In 2016, I solemnly swear that I will:
- (Try to) stop looking at Goodreads
- Become very zen about reviews in general
- Stop peering over the fence at other writers’ gardens
- Take opportunities and be less of an anxious lump
- Take the time to recognise, appreciate and celebrate achievements
- Go on as many adventures as possible
- Edit Book 2. Write Book 3
- Keep better track of my expenditure so the tax return bit isn’t such a mare
- Be grateful for what I have
- Pay it forward.
If I’m summing up my years in blog titles, this is The Year My Microsoft Word Document Became An Actual Book With Pages. Last year was The Year I Got My Agent And She Made All My Dreams Come True (Thanks, Claire!). Next year will be My Debut Year.
But in the interests of leaving the past in the past and not being clairvoyant, I’ll keep this particular blog post to 2015. My crash course in publishing. The year I learned what “stet” meant. The year I held a proof of my book in my hands and turned ACTUAL PHYSICAL PAGES.
So, without further ado, here’s what I learned about publishing in 2015:
- It really is full of brilliant people. It’s true! I thought I’d have encountered some mediocre ones by now, but I haven’t! My publishing house – Macmillan Children’s – is just full of incredibly talented, passionate, friendly and supportive people. And they give me books! They’re pretty great.
- Everything takes a really long time. Like, a really long time. Maybe even longer than that. Learn to be patient, or this is not the industry for you. Unless you’re a contestant on The Apprentice.
- Editing is hard. And however long you think it’s going to take, double it.
- And you will realise you hate your book. Then love it again. Then hate. Then love. Then
- Goodreads is where happiness goes to die. Don’t go on Goodreads. Just don’t. (Maybe next year I might even take this advice.)
- Book v/bloggers are all kinds of awesome. Passionate, dedicated, supportive and enthusiastic. Guess which blogger I’m talking about? Jokes, it’s ALL OF THEM.
- Author friends make the best friends (aka Ode to Mel Salisbury). Written a book? Find someone else who has written a book and make friends with them immediately. Then find some more. Repeat. They will pull you out of funks. They will celebrate the highs with you. They will remind you why you are doing what you are doing. They will go on adventures with you. They will sign their book for you with a private joke. Get writer friends. Really.
- It’s not all joy all the time. Getting a book deal is a dream come true, there’s no doubt about that. But that doesn’t mean everything will be perfect and wonderful from then on. Don’t feel guilty for having bad days. They’ll still happen.
- Someone else will always have a better deal, a higher review, more buzz, more followers, more territories, more more more. Don’t compare, you dingbat. There lies madness.
- There are a lot of brilliant books in the world. And they’re being written, edited, marketed, sold and read by some pretty brilliant people. Huzzah for publishing! Here’s to next year.