#WriterWednesday Publishing is a Business: Advice From Barbara Joe Williams

There are several words of advice I would like to share with new authors. However, I will begin with my main motto: Writing is a hobby, but publishing is a business. If you’re planning to have a long-term career in the publishing industry, you need to learn the business and master it. That means educating yourself and not just relying on your publisher or other authors for secondhand information.  You should do your own research via the internet and read publishing manuals from experienced authors who are succeeding in the business.

Another word of advice is to get a partner. Not a writing partner, but another writer you can share ideas with, proofread each other’s work, provide feedback, and keep each other motivated when your spirits are low. This is the one thing that has helped me tremendously over the years. My partner is honest with me and tells me when my writing sucks, and I tell her when to get off her butt and write something whether it sucks or not.

I also advise new authors to become part of a writer’s group or a local author’s network for professional development. There’s nothing like networking and sharing with a group of likeminded individuals. Instead of having one person to give you feedback, you will have a whole network of authors who can keep you motivated to write. Every writer’s group is not the same, so it may take some time for you to find one that fits or you might end up starting your own, like I did.

My final word of advice for beginning authors would be this: Don’t expect overnight success. I’ve seen many authors publish a book, promote it for two months, and then drop out of sight simply because they haven’t sold a thousand copies (or whatever number they had in mind). It takes time to build up a following of loyal readers, and it usually doesn’t come from just having one book on the market. Find your audience, market to them, and when the next book is released, they will find you.

Barbara JoeBarbara Joe Williams is the author of ten novels, a novella, several nonfiction books and short stories. Her latest eBook is titled, A Cup of Barbara Joe: Things I’ve Learned about Life, Marriage, Motherhood & People.

Amazon page: http://goo.gl/hCOkBb

Website: www.barbarajoe.webs.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbara.williams.31105674

Thanks for the interview. My next nonfiction eBook release is February 5 titled, A-Z Marketing Tips: A Motivational Guide to Selling Your Products. And my next fiction eBook release is titled, Holiday Hotel 2: A Valentine’s Day story.

Quality books. All the time for $2.99 or less.

#WriterWednesday What Your MFA Program Didn’t Tell You

Every Wednesday The Neophyte Author will share some advice on writing–this may include tips on creativity or the business side of writing. Sometimes the tips will come directly from the Neophyte Author and some weeks they will come from other authors. To launch #WriterWednesdays the Neophyte Author will be sharing some tips. 

Back in December I bumped into someone who I’d completed my MA in Creative Writing and she was overjoyed to see me and my book. Of course, she had a ton of questions about how I got from being a writer in theory to being an actual published author. It that moment I realized my writing program didn’t tell me that and I bet yours didn’t either. Now without God on my side I would still be asking the same questions she asked me to my favorite author, “just how exactly did you do that,” but here are a few things I learned along the way. 

Get Your Manuscript Together

Unless you’re a trust fund baby you didn’t invest in studying writing at this advanced level for it to sit on your thumb drive. You pursued an MFA with the hope of earning some type of money with your writing–whether it’s to studentssupplement your regular stream of revenue or as your sole stream of revenue you were hoping to earn something from workshopping all of that writing. Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Find out the requirements of your genre and make sure your work is up to snuff
  • Have your manuscript professionally edited before you think about sending it anywhere
  • Join some kind of writing community, guild, or group in your neighborhood. You’ll be connected to other writers, readers, and some places like The Center for Fiction includes access to a writing cave as part of your membership

Break Out of the Writing Cave

It’s great that you’re this deep existential thinker and your characters can transcend space and time, but…

  • You need to start promoting your work
  • You need to start learning the business (publishing, marketing, tracking sales)
  • You need to start building your brand (who are and what are your books about). Even if you have a publisher they will not come up with this stuff for you. 

These are just the basics to get you going. A starter pack in a sense. Now, talk to me–what do you need and/or want to know about writing? The Neophyte Author will do it’s best to get you some solid advice and tips. 

Born at Dawn #Book #Brunch and #Launch #Party

It’s almost time for the release of my debut novel and of course that means it’s almost time to TURN UP and celebrate. The Neophyte Author, Nigeria Lockley would like to extend an invitation to the Born at Dawn Book Brunch and Launch Party.

