My friend and writing mentor Christina Katz is celebrating, because her book Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids has been in publication for two years. She’s giving away a book a day for one month at a series of blogs. Today she’s on Mother Daughter Book Club, and you can see where else she has been over at her blog, ChristinaKatz.com. If you are an aspiring writer, mama or not, Christina’s book has great, practical information about how to get in print by squeezing writing time into your busy life. I’ve owned my copy for a couple of years now, and I refer back to it all the time when a question about writing comes up.
So here’s Christina’s guest blog about writing and building a writer’s platform. She even mentions me in this one. Read to the bottom to find out how you can enter to win a copy of the book.
The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway! Post #9
You might think, after you’ve written a book proposal, sent out queries, and received requests for your book proposal, that the book deal is pretty much in the bag. But, mamas, there is still a really long way to go. It took Cindy Hudson a couple of years to get her book concept from idea all the way to book deal. Sage Cohen spent months going back and forth with her acquisitions editor after she submitted her proposal to determine the focus of her book before it was accepted.
The reason I am sharing all of this is to help you set realistic expectations. Just because the economy is suffering and writers are clamoring for cash doesn’t mean the book industry is going to speed up the process so writers can get our advance checks sooner. So if you have visions of a book deal salvaging your economic situation, just wipe that idea out of your head. They are way too many myths out there perpetuating the myth of book deal as financial salvation. You’re so much more likely to succeed if you are standing on solid economic ground in the first place.
Also consider whether or not you are pitching agents first or acquisitions editors at publishing houses first. Because I pitched an editor, I got to skip a whole step—securing an agent—before I landed the book deal. But I didn’t get to skip it completely. (I’ll talk more about that later in the tour.) If you are pitching agents first and then publishing houses second, plan for the process to take even longer. Especially since an agent who is considering working with you might ask you to improve your proposal before she commits to representing you.
Book deals come to those who hang in there. Not to those who are impatient. Or to those who need some quick cash. That’s about the worst reason to pitch a book I can imagine. On the contrary, if you are getting ready to pitch a book, I hope you are economically solid because you are going to be investing both time and money into the eventual launch of your book, even if that “money” is simply gas that you put in your car so you can get out in the world and connect with readers and paying a small annual amount to secure the pertinent URLs and things like that. All those little expenses add up and will pretty much come out of your advance checks.
My experience landing a book deal was unusually fast. Never let the word “fast” creep into your expectations when you are thinking about pitching a book. Think slow and steady instead. Everything about the writing life is slow and steady. Even when things happen quickly, you can look in the rear view mirror and see that it was all the slow and steady effort that led up to that point that prepared the groundwork for good things to happen quickly.
Today’s Book Drawing: To enter to win a signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama, answer the following question in this blog’s comments:
When is a realistic time for you to pitch a book (or submit your fiction mss. with a solid platform established, if you write fiction)? Timing really is everything. What’s going to be the best timing for you and your book, without missing out on the needs of readers?
Thanks for participating! Only US residents, or folks with a US mailing address can participate in the drawing. Please only enter once per day.
Where will the drawing be tomorrow? Visit thewritermama.wordpress.com/ to continue reading the rest of the Writer Mama story throughout March 2009!
Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz (Writer’s Digest Books 2007)
Kids change your life, but they don’t necessarily have to end your career. Stay-at-home moms will love this handy guide to rearing a successful writing career while raising their children. The busy mom’s guide to writing life, this book gives stay-at-moms the encouragement and advice they need including everything from getting started and finding ideas to actually finding time to do the work – something not easy to do with the pitter-patter of little feet. With advice on how to network and form a a business, this nurturing guide covers everything a writer mama needs to succeed at her second job.