This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Peggy Jaeger will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
I found out my first book, Skater’s Waltz, had been contracted for publication while I was attending the 2014 RWA conference in San Antonio, TX. Shocked, thrilled, and terrified, I thought the hard part – finding someone willing to publish my novel – was over.
Yeah…not so much.
Those months after learning my book was going to be published were a severe and steep learning curve for me. I thought I knew what was entailed in being a published author. I was sososo wrong.
#1: it’s not over when you type THE END. It’s just the beginning…
After I signed on the dotted line, the real work began. I’d been published for years in literary fiction anthologies and in non-fiction magazines and periodicals. The literary magazines accepted the work as is, the non-fiction articles were sometimes reworked and refined by editors to allow for spacing considerations. My point is that it was someone else’s job to get the piece publishing-presentable.
Not anymore. Welcome to the world of book fiction.
#2: the hard work starts after you contract for publication…
My first book went through 3 rounds of edits between my editor and myself before it was sent to galleys for actual publication. And even after it went out to the copy editor, there were still some changes that needed to be made. I was ready to rip my hair out at one point. All I kept thinking as more and more edit suggestions came my way was, “Why the heck did they want this if it needs so much work??”
#3: Editors are the most underrated and undervalued people on the publishing food chain…
All editors are good at their job – they have to be. But the ones who are truly great make a good book even better. They find the little twists and turns of a phrase, or a word change, or a sentence deletion that is key to making the reader want to read more. A good Editor can make – or break – your publishing career.
My editors have been some of the great ones, and thank you, Jesus for that!
#4: you should have taken marketing classes in college…
I will admit this freely – I was unbelievably naïve when I signed that first contract. I thought the publisher was going to do all the marketing necessary to promote my book, get it on a best-seller list, and generally skyrocket me to fame.
Yeah, AGAIN, not so much!
The minute your book is contracted and the editing begins, you need to start promoting it. Often and everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, your website, blog tours, newspaper press releases, your Aunt Maimie’s bridge club. Anywhere, everywhere, and as often as you can, so that when you finally have a release date, the buzz about the book will have started, grown to fever pitch and resulted in so many pre-orders your head spins.
That’s the dream, peeps. #5: before the first book hits the shelves you’d better be working on, or done with, book #2…
As a writer you can never – NEVER – rest on your laurels. It is a true axiom of publishing: you are only as good as your next book. So while you are doing all that dreaded marketing, take time each day and write…write…write. I had book two on my editor’s desk before book one was released. Same for book 3. Keep ‘em coming.
#6: don’t think everyone is just going to love your book to bits. Here is the realest statement you will ever hear from me: reviews suck the life out of you. For every 6 people that give you a 4 or 5 rating and a great review on Amazon, 2-3 will give it a 3, 2, or the dreaded 1 and tell you all the horrible reasons why they hated your work. You can’t please everyone, so don’t try. The best advice I heard at that 2014 RWA conference was to write the book of your heart, write it for you, no one else. I still do that to this day.
#7: writing is a lonely, solitary career Writing, editing, revising, plotting are all – for the most part – done alone in the privacy of your office or wherever you plant your butt and laptop to work. Days will go by where I will not talk to anyone except my husband before he leaves for work in the morning, and then when he comes home at night. If I am under an editing deadline, I may not leave the house for days or weeks until I am done. I am a very sociable person and like being around my friends and chatting away. The only one I chat to nowadays is my Dragon speech-to-text program.
#8: you will not be an overnight success and publishing wunderkind
I’m gonna chalk this up to naivete again when I tell you that I really thought once my book was published I would have USA bestselling authors call me to “do lunch,” or that every book club in my state would be vying for me to speak at their meetings. The days following my first release I received one phone call from my daughter, asking if I could send her something from the dresser in her childhood bedroom. The TODAY show didn’t come knocking on my front door requesting an interview; the NYTimes didn’t reach out to me.
#9: you will not make $1,000.000 off your first book.
Factoring all the money I spent on book promotion, book tours, and for author copies, it took me until my sixth book was released before I started to break even with each subsequent book release. At this rate, by the time I release book 312 I will start to show a profit.
#10: you need to take time to breathe and enjoy…
Yes, I was overwhelmed, naïve, frustrated and generally anxious with the release of my first book. But I was also thrilled at having my dream – finally - come true. It was a long road for me to book publication. I was 54 years old when the first one came out, a time when most people are starting to look toward the end of their working life. Not me. Mine was just beginning and I wanted to savor every moment of how it felt to hold my first book in my hands; see my name in print on the cover of a book I’d penned; sign my first autograph on a copy someone had actually paid cash-money for! Don’t let anything ever take away or overwhelm you from that sense of wonderful, soul-soaring achievement you’ve accomplished. Take a picture – take several! Keep a diary of everything you’ve accomplished. Be proud of yourself. You deserve to be.
Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.
Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?
Read an excerpt:
My free hand slid up his jacket, basking in the rich texture of the fabric, to skim across the column of his throat and settle against his cheek. His skin was smooth and clean-shaven, warm and velvety soft against my palm. Connor let go of my arm and slipped his hand down my back. With his fingers pressed against the dip in my spine, he pressed me in even closer. His tongue nipped and sipped at my own as his fingers fanned across my back and kneaded.
Who knew the small of your back was such an erogenous zone? He must have first-hand knowledge about a particularly sensitive nerve bundle in that region because my thighs started to tremble and a deep-seated liquid warmth, like warm butter melting over hot morning ciabatta rolls, spread throughout my system. A restlessness for more shunted through me from top to bottom, making me fidget and writhe for release. I think I moaned. Or maybe that was Connor. I wasn’t sure, but one thing I was sure of was that in all the time I’d been married, I’d never felt so turned on by a simple kiss before.
Okay, well, it really wasn’t a simple kiss. More a life-changing event.
About the Author:
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
Tying into her love of families, her children's book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.
Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s.
In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.
In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader's Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.
In 2018, Peggy was a finalist in the HOLT MEDALLION Award and once again in the 2018 Stiletto Contest.
A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6235-christmas-and-cannolis.html
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