Book Brunch Pic

 

At the party you’ll have the opportunity to:

Tickets

For tickets to the live party at Pearl Studios click here: Born at Dawn Book Brunch and Launch Party 

For tickets to the virtual party on Facebook click here: Born at Dawn Virtual Book Launch Party

Sponsors Include:

Tyora Moody

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Colette Harrell

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Unoma Nwankwor

Unoma

Please be sure to check out and support the work of these wonderful Christian authors and I can’t wait to see at the party on, Saturday, October 18, 2014.

Fighting with the First Person: Sometimes the Process Has to Match the Voice (FYI This is Not a How To)

If you’ve been following the Neophyte Author then you know that I’m embroiled in a bitter battle that may the result in some really great writing or a major catastrophe (thank you, Jesus for editors). I decided not to give up and try and press through the challenge of using a first person narrator, which is something I have not attempted since I began my writing career. While listening to my Christian Fiction literary role model, Michelle Stimpson on the radio she stated that she loved writing in the first person. I took that as a sign from God if you’re going to do this she going to show you how to do it right. Following her interview we had a great conversation, which she blogged about, “First-Person or Third-Person”  and I am now blogging about the impact that conversation had on me. 

Three great points that came out of that conversation for me:

1. Michelle admitted that one thing that made writing LaShondra of Boaz Brown in first person relatively easy is because she and LaShondra are the same person. 

2. What does the story demand? Is this story about the character or about the plot? That should play a role in determining who tells the story and how the story is told. 

3. She’s a journal writer, so first person is very natural.

With that in mind I thought about:First Person

1. What is my relationship with Kira Seagram, the protagonist of Tempted to Touch. Do I know her? Do I like her? Am I her? The truth is a lot of me is her and I didn’t want to admit that or deal with the issues Kira is struggling with in Tempted to Touch. But, if I’m going to do this as I said in Fighting with First Person (FYI This is not a How To) then I have to own my issues and honor Kira’s voice. 

2. This story is about both the character and the plot. So, the person at the center of everything is the perspective that should be at the forefront of this story.

3. Journal writing is the key to unlocking the first person voice. The process for this piece must change in order for me to unleash the voice within.

Once I latched on to all of that I changed the process for writing Tempted to Touch. As an adult I don’t engage in journal writing as much as I did when I was younger, but yesterday I channeled that energy and instead of sitting in front my computer to type a story I actually immersed myself in the act of writing. By changing the process I was able to unleash the voice I was hearing in my head. In doing this I discovered the process has to match the voice. There’s still more to be done to settle my soul. Michelle also suggested I try rewriting one chapter in the third person and see which one proves to be stronger. Today I’m going to try that at some point, but I think I’ve found my first person groove.

How do you find your groove? What does your process look like when you hit a dilemma like this or are you always sure of the voice from the onset of the story?

Fighting with the First Person (FYI This is Not a How To)

I got into a fight this week. Not a knockdown drag out brawl more like an artistic affray. I just began working on a novella, entitled Tempted to Touch. Now my heart’s desire is to write this piece in third person. Do you think the protagonist, Kira Seagram is allowing me to do that? No, that would be too much like right (I don’t know why these people in my head are always acting up).

You would think after writing two novels a novella ought to be a piece of cake, but with Kira trying to tell the story herself I don’t know what to do with myself. Third person narration works for me as a writer. It’s great to know and share what everyone in the room is thinking and feeling. First person won’t allow me to do that. As the author I know the characters, but Kira doesn’t. First person will limit what I can reveal and when. First person means Kira has to become my new confidante. I like being allegiance free. Do you see the limitations here? Do you see the struggle?storytelling word in wood type

My first instinct was to do what I know, but then where is the growth for me as a writer and for my characters? There is none. So, now I’m on a mission to get through Tempted to Touch. Of course, this isn’t something that I can do alone. After sitting in front of my computer screen and praying for some divine intervention I also looked up some great articles on point of view to help me get over my fear of sounding trite and redundant (I sat, I walked, I thought, I. I. I). Sentence structure and lyricism are always heavy on my mind. I don’t think I’m completely over my fear, I’m still trying to figure out how I can manage to squeeze in a chapter or two in the third person (pray for me). However, I’m still typing. 

Writer’s what’s your favorite point of view to use in your writing? Readers, which point of view do you prefer and why?

 

Links to the articles I read for anyone else who, like me is embroiled in a battle with the first person:

First Person or Third

First Person Point of View

Me, Myself, and I: Writing First Person Point of View