Today Brynn Stein is here to talk about her first year as a published author. Share your own experiences, and be sure to check out her novella, Haunted.
Experiences of a Newbie
It’s coming up on a year since my first book was published. I can’t believe it’s been that long already. The last year has been a fantastic ride, but I found there was a lot to learn and it needed to be a steep learning curve.
I had always wanted to be a writer and never really thought it was an attainable dream. When I found it might be, I honestly thought, getting my story published would be the hardest part. Dreamspinner made that part easy, actually. They walked me through the process, provided talented editors and a gifted artist who produced a fabulous cover. The publishing part really was the easiest part.
It was the all the stuff that came after the book release that I had no idea even existed. Dreamspinner does some PR: sends out the story to various review sites, and creates buy links etc. But that wasn’t all there was to it.
I had no idea what all I needed to do, let alone how to do any of it. Fortunately, there are a lot of very helpful authors on the Dreamspinner email list, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and other places that were ever so willing to help out. I wouldn’t be able to even begin to name all of the people who helped, so I won’t try. They know who they are and that I will always be indebted to them. I thanked each one personally at the time. But I wanted to take this time to at least mention them in a general sense.
There were people who walked me through setting up a Twitter account and being able to get my book cover to appear on the side of my Twitter page. A small thing, maybe, but at the time, I couldn’t figure it out, so it was a huge help. I was more familiar with Facebook since I already had a personal account, but there were people who helped me set up an author’s page.
There were lots of people who helped me figure out how the heck to use WordPress and to get my blog page to work for me instead of just existing. And I do mean lots of people and lots of help. I found WordPress a little daunting, and still don’t have all the bells and whistles figured out, but my fellow authors were a godsend when I was just starting out.
I also needed a lot of help to figure out how to use Triberr. If I thought WordPress was intimidating, Triberr was downright terrifying. But again, people seemed to come out of the woodwork with tips and invitations to their tribes, and really, just any help I needed.
And, of course, there were lots of people who invited me to their blogs to help me publicize my e-book, Haunted, and they continue to let me visit to keep my name out there (like today’s host, Shae Connor), and people who have already agreed to host me when my new book, Living Again, comes out this summer, as well as when Through the Years comes out in the fall.
I guess the upshot of all of this is that no author can do this alone. Or at least I found that I couldn’t. It took a lot of help from people already in the field. Several of my non-author friends in real life, have been astonished that other authors would be willing to help. “Why would they help possible competition?” A lot of people have asked. And while, I’m not sure I really consider myself competition for most of the very talented authors out there, I haven’t found that attitude among any of the authors I’ve had dealing with. Where it would be quite understandable for people to let fellow authors sink or swim on their own, everyone I’ve ‘met’ seems to have exactly the opposite viewpoint. They seem to welcome newbies into their ranks and go out of their way to make sure we know what we’re doing…to help us be the best we can be…with everything from tips on publicizing to advice on good writing practices and information about conventions, etc.
I’ve been surprised and impressed by the level of care and concern offered by existing authors to me as a newbie as well as to other newbies who have appeared on the scene since. As thrilling as it was, and continues to be, to see my stories in print, it has been an even more eye-opening, and fulfilling experience to interact with fellow authors in such a positive and meaningful way.
No matter how much I’ve already thanked individual’s for their help, I can never say enough just how very grateful I’ve been, and continue to be, to be a part of this fantastic community of authors.
How about you, readers of this blog and possibly fellow authors? What were your experiences when you first started out in this field…whether that be just recently, or long, long ago? Please comment below. I’d love to hear how our experiences compare, as well as to just discuss this with new friends.
In the meantime, you can contact me, if you wish, at any of the following places:
My blog: http://brynnstein2.wordpress.com
You can also sign up to appear on my blog: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Am6LvGXdyttKdGFCcmpQRkw2Nm1Hal9UdVdSRVlqLWc&usp=sharing