July 22, 2013

highlights from clc: the debut year

Thanks to everyone who turned out for last week's Chick Lit Chat discussion about the debut year. We had writers at all stages of the game, from just starting out to well established, and we had some great discussion about everything from writing to marketing.

As a writer preparing to release her first works of fiction I truly appreciated being able to confide some of my greatest fears. At the same time, I learned more about the process of being a debut writer from a great bunch of people.

Because it seems selfish to hoard all of the information for myself, and because we had a lot of good feedback come out, I figured I'd share some of the highlights from the evening for you here.

My Takeaways

When asked what most surprised first-time authors:
Lilian Darcy (@liliandarcy)
How everybody instantly thought *they* would now write a book - if I'd done it, it must be easy.

Tracie Banister (@traciebanister)
How supportive and helpful other authors are. I never expected to make so many great writer friends thru self-pubbing.

Tami Akin (@AuthorTamiAkin)
I'm surprised most about how much I'm learning, the authors & bloggers I've followed have been amazing!

Meredith Schorr (@meredithschorr)
Coming on my 3rd year as a published author. What surprised most is how little I knew about promotion!
I rushed into publishing. Wish I'd done more planning for the release now.

After sharing my concern that readers won't like my work (or me):
Lilian Darcy (@liliandarcy)
Be prepared, cos they won't. So funny how ALL the 1 stars for JK Rowling's crime book posted after she was outed

Meredith Schorr (@meredithschorr)
That's totally normal. My skin has gotten thicker since it really is impossible to please everyone. Please yourself!

Biggest lessons learned from pubbed authors:
Laura Amos (@LauraRaeAmos)
Don't pub in the summer, lol! So slow! ;)
It's just very hard to reach people in summer. Everybody's out doing things, reading books they already have.

Samantha March @samanthamarch23
Don’t pitch a book reviewer on social media. Email them or use their request form if they have one.
Blog tours are great tool! *Cough* CLP Blog Tours
Rafflecopter is a great giveaway tool that can help you get more Facebook or Twitter followers.
A cute prize pack is a good thing to give, especially if you can base it around any themes in your book!

Patricia Mann (@patriciamann11)
I've learned in-your-face doesn't work, but if you don't mention your book, that won't work either!

Lydia Laceby (@NovelEscapes)
The things you think will work, don't, and the things you think will flop actually fly.

Tracie Baniser (@TracieBanister)
Proper blogger etiquette! And make sure you research what blogger wants to read B4 submitting!

Gale Martin (@Gale_Martin)
One thing I learned is how few book reviewers actually follow through on reviews they've promised. Find reviewers who deliver

Meredith Schorr (@meredithschorr)
One piece of advice: don't just promote your book; promote yourself. Show your dazzling personality & readers will follow.

Samantha Bailey (@perfectpen)
It's hard to put yourself out there, but worth it.
Finding an amazing group of fellow writers for support is key.

S. J. Pajonas (@spajonas)
Fake it till you make it ;)

There's way more good information than what I included here. You can still look for it by searching the #chicklitchat hashtag on Twitter and reading backlog, which I definitely suggest. You can also check out my last post about the topic, which includes links to other sources with good info.

I'd love to hear some of the takeaways from my fellow chat attendees. Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Thanks again to everyone who came last week. Please join in the conversation on Twitter this coming Thursday at 8 p.m. EST when the fabulous Tracie Banister hosts. I'll be speaking at a quilt guild meeting (I know, I'm kind of a big deal. JK), but I'll do my best to pop in for some of the discussion. Be sure to use the hashtag #chicklitchat to join in the conversation.

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  1. Sounds like it was a fab chat!!! Sorry I couldn't stop by :(

  2. Sorry I missed it! (Was out for drinks with my g.f.'s for the first time in ages!) Was off having a good time, but sounds like I missed a great chat. Thanks for posting the highlights!

  3. I just saw this now - you did a great job with the recap!