Join us as Edmond Manning goes Outside the Margins.
My freshman year was plagued by all sorts of freshman worries: feeling intimidated when meeting established writers in our genre, begging review sites to read my book, learning how to interact with readers, and, of course, wedgies. (Okay, maybe not wedgies.) As I stumbled and bumbled through my freshman writing experience, I kept thinking to myself, ‘what the hell am I doing here? I’m not ready for this.’
Don’t get me wrong—I wrote a few books and was damn proud of them. But. There’s a whole writers’ world I stepped into, and I was unprepared for how much effort and thoughtfulness was required. The blogging, social media, the conferences. Should I be tweeting? How come I’m not tweeting? And, oh yes: how to market yourself without annoying the shit out of people.
I remember at my first GRL conference, another writer said to me, “I looked up your amazon.com rank. Not bad.”
I said, “Wait, you did what? What rank?”
I had no idea.
When I got home, I looked up my amazon rank and studied the line graphs carefully charting my sales. I found the experience depressing and confusing. I haven’t been back since.
I spent my freshman year asking experienced writers for advice on their success and received a wide range of fascinating responses. They talked about the importance of respecting readers and reviewers, delivering something engaging in every blog post, how to mentor and be mentored. How to give back. Mostly, their advice was: write. Write a lot. Keep writing. Finished a book? Good. Now start the next one.
Two and a half years have passed since my first book, King Perry, was made available through Dreamspinner Press and I no longer feel like a freshman in this world.
But I ain’t no upperclassman, either.
I’ve still got lots to figure out.
Case in point.
I took the advice of those more experienced writers who told me to increase my output. “Write!” they cried. “Write more!” While I do not ever see myself as the kind of writer who can churn out five or six full books a year, I challenged myself to write more in 2014, to write more adventurously, and expand my vision beyond my main series, The Lost and Founds.
In 2014, I produced the following:
- Broken Phoenix, a short story created for the goodreads MM Romance group: Love’s Landscape challenge. (came out in June)
- Filthy Acquisitions, a novella, published through Wilde City. (Came out in July.)
- Hunting Bear: A Fairy Tale with a Very Hairy Ending, short story published through Dreamspinner Press in their A Taste of Honey anthology. (Came out in August.)
- The Butterfly King –through Pickwick Ink Publishing. (Due out in mid-September.)
However, I learned a valuable lesson from this writing experience. Check out the release dates in parentheses. Lesson learned: don’t write everything in winter so it all comes out at roughly the same time! Gah! I have been completely overwhelmed by all four pieces of writing going through the overlapping editing and publishing stages at the same time. There were a few unfortunate consequences of this – a feeling of ‘rushed editing’ on one piece of writing. Also, when Filthy Acquisitions came out, I was so busy editing two other pieces, I did almost zero marketing for that book.
What kind of author takes the time to write a book and then doesn’t do any publicity when the book is released? Well, a sophomore.
My point is…I’m learning. I’m growing as a writer.
Brandilyn Carpenter invited me to write a monthly blog post for the Prism Book Alliance, to appear every 10th of the month in the Outside the Margins column. I couldn’t be more delighted. This will be a fantastic place for me to share my sophomore year observations with you. I’ll try to explore my failures just as much as my successes. I’ll let you know where I’m stumbling and what’s hard. And maybe share a few victory dances along the way.
And if that sounds boring, well, I’ll take off my shirt and rub peanut butter on my nipples.
Eww. No. No, let’s not do that. God, that’s such a freshman thing to do.
I’ll just stick to talking about writing.
Edmond Manning is the author of King Perry, King Mai, the Butterfly King and Filthy Acquisitions. (The Butterfly King comes out in mid-September.) Some days, he knows what he is doing. Other days, he rubs peanut butter on his nipples. Eww.
~ Edmond Manning
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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