Have you ever had a particularly harsh review? How did you handle it? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
One month until my first novel releases. It's about this time that bloggers start posting about your book and reviewers begin writing about you. It can be a very scary time, as I'm coming to realize. From fellow authors I've felt nothing but an outpouring of love. Their posts on Goodreads are so sweet and the quotes and reviews they've emails warm my heart. I'm so lucky to have a good circle of support from authors such as myself. It's important to make those connections because no one knows more about this process than them. On the other side of the coin I'm gearing up for the less than positive reviews that I know are coming and a part of being in this profession. I'm going to be honest and say I don't deal with criticism well. When it comes to my agent and publisher I take in their notes and almost always listen and make changes/adjustments where needed. However, inside I'm dying at the thought that they didn't like something I've done. It's crazy, I know. No one on this planet is going to have everyone love what they do every moment of the day. We all make mistakes and need improvement. Even the best authors out there today are subject to harsh reviews, criticism and the dreaded red editing pen. I just wish that I had thicker skin. Everyone keeps saying stay off Amazon, don't read what people write about you. I can't do that! I feel like if someone took the time to write a review I should take the time to read it. And maybe I'll learn something from the reviewer; maybe I'll change how I write a character next time or alter my dialogue because of their notes. On the other side of that I also realize that I can't please everyone. People are never going to agree on the whole about any one subject. I need to take the comments with a grain of salt. I'm probably going to add a shot of tequila to that as well. Reviews are coming; that's just part of the gig and I know that I need them to promote my work. But why can't they all just love me? :)
Have you ever had a particularly harsh review? How did you handle it? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
On Sunday I finished book 2 of my new series (yay!) and did some editing before sending it on to my agent. Before I sent it I took a look at the outline I originally sent her. My story had changed a good amount from what I'd written in the outline. This outline was sent to several publications to see if anyone is interested in my buying my new series. So now I wonder: how important is the book outline? Personally I think the changes I made were an improvement to the story and I'm finding that I'm the kind of writer that changes as I go. I get new ideas and adjust the storyline accordingly so that everything makes sense, thus the editing before sending it to my agent. Hopefully I get the chance to change the outline before it is sent to publishers or cross my fingers and hope the outline isn't that important if the publishers decide to buy the series. As an author I am finding it difficult to stick to a formulaic way of writing when the way I write novels is fluid and flexible. My ideas come to me as I go, which is odd because in other areas of my life I'm a planner--always needing to know what I'm doing next and when. The main idea of the novel is the same, but the ending does not fall in line with the outline at all. I'm also realizing that maybe an outline isn't for me. If I'm the kind of writer who makes it up as I go along then maybe I need to write the book first before sending an outline so that the two will go together and there won't be any need for adjustments. Any other authors have a similar issue? Are you able to stick with an outline once you set it or do you stray as well? Feedback appreciated and welcome!
So you've finished a book. Done right? Absolutely not. You have finished step one. Now it's time to begin the next phase of book publishing. For most people it's editing with your publisher, but I'm one of those authors who still need fine tuning from my agent first before going on to sell the book to a publisher. As a new author I'm still learning how all this goes. Not all new authors need help editing, but I am one that does. Sometimes a character is unnecessary or a plot line doesn't make sense. That's when you need the trained eye of an agent to know what to take out or add before making the book the best it can be and then sending it out to be sold. My first book I had several years to perfect and I still needed editing with my agent and then again with my publisher. Now my second book has been a completely different experience. I finished it with limited time and sent it to my agent to review only she believed it to be ready and started editing! That was a shock to me because I thought it was no where near the editing stage yet so I was pleasantly surprised when she began sending me notes. I felt I still needed to edit it on my own first. My second book is also different because it's the beginning of a series that will span six books or more. That is a huge undertaking for me and it was very scary to attempt. I'm on my third book now and just finished editing the second with my agent. It's almost ready to be sent out to publishers, which is nerve wracking in and of itself. What if I finish the second in the series and move on to the third and no one has bought it? What if I need so many edits in the first of the series it effects the rest of the series? It's a lot of unknowns for me who still feels new to all this. I'm so blessed to have such as amazing agency to represent and cheer for me, as well as my current publisher who is promoting my first novel, Lover's Oak. It's hard sometimes to look ahead when you still have so much behind you that hasn't even started like the release of my first book. But if I don't plan for the future, no one will. Editing is my middle step before the book gets sold and I have to do it again with my new publisher (I don't mind that at all because that means the book sold!) But then I start all over again writing a new book, which is exciting and daunting at the same time. I'm in a unique profession that I'm still learning about, but loving every minute. Other authors: do you edit tons before sending to your agent? Do you edit with your agent or does it go straight out for The Sell?
