Monday, February 4, 2013

Encouraging Words from Aubrianna Hunter

This post is the first in a series of Encouraging Words! Whether you're an aspiring author or someone who wants a little boost, I hope these words will inspire you. The series title comes from the lyrics of an old song, "Home on the Range."

Where never is heard
a discouraging word,
and the skies are not cloudy all day!

Our first guest blogger is the lovely Aubrianna Hunter, author of erotic romances including Hidden Depths and Beyond the Mask. She'll give you the scoop on the emotional side of traditional publishing. Take it away, Aubrianna!

Encouraging words from a published author... Hmmmm. That is a really tricky question, especially considering I'm not entirely sure I've done anything the 'right' way. I wrote two books, queried forty different publishers and agents, and they were both rejected by everyone. That part is pretty traditional.

However, my third book (the first one published), wasn't even completed when I sent out a query. Fully expecting another refusal I sent it to one publishing house on a whim. I didn't even submit the query with the requested formatting. I opened with a quip... "Long time friends, one time lovers..."

It was accepted twenty-four hours later, which meant I had to finish writing the book! Oh. My. God. I was some weird combination of excited and absolutely terrified. Now, I not only had to finish a book in a matter of days, I had to let the world read it! Eeeekk.

So, my Encouraging Words are...

First and foremost, keep trying. If at first you don't succeed, write, write again. You will hear "No;" you will have haters. It's part of the process and the best way to look at it is not to take it personally. Just keep at it. Submit to as many people as possible, as often as possible. There will be a lot more no's than yes's. Contrary to how I got published, I would say make sure you have a completed manuscript and that it is as polished as you can make it before you try and submit. That last minute panicked rush was absolutely no fun.

Find and stick with your style

Be true to your own style. The one thing that I have heard repeatedly, from both fans and haters, is that I don't sound like anyone else. Which is probably quite true. Some love my writing style, and others don't. However, I refuse to change my approach simply to please a critic. And trust me when I say it has been suggested in more ways than one. Find your style, write what you want to read, and stay true to yourself. Your writing will be more natural and infinitely better if it is not forced.

Marketing! Aaahhh, marketing

Then there is marketing! Aaahhh, marketing. Sadly, it doesn't matter how amazingly good your book may be if you cannot convince people to read it. Marketing is hard, it is slow, and it is time consuming. The reality is that even the most successful authors, the most amazing series, did not hit it big right out of the gate. Twilight was first published four years before it became a household name. There are a million marketing strategies and techniques, and they have all seen some success. The best advice I can give is to look for a publisher that handles marketing for you. Then... do what they tell you! It is a lot of work, but ultimately it is worth it. Just give it time!

Best of luck! I look forward to reading your work.

Aubrianna Hunter

Aubrianna and I will be happy to field your questions and comments! Thanks for joining us. We look forward to a great discussion.

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  1. A lot of practical advice thank you :-), I started a novel for which I have a very clear vision but found my day job gets in the way. Stresses, time etc how do you keep yourself motivated? What tips do you have?

    1. LOL... I have a very demanding coauthor!
      In all seriousness, I set goals and timelines. I will take some time at the beginning of the week to figure out my schedule, working around any specific events. Once that is done, I literally carve out time to write, going so far as to pencil it into my calendar. When the kids interrupt during that time, barring an emergency I tell them I am working. It is simple, honestly, but effective. At least for me. Hope that helps...

    2. Hi Ray,

      I'll jump in with my two cents worth too... I think I became a binge writer in order to fit it in with a full-time job and single parenting. I took a week vacation and wrote like stink, about 30 pages a day.

      Once you find a scheduling method that works for you, believe in it. It's as individual as your writing style, and just as sacred.

      Best wishes,


    3. Thank you for the advice. I guess I need to plan my time and stick to it :-)

  2. I'm only 16. But ive always dreamed of being a writer an publishing my own book. Recently i started writing an actual book instead of just short storys. But I've looked into publishing places before and they cost soo much. What do i do?

    1. Your best bet for self publishing is an e-book format. The options that have been presented to me as the best choices are Smashwords and Amazon. However, before taking that right, try querying and submitting to some traditional publishers. There are a lot of small publishing houses popping up that are looking for new authors. Self publishing is not a bad route to go, if you know what you're doing. However, you have to be able to do cover art, editing, formatting, and marketing by yourself. A daunting task for a new author.
      Not to discourage you if that is the route you choose. You definitely make more money per sale when self published. Just throwing out some things to consider. I would definitely weigh your choices carefully before you decide. And at least take some time to query a few publishers and see what the response to your work is.

    2. Hi Elizabeth,

      How wonderful that you have a dream at sixteen! I second everything Aubrianna says. Mainly, just keep writing!

      If you want to try your hand and get some feedback from strangers, it's not that hard to post a free short story for example on Kindle. Check the guidelines on Amazon, and they basically walk you through it.

      Good luck! Keep having fun!


  3. Thank you both so much!!! I will keep what you've said in mind!(: Can i come to you two if i have questions?

    1. Absolutely, Elizabeth! I don't know if we'll have answers, but we can probably at least point you in the right direction. Congratulations for finding and honoring your creative spirit!



    2. Absoutely! Ask anything you'd like. If I have an answer, I'll share it. LOL. :-)