I'm finishing up my second year as a published author, and am taking a moment to look back and reflect. I did a similar thing last year (right here: http://ladiesoftheclub.blogspot.com/2007/11/learning-curves.html)
Things I have learned:
- There is no secret handshake. Publication is a matter of talent, hard work, and luck, just like everybody said. You need talent to write the book, hard work to finish it, and luck to find the right publisher.
- Promotion is a never-ending story. Because I am published electronically, I can always promote a book. My back list never dies. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it never dies. Bad because I can always do promotion.
- Some people will love your work and some will go 'hunh? How did you get published?' or words to that effect. It's largely irrelevant. You are published, you are talented, and you are good at what you do. Some people just don't get it.
- To some publishers, you are expendable. It is not a concern of theirs if you are happy, have good sales, or like your editor. On the other hand, some publishers truly care about you, your happiness as an author, your sales, and your relationship with your editors. Nurture those publishers.
- Make sure to have fun along the way. Don't take this so seriously. Enjoy the writing, enjoy the process, enjoy the whole schmiel. Be serious about your writing, but also enjoy it. When it becomes like work, take a break. You're in this to make money, yes, but you should also enjoy doing it.
Enough deep thoughts. I need to gird my loins (metaphorically speaking) to head out into the snow and meet friends for lunch. Then I plan to come back, get the fireplace going, and write with a mug of cocoa near at hand. I have stories to tell!