Angi Morgan: ARE YOU READY TO BE PUBLISHED?

Thanks once again to South Carolina Writer’s Workshop for having me as a guest. When Lateia asked me to blog every three weeks about the ten months between my initial sale and when my Hill Country Holdup hit bookshelves, I wondered what I’d ever find to share that may be interesting.

There were a lot of topics to choose from today. A lot of things have happened for my career this past month or so. I have a second sale to announce. And thanks to my terrific agent, .38 Caliber Cover-Up will be a February 2011 Harlequin Intrigue release. I just received the title this morning and I’m announcing it here first. I haven’t even told my hubby yet (he’s out of town).

I love it. It fits the story perfectly. And no...*I* didn’t think of it. LOL

So since May 13th, I’ve sold my second Intrigue with a very quick delivery date at the end of July. The sale happened on May 28th. I haven’t even received the contract for .38 Caliber Cover-Up, but I’ve finished the AFS (Art Fact Sheets) for the cover, submitted blurbs, and was assigned my title. I’m still waiting on the cover for my first Intrigue which is released in September.

It all feels surreal. Last year at this time, I was awaiting the July results of the Daphne du Maurier contest (where I received the requests from my agent and editor). This year at the national Romance Writers of America conference in July, I’ll find out the results of the Golden Heart winners. (For those of you not in RWA, the GH is the highest unpublished writing award the organization offers. HCH was still eligible as See Jane Run last November when I entered.)

Things change fast. So my question for you today is this: ARE YOU READY TO BE PUBLISHED?

I’m certain that everyone who hasn’t experienced that First Sale Call is thinking this is a fairly silly question. OF COURSE YOU’RE READY. And yes, everyone’s ready to experience the euphoria of selling their book, their baby manuscript, their dream. But are you ready for the work?

This is not a disillusionment article. I am so excited I can hardly keep myself in my chair to type. But sharing this experience is sharing the reality. If I can have two sales with two releases just months apart...then so can you.

Be prepared. Have more than one manuscript ready for submission. Have your website established and ready to update. Have your social networking practices--including limiting the amount of time you network--in place. Research what type of publicity you want. How much money are you going to spend (making certain you don’t spend your entire advance). Are you going to blog? Or just be a guest blogger? Where? How often? Do you give yourself time-lines and deadlines before you sell? Do you work harder to finish a deadline you set for yourself or just shrug it off as not important? Do you give yourself a reward for finishing/completing those deadlines?

Lots or questions and I know there are more. These are a few things for you to begin thinking about. It’s extremely easy to take two years to polish and finesse a manuscript. But if you want a career as a writer, you need to make a very important decision: How many books per year are you capable and WILLING to write (and polish)? When you sell your first manuscript and they ask for a second...will you be ready?

This week’s lesson (to be) learned: For me, learning how to juggle (think about) three manuscripts at once is something I did early in my writing career. Getting back to that capability isn’t a struggle, it’s just changing a pattern. My advice for the unpublished author who wants to write at least two books per year is to learn how to WRITE one manuscript, PLOT one manuscript, and EDIT one manuscript --yes, all at the same time.

‘Til next time,

~~Angi

AngiMorgan.com

Some upcoming topics of discussion:
-An On-Going Behind the Scene Look at Getting Ready for Publication
(promotion, character sheets, log-lines, bios, etc.)
-My Hero Has Brown Hair?
-Targeting Your Book & Choosing Your Market
-Seeing Your Cover For The First Time

34 comments:

Heather Snow said...

"learn how to WRITE one manuscript, PLOT one manuscript, and EDIT one manuscript --yes, all at the same time."

Oh my gosh, that sounds terrifying for my one track mind! Great advice, though. I know that we learn by writing/doing, and I am hoping that is something I can train my brain to do, much as I've had to train it to write in the quiet times between the infant/toddler's needs or to write while there is chaos going on around me (as many mothers of young children can understand, I'm sure!)

