Friday, January 18, 2013

F³A: One Year Anniversary

I realized that yesterday was the anniversary of my debut novel, Never Eighteen. I only realized this because my friend Gae Polisner (who's a terrific writer), pointed it out to me. How could I forget that? Easy. Stress, Drama, Frustration...I could probably go on.

Don't get me wrong, having my novel debut is probably the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me since Thing 1 and Thing 2. But the debut year isn't easy by any stretch of the word. Now, that's not true of everyone, but for me, yes.

It started even before the book came out, setting up a website, continuing to blog and vlog, writing guests posts for bloggers, making a trailer, basically doing all the things I needed to create a buzz before the book came out. I also joined the Class of 2k12, which was awesome. Did it help my book? Yes I definitely think so. I would recommend collaborative marketing for any debut author, and beyond.

Then there was planning the party. I needed a venue, food, and dessert. Luckily the Tacoma Public Library offered to host my debut. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication between me and the library director as to who was supposed to contact him, so I didn't have one. He was nice enough to send a money box though and my mom took the role of book seller.

 January isn't exactly a banner month where the weather is concerned here in the PNW, so things didn't go exactly as planned. Can you say snow? That didn't stop people from coming, but it did stop one box of books from showing up. Luckily I had my own box of books in my car. We still ran out.

It also stopped one of my actors from coming. Two young actors offered to read a section from my book for the party. The boy was a no show so the library director took his place. It was fine, but a little awkward to have this teenage girl and this 50 something library director reading an intimate scene (not sexual intimate, but an intimate conversation).

I hosted two more private parties after that for friends and family. Those went very well also. My friends Gae and Annmarie came from New York to help me celebrate as well, and we had a sleepover with fellow writers and friends, all I met either through ABNA or Facebook.

Then there's after the debut. I did hire a publicist for about six weeks to help me out because I really didn't feel comfortable asking people to host me and crap. She's already got me two radio interviews and a newspaper interview. I had a big spread in our entertainment section. There were also school visits, library visits, bookstore visits.

The first few weeks went pretty well. The books was selling like crazy. They say your book only has a shelf life of about 6 weeks. Mine lasted longer. I know it's because after the publicist was done working with me, I gained the confidence to continue to get myself the school, library and bookstore visits. And I've made some great contacts for the future.

Then there was the writing. I was already struggling with finishing a book, I needed to revise two more that were finished. Once the former was finished, I sent it to my agent. No go. Sent her the 2nd. No go. Sent her the third. At this point she said if I wanted to find another agent to represent my future work, feel free. This means I don't have an agent anymore. That was in June. Which turned out fine, because she was closing her business by the end of last year anyway.

I sent my novel Dissection straight to my editor because I had an option in my contract which states they get right of first refusal on my next YA book. No go. My editor also wanted to read my football book. It needed a complete rewrite. So I started working on that.

While I continued to market Never Eighteen, I began querying agents. Many of them asked to see part of the book, but no takers. Mine you, I really wasn't trying too hard, but I was trying. There was one who liked it enough to read a rewrite, which I haven't done yet.

Never Eighteen continued to sell, but slower and slower. That's okay. A couple months ago, I decided I was done marketing the book. I wanted to move forward and focus on future books, rewriting, writing a new one, etc.

Then there's NaNoWriMo. I started a book, got to 30k, but didn't complete Nano. I felt good about what I did accomplish though.

I'm still doing sporadic events. Events I'd already planned, or ones I think are worthwhile. I also finished my rewrite of my football book. That went to my editor a couple days ago. I've entered Dissection into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. And now I wait. Well, not exactly wait. I got stuck on my NaNo project, so I set it aside yesterday to work on a dystopian fantasy I'd started a while back. It's actually a major rewrite of the first book I ever wrote, Dena Powers: Superhero? Now it's called, Revelation: Book One of the Divinity Chronicles. I'm excited about it. If you're friends with me on Facebook, you can read a little snippet I put on my personal page.

So that's my debut year in a nutshell. If you have a debut novel coming out, just know it's not that easy, especially for a mid-lister like me. All in all though, it was amazing, even if difficult. I mean, I have a book out by one of the big publishers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Someone liked my book enough to publish it. That in itself is an accomplishment.

I almost forgot it's Friday, here are my Scribbles.

Next Pandora Song:  Skeleton Song by Kate Nash (Fun station)

Book of the Week: Um, IDK. I suppose the Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook. It's all I've read this week. lol (yes, WW again.  7 lbs gone so far)

Netflix of the Week: Lost Season 4. I never finished the series, so now I am. And I've stayed away from hearing how it ends, so please don't comment any spoilers.

Quote of the Week: “Your debut year will put hair on your chest, turn the hair on your head gray, or cause you to lose hair. Either way, your hair will never be the same.”  ~ Corrine Jackson , Fellow 2k12er and author of If I Lie and Touched.

Post a Comment

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

Total Pageviews