Things I wished I knew about being an author I did not know before (Author's Guest Post)
I wished I knew how difficult it was to find an agent or publisher.
I thought it would not be difficult to find an agent because, as we all know, our first book is a masterpiece. I mean why any agent would not jump at the chance to represent me. After sending out 84 query letters, getting 40 or so rejections of the “thank you for thinking of us but your book is not right for us at this time,” it started to sink in just how difficult it could be. Over the last year, I made friends with an editor who has good connections in the publishing world. She is going to refer me to agents she knows for my next book.
I was very lucky, considering only 1% of all authors ever get published, to find a local independent publisher. One of the happiest days of my life was when she told me that she would publish my book.
I wish I knew how much work it took after the book is published.
Writing the book is the easy part. The amount of work it takes to build up and continue a good level of sales is sometimes overwhelming considering I balance work, marketing and promotion, and writing my second and third novels. While it is exciting, it can also be draining; the book signings and book clubs are neat because people want to buy your book and have you sign it. All the social media postings can be hard because it is tough to figure what you will put on your various sites, something different each time.
I wish I knew how much time it took to write so many drafts.
I thought that I would sit down and op off a draft that I would send to a couple of friends, get their comments, make some changes and shoot off to an editor who could not wait to represent me would be easy. I mean how hard can it be to put thoughts into words? Well, my first book went through 14 drafts mostly because I did not know what I was doing. I was learning to write at a professional level. I know have eight readers who agree to read the manuscript and make critical comments within a month’s time. Putting myself on a schedule with a deadline – getting a new book out every year, has helped tremendously.
I wish I knew how great is to have someone ask me to sign one of my books.
The first in-person sale I made was to a teacher at a New England fall festival. She picked it up, looked at the front and back covers, start to put it down, looked at me then at the back cover again and said “Hey! You wrote this.” She asked me to sign it…Her name is Anne and she is from Connecticut.
I wish I knew more about the marketing and distribution
I spent most of my career in the financial services industry and saw national marketing and promotions strategies and tactics in operation every day so I was no stranger to how it worked. Yet, doing much of it, myself became a daunting task. My publisher does all she can; we work well together because our success is joined. I know that distribution to multiple audiences is the key to succeeding in this business, besides being a writer good enough for people to want to read your books.
I wish I knew what is was like to get a bad review
The first bad review, three stars and a short sentence about how it was a good first novel but nothing special, shook me. I could not believe that someone would not think it is a five star book; all of the other reviewers did. I learned for it though. I went back and re-read it a couple of times and made me realize that I needed to be a better writer to get consistently great reviewers. I know I am a good writer…you have to believe in yourself before anyone else will…and can tell a good story but now understand that it will not always be sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops.
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