Today on the Pink Heart Society, columnist Candace Shaw offers a few tips for new authors that helped her to be successful in her writing career.
I always freeze when an aspiring or beginning author actually ask me for advice. That happened to me this weekend at a reader’s retreat in Las Vegas. At times, I still feel like I’m a new author as well. I’m only in my third year and have published eight books and two short stories. What advice can I possibly offer when I’m still learning? However, here are some tips that has helped me in my writing career that I can honestly say if I wasn’t given the advice, I may very well be unpublished at this moment.
Join a writer’s group in your city
In 2009, I joined Georgia Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America to hone my craft and to gain better insight and knowledge of writing contemporary romance novels as well as the publishing industry. It was one of the best decisions of my career. These organizations are valuable in order to meet fellow aspiring authors as well as published authors who can mentor you along the way and offer sound advice. Most of the groups have monthly meetings where authors or sometimes editors will conduct workshops. Majority of the chapters hold weekend or even week-long conferences that offer workshops for authors of all stages. Editors also attend the conferences looking for new authors to sign. No matter where you are in your career, attending writer’s workshops is beneficial as you continue to change as a writer as well as the industry.
Make author friends
Seek out other authors to chat with because trust me any venting you do with your non-writer friends will go over their heads. It’s not that they don’t care about you, but they don’t understand when you say you have writer’s block or you only managed to type 500 words today. However, your writer friends understand it completely, offer encouragement and will help you to think of ideas/work out the scene that has you pulling out your hair. Whereas your other friends may simply say “I’m so sorry,” and continue the conversation with another topic while you stare at a blank computer screen or email a long rant to your author friend.
Form a critique group
Belonging to a critique group or having critique partners is very beneficial and especially more than one because it’s good to have more than one opinion. You can bounce ideas off of them and hopefully they will be honest with you. Also, it’s great to have another set of eyes reading your manuscripts for typos, grammar errors as well as whether or not the dialogue flows, continuity and content before sending to the editor.
Listen to the veterans
Please listen to the veterans. No, not me. I’m referring to the authors who have been in the business long enough to see the changes that have emerged lately in the publishing world. All of it may not pertain to you depending upon the audience and the genre you write, but they may take you under their wing to mentor and guide you. Make sure to show your appreciation and thank them. Who knows? When your book is released, they may just give you a shout out on their social media page.
What advice would you give to an aspiring or new author? Let us know in the comment section.
Candace Shaw writes fun, flirty and sexy romance novels for Harlequin Kimani Romance and she’s self-published as well. Candace loves hearing from readers and can be reached at her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus. Check out her upcoming November release with Harlequin, The Sweetest Kiss.
Too tempting to resist
Luscious, tantalizing, delectable…and that's just Tiffani Chase-Lake's cupcakes. The moment Broderick Hollingsworth sets eyes on the sexy baker herself, he's truly intrigued. For the first time, the wary real estate developer is ready to open up to someone. Then he realizes that his next business deal is going to leave Tiffani and her cozy bakery high and dry…
Just as hardworking single mom Tiffani is falling for Broderick's easy charm, she learns about the property deal that will destroy her business. Even her most decadent dessert can't eclipse the bitter taste of betrayal. Tiffani's livelihood and her independence are on the line. Walking away from their sensual chemistry won't be easy—but is trusting him a recipe for heartache?