Best of luck with both of your releases! So exciting...enjoy the ride.

Diana Cosby said...

Angi,
Congratulations on your second sale, and I love your title, ".38 Caliber Cover-Up!" Excellent advice. Selling is a huge challenge, but the addition of promotion after the sale is another huge challenge to add on top of writing. Sounds like you're doing great. Take care and I wish you continued success!
Sincerely,

Diana Cosby

Elisa Beatty said...

This is such great advice, Angi!! Thanks! And very encouraging...I'm so very happy for your success!

I like the WRITE one, PLOT one, EDIT one mantra. I'm kind of doing that now: super-polishing my finished book, writing the last quarter of my WIP, and brainstorming on the sequel to my WIP. Glad to know this is normal behavior, and not ADD.

Gillian Layne said...

This is the first time I've heard this advice, and it sounds golden. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us, Angi!

Angi Morgan said...

Elisa ~~
Definitely not ADD! Think of all the freedom the voices in your head will have! LOL Everything gets easier with practice, right? And we develop a habit by consistent repetition, right? That's what I'm hoping for.

Heather ~~
If you have munchkins running around the house AND you're writing? Well, hon, YOU CAN do anything!

~~Angi

Angi Morgan said...

THANK YOU, Diana. The sale was hoped for--can't deny that. The February Intrigue slot was phenomenal luck. Due right before National Conference (I think, since I still have to sign the contract :-)

~~Angi

Jen McAndrews said...

oooh. I've got the write and edit down. Add plot another to that? hmm... might need to purchase an additional coffee pot ; )

Great post, Angi!! And mega congrats on the second sale!!

Angi Morgan said...

You're very welcome, Gillian !
I really wish someone had shared with me earlier. Some past experience had me only writing partials...which got me out of the habit of writing the entire book. Whew...never take that advice. Finish the darn things and get them out of your head. You can always go back and edit. >>big grin<<

~~Angi

Angi Morgan said...

Jen, if I drank coffee... well, I'm sure YOU deserve a bigger pot !! And thanks for the congrats, everyone's been great. Couldn't be happier with the title. Love it, love it, love it!

~~Angi

Tina Joyce said...

Great advice, Angi! And I love your new title...very cool! Congrats!

Angi Morgan said...

THANKS TINA !
Did I mention that I LOOOOOVE my title !?!

~~Angi

Donnell said...

Great post, Angi. You're definitely a consummate pro who will take the successes and rigors of publishing equally in stride. You understand deadlines, and that's got to elevate you to the top of the professionals out there. Well done!

Angi Morgan said...

THANK YOU DONNELL !
I'm not certain my critique partners will agree with you when they have to calm me down from a panic attack. OR when I constantly whine. But thanks! I'll try to be the professional I want to be when I grow up.

~~Angi

Angi Morgan said...

~~ ALL ~~
I have to go to work for a while, but I'll be back later tonight. Keep posting those comments, and please share this blog with a friend.

~~Angi

Keely Thrall said...

The new title is excellent! Sounds very "fresh" to me, somehow!

Great advice - I wonder how us "pantsers" will do the write one/plot one dance, though! LOL!!

And your follow up on the Golden Heart loop is well-taken - that the fourth pillar is PROMOTE one.

So much to do once you sell - and keep up the writing so you have more to sell...

Congrats on the back-to-back sales, Angi. It's often true that we "make our own luck" and part of being lucky is being ready to take advantage of opportunities that arise.

Marsha R. West said...

Love the title of your second book, Angi and very excited for you. Great post. I can't imagine doing the three tasks at once. Working on the new ms while editing the last is a good juggling act, and I've been managing that. But adding that third? Guess I need to start saying "no" to a lot more other things. Thanks for the insight.

Regina Richards said...

Love the title. Also love your enthusiasm and willingness to share the journey. Keep writing!

Shea Berkley said...

