I attended a seminar at the local community college last night on how to publish your novel. It was interesting because I think I was the most informed person in the room, and for one reason only: my relentless reading of publishing and writer’s blogs.
The sources of information available on the internet today are literally astounding. And overwhelming. And at times anxiety producing when you think, “What the heck am I going to blog about today?”
Seminar attendees included a dad who was searching out publishing options for his teen daughter. (I hope he visits my blog – I gave him my card. It says “Writer and Rocket Scientist” on it, because I can be silly sometimes.) There was a woman who had a very negative experience with a pay-to-publish scheme. There was a delightful elderly man with his inches-thick-compilations of stories about the Jewish experience in Chicago. Few had heard of Writer’s Beware or e-publishing or agent blogs.
I spoke up only a few times, but mainly to say that the most important thing, in deciding amongst the myriad publishing “options,” was to determine what your goals were first: do you want your inspirational memoir to reach as many hearts as possible or do you want to make money doing it? Do you want your child to hand out their first novel to their friends or do you want to set them on the path to becoming a professional writer? Do you want your research to be taken seriously in academia or do you simply want a historical accounting for posterity? These are all good choices. But knowing what your heart most desires will increase your chances of achieving it.
I came home and took my own advice. I already have a mission statement, so this morning I printed out a calendar and wrote some target dates and deadlines for my writing. It says things like “start researching new novel” and “start querying Byrne Risk” and “send out Open Minds to beta readers.” Because these are the steps, each small but crucial, that will get me to my goals.
And I will keep writing and reading blogs, because the value of that goes far beyond the time invested.
What steps are you taking towards your goals, lovely readers?