Mari Suggs Romance Author 

Guest Post: Kim Chance, The Six Things We've Learned This Year About Publishing

Today I have a pretty fun collab with the talented Kim Chance, each of us wrote about the three things we learned this year about publishing: me, on self-publishing and Kim on being traditionally published. Below are Kim's top 3, and to read my top three visit Kim's blog here!

Hi guys! For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Kim Chance and I’m the author of the upcoming YA contemporary fantasy novel, KEEPER. Thanks so much to Mari for collaborating with me on this! I hope you enjoy!

Even when you are traditionally published, you still need to market yourself.

One of the common misconceptions about traditional publishers is that once a publishing contract is signed, an author no longer has to worry about things like marketing and publicity—that the publishing house will do all the work. Well, one of the things that I have definitely learned this year, is how false that assumption is. Traditional publishers do a lot for their authors, and they do create publicity and marketing plans for their books. However, a writer who signs with a traditional publisher can’t just sit back and expect to do nothing. Publishers want books and authors to do well, but with so many clients, there’s only so much attention that they can give to a single book—especially if it’s a debut novel from a largely unknown author. That’s why it’s so important for traditionally published authors to expect to do a moderate amount of the promotional stuff all on their own.

I’m very lucky to be working with such a great publishing house. Flux has been absolutely incredible to me, and they are giving KEEPER and I so much support. However, because I’m a debut author and the imprint is small, I can’t expect them to put all their eggs in one basket so to speak. I still have to do my part in spreading the word. That’s why I’ve put together a street team, developed a pre-order campaign (details on that coming soon!), and worked to create some exclusive content and swag for promotional purposes. Doing some of my own promo is costing me a good bit of time and money, but if I want KEEPER to do well, this is what needs to happen. I’ve talked to a lot of other authors who are signed with traditional publishers, and they all say the same thing: put aside money and resources for marketing and publicity. Even with support from the publisher, a debut author will still need to take his/her own steps in marketing and promoting his/her book.

It’s important to find your people

There have been a lot of challenges that have popped up this year—things that I didn’t anticipate or expect. Publishing is quite unpredictable, and at any given moment, things can go off kilter. That’s why it is so important to have people who support and encourage you. More than that even, it’s important to find other writers to connect with. Writers are the ones, after all, who will truly understand how you’re feeling and what you’re going through. I’ve been lucky enough to connect with a group of other 2018 debut authors (The Electric 18s) and having them to bounce ideas off of, ask questions, and get advice from has been a complete game-changer for me. I often feel like a very small fish in a very large pond, but the 18s do a lot to ameliorate any stress and anxiety I feel over publishing issues. Ever writer needs a support system of other writers. It’s so much easier to navigate unknown waters when there are others in the exact same boat as you.

I’ve also been lucky to find one hell of a critique partner and friend. I don’t remember how we first connected (though Megan will tell you she stalked me a bit! LOL!), but my CP Megan is honestly the reason I haven’t completely succumbed to the stress and worry that comes along with publishing a novel. She is always there to listen when I need to vent, offer suggestions when I’m stuck, and squee with me over the exciting stuff! She’s in my corner supporting me every step of the way and that makes the tough stuff a lot easier to deal with.

Having a support system is so important. Publishing isn’t for the faint of heart, so go out there and find your people. Trust me, you’ll need them.

You have to have thick skin

Of all the things I have learned this year about publishing, this is the one that was most surprising. We’ve all heard that writers need thick skin and to be honest, I thought that my skin was fairly thick—especially after having survived the query trenches and being on submission. However, the one thing I was woefully unprepared for were those first few negative reviews about my book. It doesn’t matter how many good reviews you get, when you get a negative one, it’s like a punch to the heart. Why? Because it’s a form of rejection that you simply can’t prepare for. Rejections from agents, editors, and publishers are never easy, but after time, that type of rejection becomes manageable. Rejections from readers, however, never become something we get used to. Readers, after all, are the very reason we wrote the book in the first place, and when they hate your book it makes you feel worse than when Luke Skywalker found out Darth Vader was his father. You have to have thick skin. You have to understand that while there will be people who love your book, there will always be people who hate it. It’s just the way things go. Negative reviews weren’t something I prepared for. It’s not that I expected not to get any, but I never stopped to think about how they’d make me feel and how I’d cope with those feelings. I was caught off guard and got my heart broken. I’m better about it now and I’m trying not to take things personally. It’s challenging though, and I’m not there yet. But when they say it, it’s true. You really do have to have thick skin to be an author.






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