Five things I learned starting out as a writer
My life as a published author began on May 6, 2013 when my first book, The Portal’s Choice was released. Writing was my focus. Getting that book out and into the hands of the reading public was my main goal. I’d heard my writing friends, some published, some not, mention things like marketing and social media. My mentor, Katherine Mariaca-Sullivan, had stressed to our writing group the importance of creating a presence on the web before the release of any books. But that stuff was unfamiliar to me, unnerving to consider, and seemed less important than actually producing a completed novel. Since the publication of The Portal’s Choice and the companion novella, The Inn Of The Kindred Spirits, I’ve been playing a bit of catch up on the marketing front. And I have a few suggestions I’d like to make to other authors embarking on this path.
1. Create a presence on the web before your book is published. There are so many ways to be on the internet now, and you can choose to be active in whichever area feels most comfortable. Right before my first book was released I started to work on my website. It is still a work in progress but at least it’s there. I also started a Facebook fan page and set up a Pinterest account. I’m learning about many other options online but sometimes all the choices and ways to be active on the web are overwhelming to me. So I finally decided to ask for some help, and this is leads us to tip number two.
2. Ask for help. Whether you need help with editing your manuscript, with formatting the book, or in setting up the marketing for your finished masterpiece, don’t be afraid to ask for it. It took me awhile. You might have guessed that I’m not technologically savvy. I’ve always regarded my lack of knowledge as a weakness and allowed it to hold me back. I’ve used it as an excuse to not do things, like learn how to use Twitter. But now, in 2014, I’ve decided that I’m sick of being unable and afraid. So I’ve hired someone to teach me a few tricks of the internet trade and even do a bit of the marketing for me. I do miss writing when I get caught up in the marketing, which leads to tip number 3.
3. Don’t forget to write. All of the marketing can suck your time away until, sometime in the middle of the night of the zillionth day that you have been trying to market your tome, you realize you haven’t written a word of your next book. I’ve gone to bed many a night without writing because I’ve been so caught up in swearing at my computer, pulling at my hair in frustration and biting off my nails in futile anger. Then, I toss and turn, wondering how I’m going to finish my next book, The Forgotten Gate, which I am due to release in 2014. As I drift off to sleep I pledge to never let another day go by lost in widgets, pasting and up-pasting code, and desperately trying to create a banner or re-size a photo in Photoshop. I’ve learned a lot through this process and I’m very proud of my new knowledge. But my biggest lesson is that I must write. I’m mean and crabby if I don’t. And I don’t accomplish any part of my primary goal of finishing my next book.
4. Do something small every day. This applies to the writing and the marketing aspects. Your book won’t get finished in one day. Your marketing is an ongoing process. But if you set realistic writing and marketing goals for every day and work to achieve them, you will succeed.
5. Don’t be afraid to change direction if what you are doing isn’t working and trust yourself if you feel like change is necessary. This is true for your story as well as your marketing strategies. Sometimes, trying things in a completely new way actually works better. During my writing process for The Forgotten Gate, I’ve made some fairly substantial changes to the story. I hesitated before I wrote the new sections and thrust a pretty nasty conflict on one of my main characters, but ultimately I gave it a shot and, surprise, I like the changes much better. The story is stronger. And, funnily enough, the writing slump that I was in lifted and the story began to flow again.
These are five lessons I’ve learned as a new author. I think they are pretty good suggestions, I just hope that I can remember to follow my own advice. Good luck to all of you writers out there!
The Portal’s Choice by KD Pryor
Book 1 of The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean Series
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Madaket Lane Publishers
Cover Artist: Bespoke Book Covers
Portals. Doorways. Gateways. All ways to get in or out of someplace, right?Buy Link(s):
Nothing weird, spooky or otherworldly about them. Or, at least that’s what Tallis Challinor always thought. Tallis is a practical young woman, a writer, a lover of words and a natural storyteller. But she’s not sure what to do when real-life sucks her into a story far stranger than anything she’s ever imagined.
Tallis discovers that portals are passageways between the human and spirit worlds. She finds out that bent-on-evil ghosts can escape from the spirit realm through those gateways whether they are supposed to or not. And when they do, Tallis finds herself the chosen human, picked by the portal in her basement in New Hampshire, to seek out and return the wayward spirits.
All Tallis wants to do is recover from the loss of her parents and settle into her new home. She’d like a boyfriend, someone like the cute guy, Aiden, down the street. She’d like some girlfriends to talk to and maybe even go shopping with. And she’d like the ghosts, the portal, and the responsibility that has been thrust upon her to disappear. But when the ghosts threaten her new hometown, her friends, and the family she holds so dear, Tallis discovers the inner courage to meet the portal’s challenge and save those most precious to her. Along the way, Tallis learns that she is more than she’s ever imagined herself to be and that she deserves more than she’s ever dreamed possible.
Excerpt From The Portal’s Choice:
The Inn of the Kindred Spirits by KD Pryor
Book of The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean Series
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Madaket Lane Publishers
Cover Artist: Bespoke Book Covers
Brittany, France. Near the coast. A picturesque inn. Spectacular scenery. Tasty French treats. Time off from school.Buy Link(s):
Tallis Challinor imagines this as the perfect vacation scenario, so when her grandfather suggests that she accompany him to the country of her ancestors, she is more than happy to tag along. What Tallis doesn’t bargain on is another ghostly encounter, especially not so soon after she’s sealed up a bunch of unruly ghosts on their side of the portal between the human and spirit realms. But, when she feels the energy radiating from the megalithic standing stones dotting the countryside around Carnac, France, an energy that feels frighteningly like the power exuding from the portal in her basement back home, she has a feeling she might be in trouble. And she is right.
When her grandfather goes missing, Tallis leaps into action. She calls the only ghostbuster she knows in France and, with help on the way, she gears up to battle another set of spirits bent on causing destruction. Along the way, Tallis is forced to examine her life, her relationships, and her tightly-held beliefs about who she is and where she comes from. She also has to juggle two impossible males, both attractive but annoying, both seemingly set on driving her nuts or breaking her heart.
Meet The Author:
KD Pryor started life in Missouri, where she read lots of books, even sneaking them into baseball games to the irritation of her father. Kelley graduated with a degree in International and Comparative Studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After college and marriage to a great guy, she decided to pursue a law degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Her oldest son was born soon after law school, followed three years later by her daughter and a move to Kentucky. One more son, a move to Ohio and four years later, her family jumped on the opportunity to move to India. They lived in Bangalore, now Bengaluru, for four wonderfully chaotic years, traveling all over Asia, Australia and Europe.
Now, settled in New Hampshire with her family and herd of cats (only three), she can often be found in her office, working on the next installment of “The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean” series, reading one of a dozen books she has started, and dreaming of her future travel destinations.
“The Portal’s Choice”, book one in “The Gatekeeper’s of Em’pyrean” series featuring Tallis Challinor, was released on May 6, 2013.
“The Inn of the Kindred Spirits”, a novella featuring protagonist Tallis Challinor, was released in November 18, 2013.
“The Forgotten Gate”, book two in “The Gatekeeper of Em’pyrean” series, is scheduled for release in 2014.
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