How Do You Get From Here – To Published? by Lynne Marshall

28 Jan

I’m delighted to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author Lynne Marshall as my guest here today! Don’t forget to comment and leave your email address for a chance to win in Lynn’s giveaway!

Hi Babette!

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog.  First off, let me congratulate you on all of the awesome reviews for Clear As Day, your current release from Wild Rose Press.

As you know, writing a book is half of the equation, and the second and often more difficult part is getting that book published. (Yes, we do have self-publishing options these days, which is great, but for the purpose of this blog, SP won’t be my focus).

After having fifteen books published in the traditional manner, I would like to offer your blog readers some words of advice.

How do you get from here – new author with manuscript under arm – to there – published?

You’ve probably already joined a writer’s group. If not, do so, immediately. Joining a group comprised of like-minded people is life-changing. There is much to learn and mentorship is the key. Listen to the wise ones in your new tribe. Their experiences can save you time and heartache. There are organizations for every writing genre.

Do you know where your manuscript belongs? If not, figure it out, immediately.

For me it was the Romance Writers of America, and I often say I owe everything I’ve learned about writing and publishing to both the National organization and my home chapter of RWA. Each attended meeting introduced me to new information on publishing, craft, writing opportunities, future critique partners, and a handful of eventual lifetime friends. Each workshop taught me new skills to apply to my novice novel. Each National conference lifted another veil from my dream-influenced eyes.

Go forth. Join. Learn.

Don’t Just Take Notes

Roll up your sleeves. Invest more time in the process of getting published. Write every day, even if only a few lines. Read everyday. Plop down some money for writing classes. Follow through on what you glean from workshops and author lectures. Apply this new knowledge to your work in progress. Don’t be offended by honest critiques. Learn from them, apply whatever makes sense. Ignore the snarky comments, but grow thicker skin and quit being so easily offended. Be open to suggestions.

Rewrite. Edit. Delete. Begin again. This is the process. It cannot be ignored.

Seize opportunities

Life is filled with synchronicity. When you’re on the right path opportunities seem to naturally arise. A chance meeting with an editor at a writers’ conference may open a door in the future. Be aware. Be prepared. Maybe you’ve entered a contest or signed on for an agent or editor appointment and they’ve requested a partial or a full. Don’t panic. Follow through.

Polish and send in the requested material. A high percentage of writers don’t do this. Don’t be one of them. Revisions are inevitable. Do them. Rejection is part of the process. Get used to it. Don’t entertain defeat. Move on to the next opportunity and project.

Know when to let go

My first manuscript, the one that opened the door to the amazing world of writing and publishing, resides in a box on the top shelf of my office storage closet along with several other completed novels. And though it will never see the inside of a book cover, it is one of my most prized possessions. Though it does happen, chances are your first manuscript won’t get published. Love it for all it has taught you. Remember the myriad lessons when you begin your next book.

Begin again…

Several years into this dream you’ve honed with passion and knowledge, thousands of aspiring writers have already fallen away or given up, but not you. You’ve amassed information, grown a bit wiser, increased your network, improved your writing skills, and you’re excited about your next project. Maybe this will be the one. For all of your hard work, and most especially for your positive attitude, I commend you. Perseverance is the single most important quality that will help you make that first sale.

What words of advice would you give an aspiring author?

For the readers out there, what would you like authors to know?

Giveaway: I’d love to offer one lucky commenter a copy of my award winning WRP book – One for the Road (either print or e-book – the winner’s choice) Don’t forget your email.

Good luck!

Too Close For Comfort

Lynne Marshall (www.lynnemarshall.com) is a multi-published category romance author for Harlequin, Mills & Boon in the Medical Romance and Special Edition lines.  Watch for NYC Angels – Making the Surgeon Smile (June 2013 – Medical Romance) and The Medics Homecoming (July 2013 – Special Edition).  Lynne also writes longer books for The Wild Rose Press Last Rose of Summer line.  Her latest book is TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, a reunion romance featuring over-forty characters.  For the blurb and an excerpt from the book check out my BOOKS page.