When I first understood that I was going to be a published writer--I mean when it really hit me that my dream of being an author was coming to fruition--this was my first thought: I'm going to be on Amazon. People are going to be able to search my name, order my book, read it on a Kindle or eReader. To me, that's the epitome of fame. So yesterday when I randomly did a search for Corinne Scott in the books section of Amazon to see if my publisher got my novel on there yet I was shocked to see Lover's Oak come up with my name attached. Joy, awe, amazement, excitement--pretty much every adjective you could think of occurred at that moment for me. None of this seemed real until that moment. Any seasoned authors out there might say that this feeling gets old, or lessens with time, even disappearing completely, but no matter what the future holds--even if this is the only book I ever publish--I will always remember the feeling of seeing my name on Amazon's website along other authors that I read and adore. I don't think anything will top that. Even if my family and friends are the only ones who ever buy the book, I can say that I was an author who sold a book on Amazon. Dream fulfilled.
Anyone else know this feeling? Share it with me! I'd love to know about your experience seeing your book being sold for the first time as well.
What author doesn't love typing those two words? It means all the blood, sweat and tears that you pored into that novel was worth it because you finally made it to the light at the end of the tunnel. For most people they think that's truly 'the end', but we know it's really the beginning. An author friend of mine recently posted a question on Facebook about editing. She asked if other authors edited as they go or waited until the end. For me it's definitely the latter. I adore editing. Every time I read through my work I find something else to change, revise, reword, or add to. It's my favorite part because the heavy lifting is done and all I have to do is tweak from now on. It's why I save the best for last. So after the editing is done now it's time to find a beta reader whether that's family, friend, agent, publisher, or a fellow author who is willing to beta read your novel. So you take their suggestions and edits and go back. Again. Probably several more times. Finally it's ready for submission. I'm lucky in that my amazing agents are willing to read my work, unedited. In a perfect world I would be able to edit until the end of time then submit to my agent, but I also work a full-time day job, which makes it hard to make my work amazing in my eyes before submission. I was able to use the Christmas holidays and now Spring Break to write this novel, which is the beginning of a new series and genre for me. That alone is nerve-wrecking enough, but to send it on without doing edits is completely new territory for me. Anyone else finishing a novel? Do you know feeling of typing 'the end'? Let me know and we can rejoice together at completing a book. Not everyone gets there. Be happy you did.
I recently got the promotion package from my agent with all the things I need to do before my book is released this summer. Lists including contacting bloggers, networking with other authors for quotes on my book as well as help on how to navigate a first time release, possibly setting up a Street Team on Facebook, using social media three times a day at least and much more. It is definitely overwhelming, but in a fun way. For months I felt like I've been in a holding pattern--waiting for the next step in the book release process and this having been my first time I'm still unsure of what to expect and when to do promotion.
2015 starts a new year as well as a new book release for this lady right here. This time last year, almost to the day, I was writing query letters to agencies and publishing houses trying to get anyone to read my manuscript. It took six weeks to get a yes out of all the nos and I am ever so grateful to the Belcastro Agency for taking a chance on me.
This new year brings a lot of firsts, just like last year did. I will be choosing cover art, probably doing last minute editing and promoting the release of my book in June. I will need bloggers and reviewers to read and write reviews for my first novel so if anyone knows someone who would be willing to do this, please comment or message me about it.
