Wednesday, October 21, 2009

For Every Ending a Beginning

Sabrina asked if I'm taking time off since I have four books coming out next year, but I'm actually not finished fulfilling my contractual obligations to Harlequin. In other words, I haven't finished writing those four books.

It seems strange that I have four books coming out, but only three books written, but that's the way the industry works. Once you are published and established as an author within the Harlequin family, you may decide to do what I've done and write up a proposal for a miniseries. This allows two things. First, it allows your editor to offer you a multi-book contract. Second, it allows your editor to plan the release of your books based on the fact that they are a series.

For me, this meant that when I was offered a contract for the HEROES FOR HIRE miniseries, the editors decided that the best way to market the books and keep readers buying was to make sure that all three books came out next year. At the time of the offer, I was finishing up the 2010 LIS continuity which was slotted for April 2010. Since then, I've completed the continuity and two of the HEROES FOR HIRE stories. The third will be out in November of next year, and I'm writing the proposal for it now.

Once I write that proposal, I have to write the proposal for the LIS 2011 continuity.

For every ending there truly is a beginning.

That's what I love about writing, but it is also what proves the greatest challenge. With no one standing over my shoulder, bugging me about page count, word count and deadlines, it is too easy to fall into procrastination. In order to complete my manuscripts on time, I must force myself to work and to keep working.

In the writing industry, careers are established and maintained by hard work and integrity. As authors, we must always be aware that turning manuscripts in late will hold up production and may even delay the release of a book. Establishing good writing habits before publication is the best way to ensure that they are firmly in place before your first book hits the shelves.

I know I've said it before, but I can't stress it enough - set writing goals and meet them. That's the path to success in the writing world

Which reminds me...I've got 1,950 words left to write today!

BTW, the photos are of VALLEY OF SHADOWS. I happened upon the 'new' version this morning. The first version is at the top. The new one under it.


Courtney said...

I loved Valley Of Shadows! I didn't know they updated covers. I don't see anything wrong with the first cover that needs updating... (0:

Leslie said...

Thanks for the tips....I guess the best way to get published is to actually write! ;) I need more discipline on this....thanks for the reminder :) Leslie

Shirlee McCoy said...

Yep, writing is a key component to getting published! ;0)

Courtney, the second version is a promotional book. It was a freebie. At least that is what the cover says. I've never actually seen a copy (except on Amazon).

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Yeah, the second one looks more like a farm or country road. The first one gives the setting away a little more. But I'm sure the marketing department knows what they're doing. :)

Wowser, Shirlee. I can't imagine keeping up like you do with the writing, homeschooling and family. You are an inspiration. I need to have you on my blog again to give away a book or two.

And I've been keeping up with you and Cheeky but haven't had a chance to post a comment. I'm sure it hasn't been funny, but your stories have been cracking me up. Well, that or bringing me to tears.

Stephanie Newton said...

Shirlee, I love the Heroes for Hire idea! And you already know I love your cover :)

Now tell me how you homeschool five kids and write without losing your mind. Homeschooling my one makes writing a challenge!


Shirlee McCoy said...

Who said I haven't lost my mind?;0)