Saturday, 14 December 2013

10 Things They Never Tell You (About Becoming A Published Author)

2013 is almost at an end, and I can quite honestly say that it's been one of the craziest, most exciting, most wonderful and, at times, most terrifying years of my life! In April, my first novel, ACID, was published by Corgi/Random House Children's Publishing. Since then it has been shortlisted for the North East Teen and Coventry Inspiration Simply the Book awards, and nominated for the Carnegie Medal. And quite a few people seem to quite like it. I've visited schools and libraries and talked to readers and writers of all ages. And somehow, in between, I've found time to write THE FEARLESS (which is out in 4 months, eeeek!).

This year has been nothing like I expected. Here are ten things no one ever tells you about becoming a published author:

  1. The week leading up to your book launch will be one of the most anxiety-ridden weeks of your entire life. People will say 'You must be so excited!', and instead of answering 'OMG no my book is out there and people are reading it and what if they haaaaaate it?' you'll manage to smile and say, 'Definitely!' (I apologise to my friends who actually got the honest answer to this question. I'm much calmer about it all now, I promise.)
  2. You will find it weird/excruciating/impossible to tell people you're "a writer", even though you now have a book out there to prove it (I still tell people I'm 'a library assistant who *cough*writes books*cough*').
  3. If you write for children, at least one person will ask you when you're going to start 'writing books for grownups'. (Actually, this applies to children's authors at any stage of their careers.)
  4. And several people will tell you, 'Oh, I could write a novel if I had time!'.
  5. People will also tell you they went into XYZ bookshop and couldn't find your book anywhere (thanks!).
  6. But other people will tell you they couldn't find your book so they told the bookshop staff they MUST get it in, or that it WAS there and they either bought it or, if they already had it, put it face out on the shelf for you (THANK YOU!).
  7. Building a support network of other writers is essential. As well as being able to moan to them about all the not so good/scary stuff without seeming ungrateful or diva-ish, and keeping each other away from Amazon/Goodreads, you'll have a group of people to celebrate all the good times (yours and theirs) with who really, really get it. I would have gone a little bit crazy without all my lovely writer friends this year, so again, THANK YOU.
  8. Every bit of good news (no matter how small), and every person who gets in touch to tell you they loved your book or writes a nice review, is like getting a million hugs all at once. 
  9. Nothing – but nothing – beats getting your first copies of your first novel in the post and seeing all those years of hard work in the form of a real, live book.
  10. Your first year of being a published author will be the craziest, most exciting, most wonderful and, at times, most terrifying years of your life… and you won't want to swap it for the world!
P.S. Voting for the Coventry Inspiration Simply the Book Award is now open – if you'd like to vote for ACID (*bats eyelashes*), you can do so here. Cheers!

24 comments:

  1. I read this nodding furiously at every single point. Great post, and huge congrats on such a brilliant year! EmmaX

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    1. Thank you, fellow Emma! And congrats on your debut year too! x

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  2. Congratulations on a brilliant year - looking forward to reading The Fearless! :D

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    1. Thank you, Jo, and the same to you! :)

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  3. Brilliant post. One we all need to learn from. Well done and good luck with the launch of your second.

    Comment preview looks like I'm coming up as anon..
    @LynneInPborough
    lynnelives.wordpress.com

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  4. Aw, I agree with all of these, Em... AND another exciting year ahead for you. Hope 2014 is a fab one for you and The Fearless - I am sure it will be x

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    1. Thank you, Abi! *hugs* Hope 2014 is a fab year for you too. x

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  5. Great post, Em. And I voted - they asked for my school, so I used the old one, even though I disowned them long ago!

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    1. Thank you, Jo! Really appreciate it. :)

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  6. Oh yes! So with you on all of it and glad if anything I posted has helped at all. So happy for your success, Emma and here for you in the bad moments

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  7. Well stated and accurate! Thanks for the post, Emma

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  8. Pre-ordered ACID on Amazon.com - more hugs!

    Carolyn Ramsay (in Michigan, USA)

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  9. Yes - this is all true! Congrats on a great year! I bought ACID for my Kindle and I can't wait to read it! :)

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    1. Thank you, Emma! Hope you enjoy it.

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  10. Emma, thank you for telling the truth so graciously! And congratulations on a fabulous debut. ACID is such a thrill ride!

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  11. This is great! You're my main no.7 ;)

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    1. Aw, thank you, Kate - same here! ;)

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