6 days ago
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Emma Lai on Planning for Success!!!
Well, Ooo-da-lolly!! Golly what a week!
Prop your feet up and take a coffee break, because you don't wanna miss today's guest blogger- Emma Lai!!
Emma debuted in 2009 with His Ship, Her Fantasy, a sweet novella with the Faery Rose line of The Wild Rose Press. Her second book, His Hope, Her Salvation, was released just last month!
A survivor of the TLN Hot Seat (click here to view), Emma has graciously agreed to take some time out of her whirlwind life of both romance writer and new mama to deliver up some sage advice.
Hip-hip-ho and away we go!
Getting published is a process. The process varies for every writer. There is no set formula, but I can share mine. Only time will tell if my plan turns out to be a good one.
The first story I started was a young adult sci-fi/fantasy. The second story I started was a contemporary romance. Then the short stories inundated my thoughts and writing. Given my writing output, I came up with the following:
1) Find a publisher for my shorts.
This has multiple benefits.
a) It gets me publishing credits.
b) It gets my name out there now.
c) It provides some income to offset my expenses.
2) Finish my contemporary romance and submit it to a publisher.
Since I formulated this goal over a year ago, things have changed. After working with editors on my shorts, I realized the story needed more conflict.
a) Write in more conflict and submit it to the publisher I had in mind when I originally wrote it.
b) Write in more conflict plus some character elements I know publishers are actively seeking and submit it to an agent.
c) Write in more conflict, character elements I know publishers are actively seeking and more sex and submit to one of the bigger erotica publishers.
Given my long-term goals, option b) works best for me. My hope is that I’ll find an agent for it, but even if an agent doesn’t think the story quite fits what the market is looking for, maybe they’ll be interested in other stories I’ve written. Plus, I can always go back, write in more sex, and execute option c).
3) Find an outlet for my flash fiction pieces. I’ve submitted to three venues, but no success yet. However, I keep submitting!
4) Between 1) and 3), I want to get enough publishing credentials to be able to join SFWA.
5) Finish my young adult series and find an agent.
When I decided to write as a career, these are the five goals I set for myself. These goals help keep me on track and allow me to measure success against my personal standards.
Obviously, my goals won’t work for others. Not everyone writes shorts. Not everyone wants an agent. Not everyone wants to join SFWA. However, there is a logic here that everyone can follow.
1) Answer these questions:
a) What types of writing do you like to do?
b) What are your long-term writing goals?
c) How many completed works do you have?
2) Find publishers you’d like to write for and answer these questions:
a) Do they take unagented submissions?
b) What are their requirements for the line you’re targeting?
c) Do you have something completed that fits one of their other lines?
3) Is there an organization that could help you meet your goals? Does it have any requirements?
The answers you come up with can help shape your goals and define your success.
I'd like to thank Emma for a most excellent post! To learn more about Emma Lai and her novels, click here to visit her lovely website.
THANK YOU, TLN'ers for making my days bright! To take us into the weekend, here's Lisa Lisa singing LOST IN EMOTION. What can I say, I'm sort diggin' the 80's today! Enjoy and scope out the fashions. Sheesh! So, glad it's 2010!