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Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Writer's Best Friend

I've just signed with Red Rose and I read your post about needing September bloggers. After taking a look at your blog, I decided to write something and send it along (below). You can use it whenever you like or not use it at all. If you do use it, I'd appreciate your letting me know the date so I can publish it on my chats, blogs, etc. I'm mostly a mystery writer, so I might be able to get you some different readers. And readers is what we want, right?

I put a bio in, too.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Peg Herring
Coming soon from Five Star: HER HIGHNESS' FIRST MURDER
Coming from Red Rose: GO HOME AND DIE

For a writer, talent is great, but as an English teacher of many years, I can tell you there are lots of talented writers out there. Attention to detail helps, too. Editors love a client who does her research and proofs her copy. And having a platform is helpful: a place to stand that's a little above all the other wanna-be writers out there, whether it comes from expertise, experience, charisma, or just dumb luck.

But the writer's best friend, I always tell my workshop attendees, is persistence. Persistence pays off when nothing else will, and nothing predicts success better. We've all heard the stories of how many times Abraham Lincoln failed at things before he became President of the United States. Every failure, every alley that turns out to be a dead end, is a test. Will you give up, or will you try something else?

Persistence is required, first of all, just to write a book. Notice that I said "write." I can't tell you how many people I've met who are "writing" a book and have been for years. Persist. Finish one. If it's bad, then start another one and make it better. (BTW, the first one is usually bad. Don't sweat it.)

Persistence is required to find an agent, locate a publisher, get a contract. Even if you self-publish, persistence is needed to make sure you understand the process: what it will cost you, how you will handle dealing with the whole enchilada by yourself, what your chances of success are. Again, I've met lots of people who just knew that once their book was out there, everyone would want it. That isn't true if nobody knows it exists. Persist. Write a business plan. Learn the ropes. Talk to others.

Sadly, persistence is still required once your book is done, out there, available. You (and sometimes you alone) are the person who cares, really cares, about its success. Others will help, and you should appreciate them, but they don't have the stake you have. Persist. Keep that book title in front of the public. Keep your (smiling) face out there, too. Learn how to market. Learn how to find new places to market.

Talent brought you here. Attention to detail created a good product. You may even have a platform to sell from. Now persistence comes into play. If you believe you are a writer, don't quit. Don't ever quit.

Peg Herring is a writer of mystery and romance from northern Michigan. Her first book, MACBETH'S NIECE (Five Star Expressions) is an eleventh-century Scottish romance. She will follow that in January with HER HIGHNESS' FIRST MURDER (Five Star), a mystery involving young Elizabeth Tudor in a search for a bloody murderer of beautiful women.

Peg's first book with Red Rose Publishing will be GO HOME AND DIE, a '60s mystery/romance in which Carrie, a rather un-liberated young woman, joins with a traumatized Vietnam veteran to solve his business partner's murder. Carrie thinks they're developing a relationship, but she's in for several big -- and nasty -- surprises.


Isabel Roman said...

That's very true, Peg! Persistance is key. Thanks for the reminder. :)

MarthaE said...

Good comments Peg! I hear/see this often on authors' blogs. Persistance and perseverance seem to be be what every writer needs to make it to "published". Thanks for sharing and best wishes on your releases!