…this is what she would have told me.
A few weeks ago, Bree and I were talking on the phone about things we really wish someone had told us back when we undertook this venture, this writing for publication thing. And I joked and said, “The kinds of things your mentor would have told you, if only you’d had one?”
Well, you know what? That’s not a joke, really. There are some new authors who do have someone like that, a friendly face delivering helpful, vital knowledge necessary to navigate this tricky business. We ourselves have had pros like Ann Aguirre and Lauren Dane helping us out all the time.
But in the beginning…
We didn’t know anyone. We didn’t know what we were doing. We made mistakes–everything from tiny little ones good for a laugh to big ones that could have easily derailed a fledgling career. All for want of something that is notoriously hard to come by in this business: a little dose of hard truth.
Because no one wants to be That Guy, man. The one people whisper about, the one who spreads rumors and tells tales and guess what? That’s why people who aren’t your friends aren’t going to give you the real, brutal skinny on the inner workings of different epublishers. No one wants that to get around. Every author who’s been doing this for a while could tell you some horror stories but, chances are, she won’t.
I’m not going to be That Guy, either. If you have questions, I’ll be more than happy to answer them. I’m just going to go ahead and let you know up front our first lesson here, the biggest thing I wish I’d had a mentor to tell me way back in the day.
YMMV: Your mileage may vary.
There are so many things to which this statement applies. It’s unreal, honestly. One writer may love a particular epub’s production process; another hates it. I have friends who adore their editors, while I already know I’d never be able to work like that. This writer sells like crazy at X epub, that one tops the charts by signing with Y, a competitor. So, far from being a standard disclaimer, this is the closest thing to a universal truth you’re going to find here.
Your mileage may vary.
I’m working on getting together some basic ideas for future posts in this column, but I also want those questions. And while I’m not going to tell you who I caught picking her nose in a hotel bathroom that one time, I will go ahead and answer just about anything else. And if I won’t, I’ll tell you why.
You can leave questions in comments here, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer. I’ll use initials instead of names, and we can all learn a few things. I’ll even take etiquette questions. Knock yourself out.