I’ve had a bit of a taste about what it will be like when I become published. After entering the Mills & Boon New Voices competition with HER PRISONER OF LOVE, I learned that the rankings DO matter if there is a tie. The person with the most “votes” wins the tie. I had a feeling this would be the case because being able to promote yourself, get your name out there, is important in the publishing world. If I can’t get people to come to look at my book, then I won’t sell any books.
Confession: I am not the type who can sell products like home based sales for makeup, jewelry or cooking implements. I don’t want people to think I am contacting them ONLY because I want to sign them up for a sale.
I had to get over that mentality rather quickly after I posted my FIRST CHAPTER. The votes will matter, might matter in the M&B contest. I had to show the people there that I could generate some interest in my entry. So I stepped out onto the ledge and leapt into the self-promotion world.
I have a large network, but not a HUGE one. First I emailed friends who aren’t writers with my link. A few of them came to vote. Yay. I posted the link onto Facebook a few times. A few more votes. I finally asked if I could put my link on my writing chapter’s local social online loops. They said yes. I posted the link and asked for support. A few more votes. I posted it on my GIAM loop. I posted it on this blog. I linked this blog to my Twitter account, my FB account. I direct messaged people on my FB friend list again with the link to my chapter.
Confession: All this makes me very uncomfortable, but I have to step beyond my comfort zone. When I get published, I need to utilize every tool I have at my disposal to promote my writing.
Well, all this is well and good. But it is eating into my writing time. This is not good. I have to find the balance and spend time doing both. Instead, I am becoming obsessed with the checking the site for votes. There is a gal with over 300 votes on it. I do not have 300 votes. I don’t even have a 100 votes. I have less than 40 votes. But I am in the top 100 in the rankings. I don’t know if that means anything. Probably not. But that’s okay. I am trying.
But I also need to walk away from the contest, the self-promotion, and the discussion to write. This is a good lesson for me. How will I balance my days in the future. How will I juggle all the responsibilities. My good writing friend, Amy Atwell, recently went from unpubbed to pubbed with her book LYING EYES/Carina Press. She’s the best and on her way to a fabulous, well-deserved and hard won publishing career. She’s juggling far more than I am, yet she’s managing to get it all done. I will have to sit down with her at the Moonlight and Magnolia’s Conference to ask about her day and how she schedules her life.
I have determined that the best way for me to write is to write first.
Confession: This is easier said than done. I work at a computer where there is easy access to the Internet. Oh, how tempting it is to check the competition site, to post a comment, to encourage someone to continue their writing journey, to … oh oh….
So what have I done this morning? Did I write first after my darling Dowager Feline Clancy meowed and woke me up at 4:30AM to feed her and give her love time? Nope. I sat at this computer and FB messaged all my friends and asked them to come rank me. I replied to the social loops regarding my entry. I checked the Mills & Boon website and saw I had two more votes. Thanks! I blogged about my balancing act. I couldn’t get my head into the pages.
But I will. I have my set of pages printed to read through and hard copy edit. Then I am taking my computer OFF LINE for two hours and beginning my edits on the file. Today is a bit chopped up, but that’s okay. I am in a new territory. I am feeling my way around and learning about this world through a fun competition.
I am learning how important it will be to find the balance BEFORE I become an AFTER when I get the CALL.