Early in the morning before I begin my writing and daytime job, I do my best to browse through my online communities, of which I'll admit are not many as I've been rather selective, but I check my updates on Goodreads and She Writes, then jump over to Twitter and try to follow some of what's going on and post my own two line notes. Every once in a while, I'll visit other author, agent and publisher blogs and sites in an attempt to educate myself on what's going on 'out there'.
I couldn't answer this question for myself and every time I listen to another author's story, I'm even more befuddled by the process. So I made a few decisions for myself which work for me, and no that doesn't mean these will work for everyone else.
Decisions such as writing in more than one genre. I didn't want to have to choose only one-it wouldn't be fun for me to put that limit on myself. I like historical fiction, so I'm sticking with that, but I'll write historical western romance and general historical romance. If I get really crazy, I might even write a modern mystery in the future.
I love to read and I'm going to keep doing so, whether it's a classic or a book that could help me be a better writer, I'm going to read it...but I'm also going to keep reading and rereading some of my favorites. You know those books that you first read and said to yourself "I want to be a writer". For me it's Kathleen Woodiwiss, Julia Quinn and Johanna Lindsey. Sure, it's the same thing over and over again, but I learn something new every time I read their books and so I feel no obligation to stop and pick up a book on copy editing.
I'm going to continue to self-publish (of course until the day I'm presented with an offer I simply can't refuse-oh the dreams). In fact, I actively sought out an agent oh, twice (but did speak with several others) before I decided I needed to dive in on my own first. Most wouldn't work with an unpublished author, but most publishers wouldn't accept your work without an agent - what is a girl to do? I could have kept reaching out until I found an agent who would visit with an unpublished author or a publisher who would accept an unsolicited manuscript and wait as my book sadly sat with a dozens of other sad books on a pile on a desk in someone's office. I could have done that, but if I had, I wouldn't be holding two of my books right now. It would have taken that much longer to see my books in print. Will I go back to trying to nab an agent now? I haven't dismissed the idea by any means, but for now, I have my books and that's saying something.
Doing what is best for yourself as an author - never a bad thing. If you're an author who nabbed an agent and sold your book on your first title, I applaud you truly. You've done what others (and I mean me) don't have the patience to do.
In the end, I care only about two opinions; mine and those of the readers, good or bad. Without those, a book is nothing but ink and paper.
In the spirit of offering my own opinions...
Gallagher's Pride: First of the Gallagher Novels by M.K. McClintock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've wondered what authors would say if and when they review their own books. I certainly couldn't imagine giving myself five stars because 1) I'm just not that good and 2) I rarely give five stars because the book has to really made a difference in my life - I just write for entertainment. I can't give myself three stars or less because I'm just not the self-deprecating, so four stars it is. As far as a review goes, this is my first book and I've learned a lot about what not to do and what to do on future projects. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoy writing the historical western romances and of course adding in the villains is fun too. I'm fond of the characters in the first book, Ethan and Brenna are quite opposites which I also enjoy writing. His rough background on a Montana ranch and her quiet and refined upbringing in Scotland made for an enjoyable story. You'll meet the other Gallagher's in the first book and I look forward to seeing what they have in store for all of us (not going to spoil anything).
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