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46 Responses to “How Do You Get From Here – To Published? by Lynne Marshall”

  1. Robyn T January 28, 2013 at 3:53 am #

    Thank you, Lynne. You’re advice is invaluable, and much is transferable to the other artistic endeavors in my life. Congratulations on your success … and may you continue to flourish. <3

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      Hi Robyn T. – I’m so glad to know this info was valuable to you. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  2. Rachel Brimble January 28, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    Good morning, Lovely Lynne! (And Babette, of course!)

    The advice in your post is all that needs to be said – Perfect! The main thing is write, write and then write some more. There is no other way to learn the craft than by practice – simple. I also loved entering the RWA ‘first chapter’ contests. The feedback was invaluable and definitely shaped my success.

    Great post!

    Rachel x
    http://www.rachelbrimble.com

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 11:04 am #

      Hi Rachel – yes! Entering RWA contests is very helpful, though sometimes painful as well. When I won or finaled in several contests for one manuscript (happened to be One for the Road), I knew I was on the right track!
      Thanks for commenting, and congratulations on your first SuperRomance (out now, folks!)

  3. Christine Ashworth January 28, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    Well said, lovely Lynne! And I have to agree – persistence and a willingness to learn go a long way. Hugs!

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 11:04 am #

      Hi Christine – Without persistence from writers, we’d have far, far fewer books to read. LOL.
      hugs back at ya!

  4. vintagevonnie January 28, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Awesome article, Lynne. Thanks for having her, Babette. For me, the best part of my writers’ journey has been my relationship with my two critique partners. Their ability to zero in on my many weaknesses has proven invaluable, although painful at times. But once I set aside my “Ego Muse,” I saw that they were right. Can’t wait for your next release!!!

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Hi Vonnie!
      I so agree – a good critique partner is like gold. I dove right into the critique group offered at my RWA local chapter. It was very important to take that step, though, not all CPs work out. From that first group I found three other authors I meshed with and we formed the Four Fabulous Fictionists (yeah, we were silly). I can’t tell you the wonderful afternoons we spent once a month carefully critiquing each other’s submissions. We all learned from it and three of the four of us are now published, so I think we were doing something right. I felt as proud of them as I did for myself when they got published.
      These days, I only have one CP and we do it online. I miss the comraderie of those long Sunday afternoons…
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Vonnie baby!

  5. sandylrowland January 28, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Nothing can make up for hard work, dedication and learning your craft so you write a great book. Thanks for getting the truth of it out there in an entertaining way. Keep them coming Lynne!

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Thank you, Sandy, and yes, there is no getting around it – dedication, learning craft, nose to the grindstone – all necessary to right a book others will want to read.

      It’s great that there are so many options for publishing these days, though.

  6. authordcstone January 28, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    What a great post and I’ll have to second the thick skin comment. It’s not about slamming a new author, its about seeing them grow into their craft. I’m gonna share this with a few others. Thanks for posting!

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Hey – Destone I’m so glad this blog resonated with you. Share all you want! In this biz we can never grow thick skin enough. right?

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  7. robena grant January 28, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    What a nice cheerful blog for a Monday morning!

    Lynne,that is excellent advice.I sincerely believe that perseverance and continuing to learn and grow as a writer is the key. And we can really only grow by writing new material, right?

    I’m not sure if I ever mentioned this, but it was after reading One For the Road (and loving the story) that I researched the Wild Rose Press. I could see my stories being published there. Within a matter of months I had three contracts. So, I owe you more than lunch at Tommy Bahamas. ; )

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Hi Robena – May I out you as one of the original Fabulous Fictionists? LOL
      I’m so glad you gave WRP a try – soon you’ll be multipublished with wonderful Romantic Suspense books. Yay!

  8. charlenesands January 28, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Great advice, Lynne! Talent, tenocity and true grit is what it takes to get published and you’ve explained it wonderfully!

