By: Anne R. Allen
We are always hearing about authors who have phenomenal success with a "first novel." I'm sure most writers fantasize about being that author sometime in our early careers. I sure did.
But here's what I didn't know back then: the novels that are published first are rarely the first novel an author actually wrote.
Most successful authors have several "practice" manuscripts in their files. They also may be successful journalists, screenwriters, editors, feature writers, or ghostwriters who have been writing for a living for a long time.
In November, we had a guest post from NYT bestseller Eileen Goudge, who revealed that her bestselling "first novel," Garden of Lies was written after she cut her teeth writing dozens of YA novels in the Sweet Valley High series.
There's much buzz right now around the "debut" book by Katherine Heiny, Single, Carefree, Mellow, but it turns out she's been writing teen romance for years and had a story published in The New Yorker twenty years ago.
And last week we heard that even To Kill a Mockingbird wasn't Harper Lee's first (or only) novel.
A lot of people reacted to the Harper Lee story with shock and anger. It's hard to let go of the lovely myth of the genius who created that one perfect novel on the first try and lived on its proceeds for life.
. . .
A first—and even second—book can feel like our "baby" and many of us turn into mother bears trying to protect them. We often forget that publishing is a business and feel devastated when we discover the entire world has not been waiting in breathless anticipation for our baby's brilliant debut.
1) Throwing your "firstborn" into the unforgiving marketplace can have devastating psychological consequences
. . .
Read the full article HERE!
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
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- Can money and art mix? Does money taint art? http://wp.me/p3XSYy-1kZ via @ArtistThink #art #creativity #artist
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- Anne R. Allen's Blog: Should You "Send Out" that First Novel? 9 Things to Consider First http://ow.ly/J5QyV