5 Things I’ve Learned from Book Two

I no longer suffer from the single child book syndrome

My second novel – Nelson and Cora – The Beginning – was published last week, first as an eBook and now as a paperback.

5 Things I’ve Learned So Far On This Journey:

1. I enjoy speaking about the writing process, research, or some aspect of my novels MORE than I enjoy regular book signings. I’m thankful for the book signing opportunities – don’t get me wrong – but I am more comfortable in a “teaching role” – go figure ;-p

You can find some helpful tips on how to be great at public speaking, even when you are scared to death, here.

2. There are a lot of generous, kind, supportive, encouraging people in cyperspace who are happy to host you on their blog and pass along your info on Twitter. But you have to ASK them. Most people (usually) are happy to help, if they know what they can do to help you. If you want to be a guest on a blog, ASK! If you want someone to tweet or retweet your information on Twitter, ASK (triberr is a good way to reach others on Twitter. Here is some more information on using Twitter.)

3. Most of Social Media is NOISE. If all you are doing is selling, people will quickly tune out. So, figure out what you can bring to the table, what you can add to benefit others, and bring it. Tell people about that. The selling will come later. It’s old news now, but it really is about connections. The connections you make between your readers and you, and the connections your readers make with your writing. Focus on those connections and BE AUTHENTIC. People can spot a phony, even if they can’t quite put their finger on what rubs them the wrong way.

4. Your writing is your brand. When I first published my novel, I had several short stories available on Amazon and Smashwords. While these short stories weren’t awful (some of them were pretty good, if I do say so myself), they didn’t fit my brand. I’m a southern writer, and while I may venture into other genres, my VOICE is as a southern writer. One of my mistakes (whoa, nelly, there are many…) was publishing these short stories. Why? When someone read those short stories and liked them, there wasn’t any thing else like it in my body of writing. Which brings me to my last point –

5. If I could do it over again, I would wait to publish my first novel until I had my second one near completion. When someone finished reading Josephine: Red Dirt & Whiskey and they wanted to read more of my work that is similar to it, they had to wait almost a year before I could offer them anything else. That’s a LONG time to ask someone to wait. But, now I have Nelson and Cora – The Beginning available as well Josephine: Red Dirt & Whiskey. My third novel will be available in August – Nelson and Cora – The Journey. In a nutshell – have more to offer your fans than one novel. Don’t be a one trick pony!

***A pet peeve of mine – say thank you, sincerely. Send a thank you email or actually write a handwritten thank you note. It only takes a moment. It makes a lasting impression, and it is good manners! ***


What’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far in your writing, publishing, marketing journey? Please share in the comments 🙂


About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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19 Responses to 5 Things I’ve Learned from Book Two

  1. Great post, Melinda! 🙂

    • Thank you! I should have had you weigh in on the importance of having more than one work ready to go – three novels deep into the publishing game 🙂

      • I can tell you that it is MUCH easier having the next novel written and ready to go when you’re releasing books in a series. I waited to write the second and third novels, but book four was completed before releasing three. It’s taken a lot of stress off me and I don’t feel rushed to get the next story out there. It’s patiently waiting in the sidelines.

        • Here’s what I’m hoping (we all know how that works sometimes) – write Nelson and Cora – The Journey in June. Have it ready to go by September 1. Write Nelson and Cora – The Destination in July. Have it ready to go by mid-September. In the meantime, finish contribution to the Grim5Next project, finish the Quilt Anthology Project, AND start new series I’m excited about 🙂

        • Good luck, girl! You can do it!!

  2. Excellent post today. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed it very much.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts with us. There’s lots of good, common sense advice in there.

    Major gratz on the second novel! You must be thrilled. Jeepers, I’m behind! I haven’t even had a chance to read the first one yet. I better get busy! 🙂

  4. I completely agree that I would have waited to publish the first novel in the series until I was near completion with the second. Definitely learned that one hard way, but luckily it worked out. Great post Melinda.

  5. DM Yates says:

    Wonderful choices. The one that impacted most on me was to wait to publish the first until the second was almost completed.

  6. Roger says:

    Got the second one covered. And the third. It’s selling the first that is difficult. I now it’s not an overnight job but I want it now!!! You’ll be happy to know that my daughter was looking over my shoulder a moment ago and gave me a slap before calling me a baby.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Roger. From my (limited) experience with the writing and publishing and marketing business, it seems to be a snowball effect so far. I’m reading The Tipping Point by Gladwell right now, so I may be singing a different tune soon…

  7. nancyckelley says:

    As a writer knee-deep in book 2, I can relate to 4&5. Your blog should be another aspect of your brand as a writer. It should be mostly written in the same voice as your published work, so your blog readers know what they’ll get when they pick up your book.

    And oh, do I wish I’d had book 2 done ahead of time!

    • Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree that your voice should be consistent across all of your outlets. But, I also think (and hope) that we can evolve and our craft can improve. I hope that my writing will grow stronger, including my blogging, with time.

  8. nancyckelley says:

    As a writer who is knee-deep in book 2, I definitely relate to 4&5. In regards to 4, your blog should be another aspect of your brand as a writer. For the most part, it should be written in the same voice as your published works, so your blog readers know what to expect when they pick up your book.

    And oh, do I wish I’d had book 2 done ahead of time!

  9. Pingback: 3 Reasons You SHOULD give away your writing & 2 Warnings | melindamcguirewrites

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