Sunday, September 11, 2011
Investing in Your Career
Last Saturday I taught a class called "How to Get Published" at Murder on the Beach, a wonderful mystery bookstore in Delray Beach, Florida. We had 24 attendees, all eager learners. A few had manuscripts completed. One was a cartoonist. Another had a book published by a company that went out of business. Two had written books for children. One was a high school student whose writing I've heard is exceptional.
The single best piece of advice I can give anyone who wants to get published is this: Invest in your career.
I own nearly a hundred books on writing, the business of writing, grammar, plotting, getting published, and marketing your work. I attended all sorts of conferences BEFORE I was published. I joined Sisters in Crime before I was published. And every cent I've spent has been worthwhile.
I know a lot of folks at the start of their career think, "As soon as I sell a book, I'll go to a conference." But that's the wrong approach. By going before you sell your work, you meet wonderful people--lifelong friends. You learn about the business. You avoid costly and expensive mistakes. And yes, you can wind up selling your book at a conference such as SleuthFest.
Speaking of learning about this business. This month's Vanity Fair (the one with Angelina Jolie on the cover) has an outstanding article about the making of a bestseller. While I don't agree with everything the author says, the piece is highly educational. An expanded version of the article is available on e-readers. Go to vf.com/go/ebooks
I've learned so much about getting published, that I put all my thoughts together in a download that's available at http://www.youpublish.com/ Just plug in my name to go to my "library" and you'll see "The Road to Publication." There's 52 pages of advice there for a modest fee!
I'll be traveling today, so I might not get the chance to check back in--but I'm curious. What advice would my blog sisters give to someone who wants to be published?