Friday, September 18, 2009

Writer's Moment - Claire Delacroix

Ten Things You Can Do To Improve Your Chances Of Making Your First Sale
Published by Claire Delacroix at
September 15, 2009

Who's ready for some straightforward, heartfelt and simple advice to help get your book into the hands of a publisher and, from there, on shelves? That's just what Claire provides.

Check out an excerpt below, then read the full post here:

"I know a lot of aspiring writers (and I’ll likely meet a lot more, during the writer-in-residence program at the Toronto Public Library this fall. And every July, after aspiring romance writers attend RWA’s National convention, many of them come home determined to sell their first book by the next annual conference.

Selling a book by a specific date sounds like a good goal, but think about it. We say that authors make sales, but who is really is charge of that part of the process? Publishers buy books - specifically editors working for publishers - while authors write books. So, it’s not really up to you when your book is sold. This makes selling a poor goal, as the biggest part of it isn’t in the realm of your influence.

That said, there are a lot of awfully good goals that can put on the right path to making that sale, and - good news! - they are all within your powers.

1/ Finish the (insert adjective of choice here) book manuscript. Most authors make their first sale on a complete manuscript, plain and simple. It’s the only way that any editor can know for certain that you know how to write a book. If you want to be published, you’re going to have to not just sit down and write, but finish what you started.

2/ Follow your heart. Don’t write a book that you don’t particularly want to write, just because you think "that kind" of book will sell and get your foot in the publisher’s door. Most of the time, this doesn’t work. When an editor buys your first book, she or he will want a second book that shows similar characteristics - for example, another historical romance, or another funny paranormal romance, or another romantic suspense. By marketing several books in succession that have strong similarities, the publisher can "brand" you and build your readership. This is a good thing. It means, however, that the first book that you write and submit should be characteristic of the work you intend to do for the next five or six books. Following your historical romance with a cookbook is going to confuse everybody. Figure out what you want to write for the next little while, and make sure your first book is of that type."

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