By Carolyn Miller @CarolynMAuthor
Today marks one year since the publication of my first Regency novel, The Elusive Miss Ellison. Yay! (Since then I’ve also seen my second and third Regency novels release – double yay!!) For today’s Bookish Tuesday post I hope you’ll indulge me as I reflect on some of what I’ve learned over the past year of being a published author.
1. One story is never enough.
It's such a special feeling to receive feedback from readers, especially when they are wanting to know more about a favourite character. Readers love interconnected stories and finding out what happened next, and writing a series can be a great way to feed the reader’s need. The Elusive Miss Ellison released as the first in the Regency Brides: Legacy of Grace series (with The Captivating Lady Charlotte and The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey releasing in June and October of last year). I’d written TEME back in 2014, and thought it would work as a standalone, then wrote a couple of other Regency stories, all before any publishers had seen anything.
I’ll be forever grateful to Narelle Atkins for her talk at the Omega Writer’s Conference in Melbourne 2015 when she talked about the benefit of writing a series. Until Narelle’s workshop, I hadn’t thought about how to link these stories, but then I went home, wrote a NaNo project, and saw how the story world and ideas flowed so naturally from my previously written book that I knew it could be done. 2016 saw the writing of the second and third books of this first series – which would have been a lot easier if I’d written it straight after finishing TEME! – while 2017 saw the writing of the third book in my new series, which begins next month with the release of the first in the new Regency Brides: Promise of Hope series, Winning Miss Winthrop on March 27.
Moral of the story: keep your story world alive and write the next one!
couch for me! As my husband says, I’m a small business operator, so my time at work is important. I have four children, so when they’re at school it’s writing (or editing, or marketing) time; if I didn’t, then I’d stress out (even more!). And while this past year has been a steep learning curve, I’ve also learned that it’s important to balance out the grind of writing and editing with taking time to relax, and to be there for my kids, and to actually focus on my husband (instead of thinking about my next storyline), and occasionally even hang out with my friends!
Moral of the story: work hard, but not at the expense of that which is dear to you.
3. Marketing is KeyI don’t pretend to know much about marketing, so last year’s marketing challenge run by Iola Goulton was an eye-opener. I’m thankful to be an Aussie writer in today’s online world, especially when my target market is half a world away, but the sheer breadth of marketing strategies can seem overwhelming. I've had to limit myself to a few social media avenues, tempting as it is to want to try more. I’m constantly learning, and tweaking, and learning from my mistakes to ensure my hard work in writing my books can be seen by readers who will enjoy it.
Moral of the story: there’s always more to learn with marketing!
So there you have it. Three (of the many) things I’ve learned in this last year since being published. Now, I’m off to celebrate!
Do you have things you wished you could tell your newly (or pre-) published self?
About Carolyn Miller:
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.
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