Monday, November 7, 2011

ASK LEE ANN: Writers Questions Answered

Monday morning dawns again and I'm back with more answers to questions from writers.  Not that I'm a total expert by any means but I'm happy to share what I've learned along the way.  So without further fuss, let's jump into some recent questions.

1. Is it too late to write my Christmas/Hannukah/New Year's/Kwanza story for this year?

In a word, yes, unless you are writing something for a local venue with a short lead time.  As an example, I haven't written my December columns yet for the local newspaper but since I can deliver my weekly column as close as two days before it runs, I can do that.  My Christmas novel, Sing We Now of Christmas however, was written back in the heat of the summer, writing about snow and Christmas trees and candles in the window while wearing my shorts and working barefoot.  It was sent and accepted before autumn even officially arrived. I've already written my Valentine's release A Patient Heart, submitted, got a contract and have cover art.  We haven't got to the edits yet but we have plenty of time.

 Some publishers want seasonal things at least a year in advance; others may want even more advance time.  Magazines want things a year or more ahead so if you want to write Christmas or holiday themes now, do it - and then wait to send it later.  Or you can do like me, tap into imagination and memories to write about the holidays in the heat of July.

2.  I was asked this question just the other day and field it fairly often:
  I like to write but I hate promotion. Do I have to promote?

 Well, you do if you want to sell books.  Think of it this way - there are increasing numbers of books out in the world in both eBook and print formats.  Readers have a virtual buffet of books to select from and if you want them to consider picking your book, they have to know about it.  They need to know it exists, why they want to read it (and it's your job to provide a reason), where they can get it, and a little about you.  So learn to promote.  Most of us authors don't really love it but we've learned to do it.   I'm very thankful for my background in media (including broadcast radio) and advertising because it's proven valuable in promotion, promotion, promotion.

3. My book/story/novel was rejected.  Do I give up?

The answer to that is 'no' and not just 'no' but HELL NO.  There are many reasons why work is rejected and it doesn't always mean the work sucks.  If the same work is rejected over and over, find a beta reader who will be brutal with honesty but never give up.  Keep writing, learn to enhance your work, improve and continue.   Repeat until you are accepted and published.

Got questions? I've got answers.  Maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong but I'll share with you out of my own experience and knowledge stores. 

If you have a question you'd like answered in another edition of "Ask Lee Ann", leave it in the comments and I'll answer it.

Now back to the writing........

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