Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Learning Curve of a New Author


March is here and spring is right around the corner for those of us in the north, which means my writing time will soon become limited as the flower garden needs planted, the yard work will begin and life will be bustling with activity. The good news is I’ve worked with my wonderful editor for over a year now and know pretty much what she expects from me. J

After selling RANCHER TO THE RESCUE and one other book to Harlequin Romance, I’ve been ahead on the scheduler and have had some down time since the holidays. During this break, I did some reading and worked up three detailed synopses for my editor. She got back to me this past month and let me know I had come up with some “great ideas.” J Then she went on to tell me which story we’d be working on for book #3.

She called me on the phone to discuss her thoughts on the story. Her input was very helpful and streamlined the story. Then came the task of writing up the formal proposal, but not so fast, I had some personal things creep up that took precedence. I told my editor and we worked around them. Being up front and honest about meeting deadlines is something I’ve always made a practice of doing and in this case, there were no problems.

As such, I was late to begin writing my requested chapters and had to hide in my writing cave to meet my deadline, but I was determined to succeed. And I did. My formal proposal is now on my editor’s Kindle waiting to be read. J

This submission makes me a little nervous as Harlequin Romance is making a change in their editorial direction—more of a global appeal. If you are interested, you can find the guidelines here.

If you're unpublished or are an author targeting a new house, pay attention to those editorial guidelines. They are important. Editors are always working in the future and those guidelines represent what they are looking for in current submissions.

For example, you may be reading a current series about zoos and you have a great manuscript written about zoos but before you submit, check the guidelines. Most books are written a year before they hit bookshelves. If you check the editorial guidelines, you might find that instead of zoos they now want museum stories. Your zoo story though it may be great, won’t work.

So keep a close eye on the guidelines, they’ll change a lot of times without any big fuss being made.

And one more milestone in my journey, my debut is now up for pre-order from Amazon, Amazon UK, B&N and the Book Depository. This is so exciting for me as it means my lifelong dream is really going to come true. Soon I will be able to hold my book in my hands. *sweet sigh*

Now it’s your turn, does anyone have any other questions for me? I'd love to chat with you.


Jennifer Faye is hard at work on book #3. Her debut, RANCHER TO THE RESCUE, will be released July 2013. She’d love to hear from you via Twitter, her website, or Facebook.

14 comments:

  1. Great to know things are going so well for you Jen. Great post.

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    1. Thanks! It's certainly been busy and exciting. There's always something new to discover. And next month my cover should arrive. Can't wait. Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting. :-)

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  2. Thanks for the great advice! Good luck with your releases! Must be exciting!

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    1. Hi, Nancy. So glad to know you found the column helpful.

      Thanks so much! Yes, this whole process is very exciting and constantly has surprises...good surprises. :-)

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  3. From MarcieR:

    What do you mean by "formal proposal"? 3 chapters and synopsis? But didn't you already give the synopsis?

    So - you sent a page(?)for each idea.
    Got approval on one.
    Wrote synopsis and 3 chapters.
    And waiting to see if you are on the right path as discussed?

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    1. Hi, Marcie. You always have wonderful questions. Thank you!

      A formal proposal is first three chapters and synopsis.

      In the brainstorming stage I sent in a detailed synopsis for each of my three ideas. I didn't have to go into so much detail but I felt strongly about each story idea and wanted to give them a proper presentation.

      Then my editor called with feedback on the story she wanted us to work on next. I can't say enough about how helpful/great my editor is to work with. The conversation gave me fresh ideas and a different direction for the story...so I had to totally rewrite the synopsis.

      My philosophy is always that it's easier to rewrite a synopsis/outline rather than a completed manuscript. So to have editor input at the beginning is a HUGE benefit to me.

      Now with the partial submitted, I'm waiting to see if I executed the story idea correctly. Fingers firmly crossed.

      Even after getting published you still find yourself waiting...although the waits are much shorter. But editors are amazingly busy people. The more I learn about what they have to do, it amazes me that they get it all done. ;-)

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    2. from MarcieR

      I'm glad you think they are good questions! I'm too curious how it all works since I'm trying too!

      Thanks for your honesty.

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    3. Curiosity is how people learn. So don't worry. I like to be helpful. ;-)

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  4. Hi, Jennifer,

    Looking forward to the new release!

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    1. Hi, Angela. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

      And thank you for the kind words. Hope you enjoy the story.

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  5. An excellent post. Good luck with your career journey--it sounds as though it's off to a great start!

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    1. Liz, thanks so much for checking out my post. Glad you enjoyed it. And thank you for your kind words. This is a really fun year filled with lots of firsts for me. :-)

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  6. Great blog Jenn! Yay for book 3 :) And can't wait for your debut!

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    1. Jen, thanks so much!!! Not much longer until the release. The wait went a lot faster than I thought it would. :-)

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