October 18, 2012

It Doesn't Just Happen

By  Amy McCorkle

Let me first say the moment you open that acceptance letter, whether it’s by email or snail mail is overwhelming. I was thirty-five when my first book was accepted. I cried. I had been writing since I was five and trying for publication since I was eighteen. It is a moment to rejoice, to celebrate. You’ve come a long way, but you should know, it’s a whole new publishing world out there and my journey is simply my experience and I hope this will be of some help.

In May 2010, I wrote Another Way to Die. In November, my best friend’s father went into the hospital for a liver transplant. As he struggled to recover, I realized my book was sitting on my hard drive going nowhere. Feeling my own mortality as he deteriorated I knew my career wasn’t just ‘going to happen’. So as my own clock started ticking I submitted my manuscript and got notes to revise and resubmit. I decided I had to do it and rewrote the whole thing. If I can offer any one piece of advice, it is this, start building your platform early. What is a platform? In your career as a writer, your platform is you. At a free online conference given by Savvy Authors called Digicon, publishers were invited and I pitched Another Way to Die to every one of them. They all accepted. I chose to go with MuseItUp Publishing, an epublisher. I learned what you needed for a platform. Basics, Facebook, Twitter, Official Author Site, and a blog.

Turns out Muse prides itself on cultivating and nurturing new talent. Muse offers Yahoo groups to join, and has a database of other sites valuable to writers. But Muse is an epublisher and you want a New York deal. I can only give you the benefit of my experience. I have three books out at Muse and each one has sold progressively more than the last. How come? Well one is readership, but I gained that readership by blogging, tweeting, and facebooking and updating my website from time to time. Yes, that dreaded P word. . So how do you promote an ebook?

Because I write dystopian/scifi and dark romantic suspense I go to Cons, they’re relatively cheap and you can usually get in free if you sit on panels. But if you have ebooks and I have four out now (I’m also with the small press Promotion  online is your market. And when I say promote I don’t just mean tweeting your book incessantly. You have to build relationships with your following on Twitter and FB.

Does a career in epublishing really work? Well I’ve done everything above; I have 12 contracts, two writing awards, and several blogging awards. Am I rich? Only time will tell. One thing I know for certain it doesn’t ‘just happen’, you have to make it happen.

Amy McCorkle is an award winning author from Kentucky. Her newest book, Bounty Hunter releases this month. She is a 2012 Moondance International Film Festival,Semi-Finalist for her short story.

1 comment:

  1. I tend to think of the act of writing as a destiny / profession that chooses you. No matter how you try to run from it, the voices in your head will whisper, nag, and shout until you succumb. You have no choice but to sit down and write their story.
    With all of the publishers lusting after your book, what made you chose an eBook publisher? I chose to publish my nine as eBooks, but have since moved five into the hands of a small press. Mainly with the hope they may make a difference with the sales and for the help with marketing. It's. comforting when there is someone else invested and equally excited about your work.