“I Wish I’d Known…”: Advice for Debut Authors, Part 3

Members of the Sweet Sixteens share what they’ve learned in their debut year.

Read Part 1.

Read Part 2.

Brooks Benjamin, author of My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights

Brooks Benjamin New   MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS cover for Jen

Find him online at www.BrooksBenjamin.com

“I wish I’d known that every author out there has days where he or she struggles with writing. Whether it’s rejections from editors, a seemingly unfillable plot hole, or days where the words just don’t want to come out and play. Every author struggles at times. It doesn’t get easier the more we write, but we do tend to find more creative ways to deal with it. So, struggle on, dear writer, and remember: every bump in your road just makes the journey that much more interesting of a success story when you get to tell it to someone else.”

 

Erica M. Chapman, author of the Teach Me to Forget

Erica M. Chapman   Teach me to Forget_BG cvr.indd

Find her online at ericamchapman.com

“I wish I’d known that… everything was going to be okay. Even if your book only helps one person feel happy or more included, or special, that one person is worth it all. There’s so much you don’t have control over, concentrate on what you do. Lean on your debut friends they know how it feels. If [insert promo idea] fails, learn from it. It may feel weird to promote yourself so much (it does to me) but remember, your readers care about who you are; stay creative and be yourself, and you’ll be okay. Enjoy each moment because you have accomplished what so many won’t. ”

 

Shari Schwarz, author of Treasure at Lure Lake

shari-schwartz   Treasure at Lure Lake

Find her online at www.sharischwarz.com

“I wish I’d known that all of the things I feared or worried about when my book released are things that we all fear and worry about. We’re all in this together!”

 

Claire Fayers, author of The Voyage to Magical North and Journey to Dragon Island

Claire Fayers   Voyage to the Magical North   journey to dragon island _finalcover

Find her online at clairefayers.com

“I wish I’d known that there would be long periods with very little happening followed by weeks of frantic activity. I wish I’d made better use of the quiet times to get ahead on the next book, plan school visits, design a website and publicity materials, and all the others things I suddenly found I needed to do. I wish I’d made a to-do list of all this right at the start. And I wish I’d known that the next book is much harder to write, and this is quite normal and not a sign of catastrophic failure!”

 

Kali Wallace, author of Shallow Graves, The Memory Trees, and City of Islands

Kali Wallace   Shallow Graves

Find her online at http://www.kaliwallace.com/

“I wish I’d known that all of the things that feel so fraught leading up to release stop mattering so much afterward. I stopped obsessing over reviews, rankings, and social media buzz, because at a certain point it became clear that so little of all that stuff is within my control. I figured out the only thing I could truly control was the next book–and the next one, and the one after that. That would have been nice to know ahead of time, but I suspect figuring it out is part of the new author process!”

 

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