I have another interview for you all! This time, it’s with the wonderful Aubrie Dionne. She is not only an author, she is also my flute teacher! I think she gives some great advice and encouragement to budding authors.
1. After you complete the first draft of a story, what do you do to get it ready for publishing? And about how many times do you edit/revise?
I edit and revise the previous day’s work before writing anything new for the day, so I’m constantly editing and revising. Sometimes I go back during the course of writing the novel and fix up the beginning or other sections that may seem weak. I also have two beta readers and a critique partner read my work while I’m writing it. That way, they can spot problems before they get to be too big. Lastly, once all that is finished and I’ve incorporated all of their suggestions, I let it sit for a few days. When I take the manuscript out again, I read the entire book in one or two days to spot consistency issues.
2. How did you go about getting your [first published] story published?
I sent my manuscript to hundreds of publishing companies before I found one to publish it! Never give up, and keep sending your work in. Although the first two books I wrote weren’t bestsellers, they taught me so much about the writing and publishing process.
3. Why did you choose the publishing track you did?
It took me four books to get an agent. During that time, I submitted to small, indie publishers. My fourth book, Paradise 21, finally got the attention of an agent, and she suggested Entangled Publishing, which has been a fantastic publisher for me. Not only do they publish in ebook and print, but they also have a distributer who works to get their books on shelves across the nation. They have professional editors and a three pass editing system which really improves each book. My first editorial letter is usually ten pages long.
I’ve learned so much from them!
4. When you began writing that story, was your final goal to get it published?
Yes, it always is. 🙂
5. What were the hardest and easiest parts of the publishing process, for you? Or was the whole process equally challenging?
Rejection is the hardest part, followed by reading bad reviews. After a very bad rejection or a nasty review, it takes me a day or two to get back into writing. But, even Stephen King gets bad reviews, and he had a load of rejections before he got famous, so it’s just something you have to deal with as a writer. Not everyone is going to enjoy your work. You can’t make everyone happy 100 percent of the time.
6. What helps you to achieve success in the writing business, and what does “success” mean to you?
Having people that support me makes the biggest difference. I have loyal critique partners, and my family is also a great support to me. Success can be measured in so many ways: getting published, getting an agent, getting the first royalty check, getting an excellent review from someone you don’t know.
7. What mistakes did you make, and what misinformation did you find, that you would like to warn other authors about?
None so far! Thank goodness! I did have an idea that you write one book and then get rich and famous. But, that doesn’t happen to most people. You have to write several books to establish yourself as an author and gain a following. Like I said, it took four books to get an agent. I’ve written eight books total, and I still don’t have enough readers to climb the charts at either Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or make enough to pay any substantial bills. Now, I try to write three books a year. And I plan on writing like that for the rest of my life. It’s not a quick get rich scheme. It’s a long journey with loads of hard work.
8. After you published your first book, was it easier to publish another?
Oh yes! My first book took two and a half years to write. Now, it takes me about 3-6 months to write a book. Much easier!
9. What are your favorite “tools of the trade” and how do you bring attention to your books?
Donald Maass has a great book, “Writing the Breakout Novel.” Also, Stephen King’s book “On Writing” has been very helpful. You should also read “The First Five Pages” by Noah Lukeman. To bring attention to my books, I participate in book blog tours, have a blog of my own where I host other authors, and a Twitter account. Goodreads is also very helpful.
10. What advice would you give to someone (who has not been published yet) hoping to publish a book?
Write, write, write! Try to have a word count goal (mine is 1k per day) and stick to it. I write my word count down everyday to keep honest, and at the end of the year, I should have 365K logged in. That’s at least three novels a year! If I miss my word count one day, I try to make up for it on days that I have off.