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      HI Charlene! Thanks for stopping by and agreeing with me. :)
      BTW, I love your newest book cover Sunset Surrender for Hqn Desire.

  9. Robin Bielman January 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Hi Lynne! Great post! You always write the most helpful and inspiring blogs – thank you! And I so agree that perseverance is key. Never. Give. Up. And don’t measure your success by others. We each reach the destination we’re supposed to when it’s meant to be. I really believe that. Congrats on all your wonderful successes!

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Hi Robin – I so agree, we shouldn’t measure our success by others, especially since that often leads to envy – and that’s never a good thing.

      Likewise, congratulations on your growing successes!

  10. Linda O. Johnston January 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Excellent post, Lynne–and oh, so true! I learned some of it the hard way, by just doing–but it’s so much better for those getting started to hear your highly accurate advice.

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      Hi Linda,
      As you know, I invested money to take a wonderful extension course at CSUN on writing romance – given by you. I knew absolutely nothing at that time, and you were such a wonderful help.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

  11. Robin January 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Hi Lynne! Great post! You always write the most helpful and inspiring blogs – thank you! And I so agree that perseverance is key. Never. Give. Up. And don’t measure your success by others. We each reach the destination we’re supposed to when it’s meant to be. I really believe that. Congrats on all your wonderful successes!

  12. Tanya Hanson January 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi Lynne, you said it all and got it right. MY personal piece of advice, though, is to google your pen name beforehand. I did not and now share cyberspace with a porn scar. xoxox

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      LOL Tanya – that always cracks me up, but that’s so true. I had to wait a year to get the Lynne Marshall domain. The other woman sold insurance. I believe (according to googling my name) I’m also a yoga instructor, a realtor, an artist, and a zumba instructor.
      I’m one busy lady!
      Thanks for commenting, Tanya.

  13. melissafoxwords January 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    Hi Lynne! Great advice, especially about being persistent and joining writer’s groups. There is nothing like the support of people who know what you’re going through, to support, bounce ideas off of, and enjoy the camaraderie. Thanks!

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      Hi Melissa – I couldn’t have survived nor made it to getting published without my fellow authors’ support.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  14. LaVerne Clark January 28, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    A wonderful, informative and FUN blog, Lynne. Thank you so much – and to Babette for hosting her :)
    Is there a share button on this post? This is the sort of post every writer should read.
    I adore going to my monthly critique meetings. We’re a group of at the most, six ladies, all ranging in age and preferred writing genres. We’ve all learned so much from our get-togethers and the evenings are filled with hilarity! Once I got over my fear of being read that was! :)

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Hi LaVerne – gosh, we’d have to ask Babette if there is a share button or not. I hope you can share it.
      Loved hearing about your writer’s group critique meetings. It is scary as all heck to show our work to others, then to sit quietly and listen to what they thought about it. I’d say it takes as much adrenaline to do that as jumping out of an airplane, wouldn’t you?
      So glad you have a great group to be a part of. You’re a wonderful writer, in my opinion. :)

      • Babette James January 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

        Hi all – Yes, the share buttons are at the bottom of the post, right beneath Lynne’s cover.

  15. beverlydiehl January 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Love your advice re: loving that unpublished first manuscript. I have been treating mine something like the redheaded stepchild – yes, it got me an agent, but, but but…

    It did teach me to take my writing more seriously. And still I journey on.

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

      Exactly, Beverly! The more words we put on the page, the better. There’s a quote I love by someone named Larry Brown: “There’s no such thing as a born writer. It’s a skill you’ve got to learn. You’ve got to write X number of words before you can write anything that can be published, but nobody is able to tell you how many words that is. You will know when you get there, but you don’t know how long it will take.”

  16. Maria Perry Mohan January 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    Fantastic advice Lynne. You might also add subscribing to the blogs and websites of as many authors as you can. Of course your advice ‘don’t just take notes’ probably covered that. Definitely a post for bookmarking!