I've heard so much about HCH aka SJR that I'm itching to read it. Congratulations on the second sale, Angi. You're definitely on your way to a sparkling career and it's been a blast hearing about it so far. -- Shea Berkley

Edie Ramer said...

Terrific post! I'm ready. Quite a few of my friends are published--including you!--so I know what to expect.

Gabrielle said...

I'm ready for the work--especially now that you've helped me understand better how to structure it :) Love the title, can't wait to read your books.

Cindy said...

Gread advice, Angi! It's good to know what happens after the first sale, and how to prepare for it. Thanks for the inside look at your career and CONGRATS on the second sale (and the cool title).

B. A. Binns said...

Thanks for this, even if it is almost too late for me. I'm still struggling to get ready, with PULL, my debut YA novel due out in October, a website I'm just getting up, social networking I'm still stuggling to use effectivly and, oh yes, trying to edit a second book and outline a third. Life, as I used to know it, has totally changed.

Robin Perini said...

Super advice, Angi...three books at a time makes a lot of sense for business purposes. I'm wondering about the PR aspect as well. I work full time, so balancing all this is going to be a challenge. I also realized this last go around that I take as long to do edits since I'm an iterative writer, as I do to write the draft. Whew.

And on the title...LOVE IT!!!! :-) Can't wait to read it.

Thanks for doing this, Angi. It's been a real education!

Hugs,
Robin

Angi Morgan said...

Once again, thanks for all the posts of congratulations. It really is a blast sharing it with everyone. It's also making realize what *I* am doing and at least making me think a bit more about the business side of things. But that's another blog. LOL

Thanks for supporting me and leaving comments.

~~Angi

Mary Marvella said...

Great job, Angi! I plan to be an overnight success, too. (JUST kidding! I'm well past the overnight thing.) I know you have worked long and hard.

Keli Gwyn said...

I love the new title, Angi. It fits so well with your first.

Great tips for those of us awaiting our first sales. I've heard life changes in many ways once an author is under contract. It makes sense to be prepared.

Barbara White Daille said...

Angi - as you've already discovered, sometimes we get to keep our own titles, and sometimes we don't. (I'm 2 for 3 so far, but I'm not complaining about the one that got away. LOL)

In any case, I think both your titles are fabulous!

Congrats on the second sale.

Barbara

Angi Morgan said...

It seems so weird that I've been around for ten years but all this is happening so fast... I mean, I did work for ten years to get here...but it just seems sooo fast. Then I keep telling myself "but you worked ten years to get here." I'm an endless loop. Or maybe just loopy. LOL

~~Angi

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Hi, Angi! Congrats on your second sale. I love your advice. I've checked all the boxes, and yes, I'm ready to be published. LOL! Great post.

Wendy Lyn Watson said...

Angi - this is all good stuff for folks to think about.

I also found that the process of writing under deadline was quite different from the process of writing just to write. Before publication, I had an internal drive to write the best book I could and get it out there quickly. But if I didn't, I only hurt myself. Now, if I miss a deadline or my work is subpar, I'm hurting the wonderful editor who took a chance on me, the marketing and sales staff, my agent who has to break the news ... It's not the deadline, per se, but the emotional implications of missing it!

Don't get me wrong, being published is great. But scary. ;)

Angi Morgan said...

"I'm hurting the wonderful editor who took a chance on me"

YES! I'm feeling that same pressure at the moment. I need to write, write, write to meet my July deadline. AND DEPEND on my wonderful critique partners to remind me of little things like: "Uhm...did you forget how to write, Angi?"

~~Angi

Winnie Griggs said...

Congrats on your second sale and the great titles your getting! Some really great advice in your post today and Oh so true!

Angi Morgan said...

Thanks Winnie! And congratulations on the release of HEART'S SONG. The story of it's development is amazing. You were subconsciously writing that book for years. Everyone should take a look at your eHarlequin blog about it.

~~Angi

Kim Quinton said...

Yeah!! Great Advice. I need to post this on my computer so I can see it all the time!!! Congratulations again and I love the awesome title too!!

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