What lessons can you learn from me?

What Kind Of Lessons Could Anyone Learn From What You Do In Your Career?

Gosh, I hope someone can learn from the things I’ve done and haven’t done.  I tend to leap before I look because I honestly believe things will always work out for the best.  That may be naive, but it’s the truth, I try to be positive.

So, what can I teach you?  Let me give you a top ten.

  1.  Never, never, never pay a publisher to publish your book.  If they are charging you, they aren’t credible and they will simply take your money and run.
  2. Perseverance is your friend.  There will be hard times. The strong get through them, the weak will fall away.  So, know going into your business, whatever it is, that when times get tough, you will need to keep working hard, maybe even harder, to weather that storm.  But, you will be stronger when the sun shines again.  There’s always a bright side.
  3. Networking will take you a lot farther than sitting alone and spinning your wheels.  Ask friends in your same industry what they did that was successful.  Ask them what they are sorry they did and why. Learn from their mistakes and don’t repeat them.  Ask them for advice and pay it forward when you can.
  4. Always be kind.  If you are snippy and bitchy, you will gain a reputation, but you won’t like it.  Someday, you may need the people you are bitchy to and guess what they will remember?  Yep.  When I was starting out there were a couple of authors who stabbed me in the back and dissed me.  I remember them well and know that I would never collaborate with them again.  After four years in this business, I may still be a newbie, but I also have a ton of information that I’ve collected and believe me, there are folks I will not share it with.  Once bitten, twice shy.
  5. On the same note, remember those who are not your friends.  They may come back and pretend they are helping, but a tiger never changes is stripes, be cautious and quietly move on.
  6. If you are in the book industry, know that it is inevitable that you will get negative reviews.  I am a Kristen Ashley fan.  Always have been, always will be.  I recently posted a review of her book, Law Man (OMG, loved it) and went out to check my review and there were 1 stars!!!!  I could not believe it.  But, the lesson is, we all have different tastes, what I love someone else does not.  What someone else loves, I may not.  It’s sort of what makes the world go around.  If we all loved the same thing, it would be a boring world.  When you get that one star, buck up, read it carefully and see if there is something to learn from it, then move on.  Do not slam the reviewer, after all, it’s they’re opinion and they are entitled to it.  Your world will not crumble because you got a 1 star.  
  7. Keep good records.  You need to know where you’re spending your money and where it is valuable and where it is not.  Keep good records and statistics so you know when an investment was worth while and if you’d make it again.  Likewise the other way.
  8. Friends and Family will not always understand and that’s okay.  I know my husband is my biggest supporter.  He helps me out in so many ways, financially, support with the cooking and cleaning, positive conversations when I’m feeling down and he reads every one of my books (and he doesn’t love to read romance, but he does it for me).  But I know he doesn’t always understand why I’d prefer to tap away on the computer when the weather is nice and I could be out riding or doing something else.  But, when my story is flowing, I need to get it on paper (or screen as it were).  I don’t understand why he watches car shows every chance he gets.  And that’s just fine!  We don’t have to always understand as long as we can talk about it and work out a solution.
  9. You will spend money.  Listen, if you are publishing a book, you must hire an editor.  I don’t care if your best friend is really good at catching mistakes, there is nothing like the advice of a professional editor.  An editor will know story construction, flow, character development, etc.  Unless you are an excellent graphic designer, you need to hire a cover artist.  The cover is the first impression a reader will get from your book.  Before they read the blurb, they are looking at the cover.  Make it spectacular.  This all costs money, but it’s necessary.  It’s how you show a reader you are a professional.  
  10. Have fun.  If you aren’t having fun with your business why are you doing it?  So the other way of saying that is do what you enjoy.  If you are doing that, you will be able to weather the storms easier, you will see the money spent as an investment in your business and you will be having fun every single day.  

What can I learn from you about your business?  Let’s share our experiences and then see what my fellow bloggers can teach us.  


8 thoughts on “What lessons can you learn from me?”

    • Totally agree. While I was sending out inquiry letters to get an agent, I was researching self-publishing. I talked to a couple of outfits and they were, like, “$6000, please.” I know people who would just grease up the credit cards for that, but we’re debt-adverse, so I had to start planning and saving. In the meantime, I ran across authors with horror stories to tell about these companies that wanted money and then I realized that I didn’t have to pay that kind of money to publish. But I probably would have paid that money if we didn’t have a rule against acquiring debt in our household. It just seems so much easier … until you realize that their promises won’t buy the results you’re looking for.

      • Yep, they are good at playing the game and making you feel like they are going to help you. Until you hand over money of course. RWA has done a lot in calling them out and has now labeled them as “predatory publishers”.

  1. Always be kind is my favorite. Being kind doesn’t mean you let yourself be taken advantage of, but that you don’t make someone’s day worse than it already is!

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