Today I’m thrilled to feature M. Kircher and her Path to Publication story! We’ve both traveled a long road to publication, and at times our paths have crossed, so I’m so happy to have her here on my blog!
Without further ado, here’s M…
Lessons I’ve Learned on the Path to Publication
First, I’d like to say thank you to Christi for having me today! What a wonderful series this is and so helpful for all of us who are trying to make it in the writing world. I’ve enjoyed reading the other “Path to Publication” posts so much.
A little about me: I started out writing a marriage blog with my husband actually, when we were both twenty-three. It did rather well and soon we were writing for a couple of websites and print magazines. Then a publisher approached us about writing a marriage book. We said yes and somehow managed to write the book during a long seventeen-month foster-to-adopt process with my son. After it came out I thought, “Huh, I wrote a book. I didn’t know I could do that.” I’d always wanted to write fiction, being a completely insane reader since I was small, but never gathered up enough courage to do it. Then one day a friend literally sat me down and said, “You must write a novel.” So I went home and I wrote a novel!
My first novel was self-published and my second, Dream On, just came out with Astraea Press. In the course of working now as a magazine columnist, a web content writer for a larger publishing house, and an author with a traditional publisher, an indie and publishing my own work…I’ve learned the following important lessons:
- Cultivate a teachable spirit – We all want long careers as writers and one of the key components to longevity is the ability to hear constructive criticism. Don’t hold your work too dearly. There are always new things to learn and ways to improve your writing.
- Be respectful and kind – Along the same lines, when receiving any kind of feedback; make sure you respond with kindness and respect. You might be bristling from a nasty comment, but nothing is classier than a proper, “Thank you so much for your opinion. I really value your input.” Readers and bloggers really care about their fiction and it behooves you as a writer to listen to them with grace and aplomb.
- Always read guidelines and policies – I can’t tell you how many times I hit “submit” and then realized I formatted a query in Times New Roman when an agent or publisher specifically requested it be in Cambria, or something of that nature. I’m a complete fiend now about the thorough reading of submission guidelines—you will stand out of the crowd if you do the same. So many authors breeze through submissions, sometimes even spelling the agent’s name wrong!
- Meet deadlines – If a blogger asks you for your press kit by Friday at noon, make sure it’s in their Inbox by Friday at noon. This is so simple, but I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten simply because I turn my work in on time.
- Marketing is an every day job – Whether you sign with a huge publishing house, an indie, or you decide to self-publish, consider marketing something you must address every work day. Keep up on your social media accounts, continue making new review requests for at least a year after your book is released, try purchasing ads through different sites, and listing your book in as many places as you can. It’s also key to make sure your social media accounts are personal, not just spam. You’ll gain more readership by talking about your life than constantly throwing your work in people’s faces. Put a link to your book on every account, they’ll find it if they want to.
- Failure isn’t – Even if you sign with Harper Collins and get a six-figure advance there is no guarantee that your book will be well received. Some self-published books do better than ones through the bigger companies (just look at Hugh Howey). Your work might do well sometimes and sometimes it might flop. Grieve this and then move on. Keep writing. Keep falling in love with stories. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, gave a Ted Talk where she maintained the love of writing was key. Failure can always be turned into growth, moving forward, and trying new things. Even if you’ve gotten fifty rejections, maybe that fifty-first agent will be a “yes” or maybe you’ll have learned so much about querying, your next book will get picked up right away!
Seventeen-year-old dreamwalker, Em, might have to choose—leave her mother forever in the dreamworld or save the life of hot, rebel Gabe.
Emily Dal Monte and her mother, Lily, are special. They’re humans with a glitch in their genetic code that allows them to explore the fantastic, and often terrifying, world of their dreams for as long as they choose to remain asleep.
But when Em’s father is killed in a tragic accident and her distraught mother loses herself more and more in the dreams of her crumbling mind, Em is forced to support the two of them the only way she knows how, by writing down her mother’s amazing dreams and selling them as books. Enter Gabriel Sobel, the punk newcomer at Em’s high school who realizes Em is the daughter of his favorite, reclusive author. Gabe can’t figure out why Em keeps brushing him off and makes it his mission to find out what’s really going on at the Dal Monte household.
He stumbles upon their shocking family secret just as Lily takes a turn for the worse. It’s up to Em, Gabe, and one very nosy book editor to hop from one extraordinary dream to the next, to find Lily and convince her to wake up before she loses her mind…and before Em loses her first chance at love.
Author Bio: M. Kircher graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Gordon College. She devours YA, science fiction, fantasy, and romance on a regular basis and is immensely happy to pour her time and energy into creating stories for other people to enjoy. Bob Ross and J.R.R. Tolkien tie for her two favorite people of all time.
M. Kircher lives in Connecticut with her husband, energetic son, and new baby girl.
Connect with M. Kircher:
Amazon Author Profile: http://www.amazon.com/M.-Kircher/e/B00E8AKEGI
Thank you, M. Kircher for hosting today!