This is all so new to me, but I feel confident about the future and know that I will continue in this field, no matter how my book is received because I love to write. I am beginning the process of starting a new series--always scary, but thrilling at the same time. The words are flowing so I hope to have new characters for you next year as well. However, it's not as suspenseful as Lover's Oak and falls more in the contemporary category, which is new for me to write, but not to read as I have many favorite authors in this genre. I feel like adding a series element to my writing will pick up new viewers and hopefully start a new career for me in the contemporary romance field. Those of you who have switched genres, please leave me feedback as well. I'd love to hear from you.
Happy holidays and enjoy the New Year! 2015 will rock!
During this Thanksgiving holiday there could have been a lot for me to be annoyed with or impatient about in regards to my book release and the future of my writing career. The words aren't flowing like before when I was writing for the joy of it rather than because I have a deadline. The worry that this might be the only book I ever publish. Frightened that romantic suspense isn't my genre unless I have years to work out the plot, sequence, twists, etc. Maybe I should write generic romance where I could churn those out every month, if I wanted. Not that there's anything wrong with that type of literature. It's just that my dream was always to write suspense novels a la Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Karen Robards, Julie Garwood, etc. All of these thoughts and more were getting me down this holiday season until it was time to say what we were thankful for before Thanksgiving dinner. That's when I realized that I have not one, but two jobs, which are both fulfilling in different ways. I have a roof over my head, family and friends that I love, dogs I love to spoil, and my health. Everything else is white noise. Little worries that I will always have because that's just my personality. This Thanksgiving I put all that behind me and enjoyed spending time with my family. I will write more novels. Whether they are romantic suspense or just romance I will write more because I do love it. If I sell them or not, that would be the question, but regardless I am happy where I am right now in my writing career because it's the beginning and I have miles to go before I sleep (thanks Frost for the help with that one). Enjoy this holiday season. Write if you want. Read if you want. Or not. Spend time cherishing those around you and everything else will come in time.
I had my first phone conversation with my publisher this week and we discussed my pen name. I started using the name Cory Scott back in March when my agency signed me and I realized that my book might actually get published. A lot of thought went into my pen name before finally choosing Cory Scott. From there I created my website, started blogging under this name, created a Facebook account and page under Cory Scott, as well as Twitter and Goodreads accounts. I never really thought about it from a publisher's standpoint--Cory is just a name that I would answer to and Scott is a family name. That was a far as my thought process went in regards to my pseudonym. However, after talking to my publisher she suggested that in the romantic suspense world the readers are mostly women and they relate to a woman's name. Cory isn't gender specific enough. It could be a male or female as far as a reader is concerned. Her worry is that a reader will see the name Cory Scott and not buy my book because they don't know if I'm a male or female. This is a legitimate concern that, to be honest, I had never thought about. Maybe because it never occurred to me that most people who purchase books in the romance field would be women and that they might not buy my book if they think I'm a man. Then I started thinking about it and realized that I have not purchased many romance books written by men. Is that because there aren't that many out there or because I'm secretly biased against men writing in this particular field? It really opened my eyes to my book purchases and I went back to look at my Kindle account. 98% of all my romance books were written by women. Women whom I have followed for years and who have a brand. They have their image out there and I know that they are great authors and I love what they write. Does it really matter if they are women? I never used to think so, but now I'm wondering and questioning all the books I've ever bought. Does gender have so much to do with what we read? Can it ever be a novel stands on its own merit, regardless of the name we slap on the cover? Needless to say this opened my eyes to the publishing world a bit and gave me a lot of food for thought. That's why if you'll notice on all my social media and website my name now shows Corinne Scott instead of Cory Scott. Same person, more girly first name. So you tell me, blogosphere: does an author's name impact your purchases for books? Does it change your opinion on the work itself? Tell me honestly: what's in a name?
Author of romantic suspense with a new novel coming soon!