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Thursday, May 19, 2011

18 Lessons Learned on the Road to Publishing My First Book

Please welcome guest blogger Berinn Rae

  1. Friends who understand what it’s like to be a writer are worth their weight in gold.
  1. The first page is important, but so are the other three hundred pages.
  1. Fingerless gloves keep typing hands warm in the winter months.
  1. Reward yourself often. Chocolate, walks, naps—anything goes as long as it works for you.
  1. Use Post-it® tabs to bookmark pages in your favorite book on writing. They don’t fall out and aren’t mean to books like dog-ears.
  1. Some advice is good. Some isn’t. If you change your story to match every critique, you’ll lose your unique voice. Then again, if you see a recurring theme in critiques, listen.
  1. Take time to read a new book or re-read an old favorite.
  1. Write naked if you feel like it. Ambience and a comfortable workspace are key to getting into the writing mood. Music, water fountains, candles … use whatever works for you.
  1. Splurge on a nice pen. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword.
  1. Rely on yourself. Don’t rely on your muse. She’s a moody temptress who will take a vacation when you crave her most.
  1. If you want to be a writer, then write. Treat it like a (totally awesome) job. Write at least five days a week.
  1. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Don’t rush queries and synopses. Yes, they’re evil, but they’re also the agent’s first impression of your work.
  1. Learn to hurry up and wait. When an agent asks for a partial, send it today. Then be patient.
  1. Go for a walk. Inspiration needs oxygen.
  1. Like drinks, some genres are better blended. Write what you love, regardless of genre—or mix of genres. Today’s slowest selling genre may be tomorrow’s biggest craze.
  1. Follow the rules. Then, break the rules when it makes sense to strengthen your story. U.S. General Douglas MacArthur said it best: “You are remembered for the rules you break.”
  1. Chase your dreams. You’ll achieve them if you 1) work hard and 2) have faith in yourself.
  1. Writers are expected to self-promote their work. So, go to your local book store and check out my debut novel, KNIGHTFALL. I’d love you for it.

Berinn Rae writes steamy urban fantasy focused on extraordinary women. She lives in the Midwest with her husband who exudes awesomeness and an incredibly spoiled dog. A nomadic spirit with a license to fly, she is always in search of new adventures and happy endings.


Life is relatively normal for bush pilot Kerra Cain. That is, until a fallen angel reveals himself, with plans to use her to destroy the Seven Seals. To escape, she must place her trust in the arms of Gareth, a dangerously sexy but enigmatic man who has haunted her dreams for years. Thrown into a desperate war for survival, Kerra must embrace a heritage long denied her in Knightfall, the passionate first tale of the Guardians of the Seven Seals, a romantic fantasy series about innocence lost and heroes forged in a time where a supernatural war threatens to consume the world.


Rachel Firasek said...

Berinn, all of these are so absolutely spot on! Wishing you many sales and speedy, gloved fingers for the next installment. Woo-Hoo! You rock, my friend!!!

Anonymous said...

Very true. Many sdales of your book too.

Christine Ashworth said...

Hi hon! I am SO behind in my reading but your book is next, I SWEAR. And I love the things you learned - absolutely spot on!

Keep writing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the kind words!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so there with you. I'd add: don't take editors comments personally-- they know what they are talking about.

Jean Murray

Liz P. said...

I saw Knightfall got a 5 star review today. Huge congrats, lady!!!! This is such an awesome book. Wishing you many, many sales. ; )

Anonymous said...

Love the tips, Berinn. Thanks for the post. Good luck with Nightfall. Jordan www.evaprim.com

Anonymous said...

Jean - Good addition to the list!
Liz & Jordan - Thanks for the compliments!
Have a great weekend!

Elle J Rossi said...

Awesome points! I especiall love #1, Wonder Twin!

I plan to print these out and keep them close. Sometimes we forget the most basic thoughts.

On another note, I just finished KNIGHTFALL!! Fantastic! Can't wait to read about these other sexy Seven! Highly recommending this one.