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      Hi Maria – thank you! Bookmark on. :)
      I wish I had time to read all the blogs and visit all the websites I’d like, but there is only so much time in the day. However, there is great value in reading the blogs and websites of authors we’ve read and enjoyed. Jenny Crusie is a great example, for instance.

  17. Debra St. John January 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Lynne, I couldn’t agree more about joining RWA and a local chapter. I pretty much know what I do about the publishing business, writing, editing, etc. because of the fabulous ladies of Chicago-North. Without their support over the years, I’m pretty positive I’d never be published right now.

    debrastjohn08@yahoo.com

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Absolutely, Debra. I say it all the time – RWA and my local chapter taught me everything I know about writing romance. I’m glad you feel the same way about your local chapter.

  18. lyndakayefrazier January 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Great advice and ones I totally agree with. When I started to write I had no direction until I joined RWA and my local chapter. They helped me locate classes I needed to make my first novel a published dream. Thanks for sharing
    Lydna

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

      Hi Lynda – you are a rare bird getting your first novel published. Good for you!
      RWA is a wonderful organization for both aspiring and published authors.

      Congratulations on your success.

  19. Sam Beck January 28, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Hi Lynne. So much of what you wrote here resonates with me! I feel the same way about RWA and the Los Angeles Romance Authors chapter. In addition to finding tons of information, educational opportunities, camaraderie and support, I found a truly awesome mentor!

    • Lynne Marshall January 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

      Hi Sam – Have I told you lately I love you? :)
      Thanks for being such an awesome mentee!

  20. Calisa Rhose January 29, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    Well said, Lynne! One thing I would say, or rather reiterate, is to listen to those like yourself who’ve been through every ringer there is and come out the other side wiser and full of wonderful experience we newer authors can learn so much from. Thanks!

    • Lynne Marshall January 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      Hi Calisa –
      Thank you for saying that. It is important to listen to what others have gone through. It sure can save on the heartaches, right?

  21. Lynne Marshall January 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Babette – if it’s okay with you, I’d like to pick the winner of my book now. Actually, the only person who gave their e-mail is Debra St. John, so I’m choosing her today. I’ll e-mail and let her know, to find out if she prefers e-book or print.

    Thanks for having me as your guest. I’ve had a great time, and I’m wishing you all the best success with your wonderful book – Clear as Day.

  22. Stephanie Cage January 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Yeah, so I’m late to the party as usual! But hey, I just wanted to say this is all great advice, and for anyone else reading in the UK, I’d like to put a shout out for the Romantic Novelists’ Association (our equivalent of the RWA). Seriously, it changed my life!

    • Lynne Marshall January 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

      Hi Stephanie – thanks so much for coming by. I joined the RNA for a couple of years, since all of my Medical Romances are published by Mills & Boon. I enjoyed getting the magazine and wished I could go to the annual luncheon etc. Maybe someday!

      I’m glad my advice was helpful for you.

      Best regards,
      Lynne

  23. TashNz January 30, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    Hi Lynne and Babette… when i was younger I DREAMED of being a writer, not realising how much hard work it actually is. I wish your help and advice was around years ago Lynne, I may have just pursued it a bit more. My fondest memory is a story my friend and I took turns in writing, a teen romance type if you will… it was fantastic (in my memory) but I lost it and we never completed it but we did that together a couple of times… back in the day where only the richest of rich had clunky computers and there were no cellphones etc so the best entertainment was reading and writing… eeeek getting off track but i thought i’d share my random thoughts when reading your post Lynne. And to anyone who hasnt read Too Close for Comfort, it’s a beautiful story :)

    • Lynne Marshall January 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      Hi Tash – thanks so much for coming by and sharing your thoughts. I’m really glad you enjoyed Too Close for Comfort. :)
      You may decide to write a novel again some time, and I always say – it’s never too late!

  24. Lynne Marshall January 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Debra St. John has now received an e-book version of One for the Road.
    Congratulations, and thanks everyone for a really fun blog visit.

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