Publishing your first book: Some very broad advice

Salvete, readers!

Since the publication of The Way Home, a few people have asked me for advice on how to get published. To be honest, though, I’m still finding my way in the industry and my journey toward publication is by no means conventional. I started out publishing academic work in ancient history. Building on that platform, I’m transitioning to historical fiction. My path is an atypical one. Of course, I’m not actually sure there is such a thing as a typical path to publishing a novel. There are so many different ways to get your work out there, especially in the age of indie publishing. I love hearing authors tell their stories of how they started their careers. That said, I question how some well-established authors speak as though theirs is the only way. Serendipity is always a factor in publishing. Just because it worked for one author doesn’t mean it will work for all. It’s also worth considering that publishing practices vary a lot from country to country: advice that works in the US or UK may not necessarily work in a smaller country like Australia.

The best advice I can give is fairly broad.

Embrace every learning opportunity. Learn from multiple sources and be willing to try different things. Go to writing conventions, talk to agents, listen to interviews with people who know what they are talking about. Don’t be half-hearted, jump in with the enthusiasm of a space cadet. And don’t give up. It’s a hard road and can take a long time. I also think it’s really helpful to engage in self-reflection and be honest with yourself about what your goals are as an author and what kind of career you want. Being clear about your expectations is an important step to realising them.

I think I’ll follow this up with a post sharing the process Matt Wolf and I used to come up with the amazing illustrations for the Ashes of Olympus trilogy. In the meantime, The Way Home is available via the online store of your choice!

Until next time,

Valete

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