Monday, September 11, 2017

Unforgettable: The Inspiration Behind PROLIFIC: WRITING A HIT NOVEL

When I am editing a manuscript, I am quite possibly the worst housekeeper of all time. All of my energy and thought goes into my book, into the story, into the marketing, into the minutia of the release and into the five-thousand tiny details that need to be completed before it's too late and - gasp! - I miss a deadline. I am often so exhausted at the end of such an endeavor that I find myself living in a house where the laundry is piled up in heaps, the kitchen is a disaster, and my desk is buried somewhere under mounds of notes, letters, and coffee cups that have been drained dry. 

My current manuscript edits (I consider the first round of edits to be the most difficult, because the book is the messiest and most unorganized at this stage) were particularly draining. At the end of 2 solid weeks of editing (often it was taking me 10 hours just to edit 20 or so pages), I realized with surprise that my house was a bit low on food. My poor husband had resorted to making white rice with cinnamon and sugar (with toast, of course) for dinner. That was literally the only cohesive ingredients we had left! My husband is usually busy with his own work, and I admittedly handle the grocery shopping because I enjoy it. But during editing? The house is a whirlwind of chaos! (Fear not: I have since restocked our house and we are now having normal dinners once more!)

In some ways, my very existence is confirmation of every writer stereotype. I am a bit forgetful, I become absorbed in my work to the point where I'm not sure if I'm writing fiction or non-fiction (oops!), and I have trouble stopping myself at the end of the day. I have to physically remove myself from my office so that I stop thinking about my work. What can I say? I'm obsessed! 

Part of my compulsion to remain working and energized comes from a natural business sense. I love business, and I love seeing my company continue to grow. I am always working on new ways to expand and evolve, and that excites me to no end. I am a bit of an anomaly in the writing world, because I love and embrace both the creative and business side of publishing. I understand both. I thrive on the excitement of both. I can't get enough of the work, the pressure, the speed, the marketing, the story! A lot of writers love to write, but despise the marketing/selling part of publishing. My reasoning is that you really can't have one without the other. The better you understand both sides of the proverbial coin, the more successful you will be. Modernly, writers are not just isolated hermits who pen novels with a lead pencil in Wisconsin, offering their manuscripts up like a blood sacrifice to their agents in New York. Today, authors are in touch with their fans on a personal level, and many of them are ultimately in charge of their own public image. 

When I first started writing publicly (as an author and business owner, not just a journalist who worked in the background, or a publicist who assembled press packs and churned out AP releases), I understood that an author is as much of a product as their book. Your name and your photo is associated with your work for as long as you live - and even after. If you can sell both, you have a double audience. Consistency is key, and that must be coupled with talent and a solid story. 

I have so many people ask me the same types of questions over and over to write, how to sell, how to come up with ideas, how to edit, how to design marketing campaigns, and so forth. People will stop me while I'm shopping or walking to ask me advice about writing, and it got me thinking: what if I compiled all of my information and published it? That's how my upcoming book was born.

Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel, will be a compilation and guidebook that covers everything I have learned about establishing yourself in a modern publishing world over the course of my 17-18 bestselling books so far. It will be a book for aspiring authors and writers, journalists and even businessmen and women. I believe that the methods in my book are easily applicable to any business or working scenario. Trust me - if I, a small, quiet and unknown girl from nowhere can own a business and be a #1 bestselling author of 18 novels and counting, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. In fact, your chances are probably better than mine ever were already! 

Look, I was nothing remarkable growing up. I was not the most popular, I was not the most attractive, and I certainly will never be remembered by anyone for being "Most Likely to Succeed" or "Best Smile of the Year." Quite the opposite. I'm the person who was forgettable. The person who remembered everybody else (but, to my great embarrassment, discovered that nobody remembered me!). I was the girl who hid from conversations, who left social events as quickly as possible, and who never so much as joined a sports team or choir. 

What I did instead was work. I spent most of high school working. I spent my first year of college working. I've spent most of my life working. While other girls my age were dating or partying in dorm guessed it: I was working. I just never had an interest in doing things traditionally, I suppose. I always wanted something more. I think, too, that because people tended to forget who I was growing up, I wanted to do something with my life what was exciting...something people would notice and say, "Well, that looks fun! I remember her - she's the writer! I love her books!" What began as a seed of an idea, and then a quest to prove myself to the world, became a successful business and my great passion. 

This book will be my first non-fiction foray into the publishing world, and it will also be the second publication that my company, Writing Belle Publishing, will be in charge of distributing nationally. It's a real hallmark of achievement for me to write and publish a book like this, because it reminds me of how far I've come. From hopeful dreamer, rejected by publishing companies and magazines, to successful businesswoman with hundreds of thousands of readers from around the globe. 

Big news!
Just this month, I was able to announce that Writing Belle Publishing will officially become a national distributor of select bestselling titles to retailers. It has taken me a very long time to reach this goal, and I am so excited! This means that a few of my books will now be on more shelves across the country (think Barnes and Noble!), in addition to the major outlets that already sell the novels online, here and abroad. 

I hope this book is an inspiration to you. That is the ultimate goal of Prolific. To encourage, to educate, and to inspire. You can expect a release date within the next couple of months. At this point, we are somewhere between December 2017 and March 2018. I am excited to share it with you. Stay tuned...and happy writing! 

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