Friday, October 19, 2012

The First Appearance

A mother/daughter book club has invited me to visit their next meeting.

My first reaction was yes! 

Then logic took over.  Whisper Falls doesn't release for another year.  The book club knows that--right?

Yes, they knew. And, yes, they want me anyway.

I'm so excited.  I love to talk about writing and the publishing process.  Commercial fiction is a tough business. Breaking-in can be crazy-difficult. Aspiring authors write for years, pouring their hearts-and-souls into their stories.  Yet there is no guarantee that they will sell.  In fact, less than one percent of manuscripts will ever be bought and published!

It gets worse. For the magic few who get one of those elusive publishing contracts, the money is usually mediocre. Only a handful of authors will earn enough to quit their day jobs.

We must be psycho. Really. It takes years of practice to write that first marketable book. A tiny percentage of us succeed in selling.  The lucky ones make very little money. And our success is entirely dependent on the good opinions of people we'll never meet.

Why do we do this again?  

I know why. The book club reminds me.  It's all about the readers.  Meeting them fuels my enthusiasm. I can't wait to infect others with my love for the characters in my stories.  I can't wait to hear what these teens like (and don't like) to read. And I'm aware that the next JK Rowling could be sitting in that room. What I say to the girls in the book club might inspire one of them to write the next Little Women or The King of Attolia.
Even though the meeting is in November, I'm getting prepared. My publisher has given me permission to read an excerpt from Whisper Falls.  There is swag to collect.  It's time to learn how to be better at my new job.

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