Special Guest Diana Cosby…

Today I am delighted to welcome back to the blog, author Diana Cosby…

 

The Benefits of Selling Later in your Career

Diana Cosby ©2009

When I began writing, I remember sending out my first partial, smiling, telling everyone the manuscript’s title, and that my book was going to sell.  Then, I remember months later, receiving the rejection letter.  I was devastated.  How could they not want the book of my heart?  And the rejection letter, Dear Author . . ., it could have been written to anyone!

           

Over the years I discovered that I had a deft skill for acquiring rejections.  I remember one day my oldest son, now in the Marine Corps, carrying in a manila envelope saying, “Hey, Mom, you received another rejection.”  *Smile*  Gotta love kids.  After 100 rejections, I quit counting.  I decided I knew how to acquire a rejection.  🙂

 

Throughout the years, through ever frustration and doubt, I never gave up.  Not only is it important to never give up, but it’s essential for you to RECOGNIZE that with each passing year, you’re growing stronger in the craft, plus, you’re connecting with fellow authors and industry professionals, which = networking.  Once you sell, your experience and contacts will prove invaluable.  I never realized until looking back, the benefits of selling later in my writing career.

 

I feel passionate about this topic because I wish someone would have sat me down and said, “That you write is well and good, but let’s say you sold, what’s your plan?”  Plan?  Why to write of course.  It’s critical that after we sell that we keep on writing, but it’s also important to build a reader readership.  In all honestly, unless you sell a book through a high visibility venue, like the American Title Contest, the hard reality is that few people will know who you are, much less buy your book.  So, if you’re a new writer, don’t fret about rejections, they’re a part of writers life, but plan for the day when you sell.  Use your time accrued to your benefit.

 

Your success is no accident.  I find it interesting that my quote for today is: 

“Choices are the hinges of destiny.” – Pythagoras

 

This is so true.  The choices you make create the paths you take.  What is your exact goal?  Define it.  Plan to not only make it, but make it a success.  So, what can you do?  My take:

 

-If you have a website, great, if not, place it on top of your priority list.  Many authors have a website, but plan yours, let it reflect the target market you are writing for and will eventually sell for.  When I worked with my fabulous webmaster, Rae Monet, Inc. Design, I came into the project knowing what I wanted, plus, I had a ‘Brand’ – Romance Edged With Danger.  I will always write suspense, regardless if they’re historical, contemporary, inspirational or fantasy.  So, we designed my website to be timeless.  If you look at my website, you will see it could work for any era.  I also love the simplicity of my web pages, that anyone coming in doesn’t have to wait forever if they’re on dial-up for the site to upload.

*A note:  Check out other authors sites.  What do you love?  What doesn’t connect for you.  Make a list of your favorite features and incorporate them into your website.  If you’re going to blog, great, but stagnant blogs attract nada.

 

-A Brand.  What tag to do you feel is the essence of what you write, regardless of the line, era?  As I said above, for me it’s, Romance Edged With Danger.

 

-Business Cards.  My take, keep them professional.  I have two different business cards, those I hand out to readers that have my website and e-mail, but not my home address and contact information.  The other business card has all of my contact information.

 

-Bookmarks.  I think bookmarks are one of the single best marketing tools a writer can have.  I always joke that if someone takes one and really doesn’t want it, odds are they’ll leave my bookmark somewhere – to be found by a reader who’ll scoop it up.   Also, I send bookmarks to conferences, booksellers, venues that feature the type of book I write such as medieval gatherings, and anywhere I feel I feel is beneficial.  I also include bookmarks in bills, which is not my idea, but I still love it! 🙂

 

-Other on-line venues:  Facebook, My Space, Blogs, and so many more.  Honestly, I just started Facebook, but I’m on a major learning curve. 

 

-Conferences.  Keep networking!

 

-Marketing.  I’ll give you one word of advice, choose what you LOVE DOING, and what’s within your budget.  Caution – you can spend a lot of $ really quick.

 

 

After nine years of writing, I sold.  I found that in addition to writing an intense, multi-layer story, came the challenge of fitting in time to do promotion.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed.  This is where preparing early in your career for success comes into play.  Your well-planned foundation won’t add time onto your day, but it will give you a significant edge to help your career take off.

 

As I look back, I’m thankful I didn’t sell early on in my career.  After nine years, I thought I was ready; in essence, I was clueless.  The years accrued gave me time to strengthen my writing, meet industry professionals, and to make friends who were a not only a bedrock in the enormous transition of becoming published, but who are truly a blessing in my life.  So, next time you receive a rejection letter, set it aside, and focus on building your career.  Last, always believe in yourself!  I wish each and every one of you every success!

Diana Cosby

www.dianacosby.com

 

his-woman-jpgDiana’s second novel in the MacGruder series, “His Woman – Duncan’s story,” is available now:
Amazon.com

B&N.com
Amazon.com in Canada

His Woman – 4 Stars – HOT
“Former lovers find each other again in book two of Cosby’s Scottish trilogy. She deftly combines historical accuracy, well-rounded characters and continuous action in this sweeping romance, which should keep readers engaged until the last page.”
Romantic Times

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44 Responses to Special Guest Diana Cosby…

  1. Diana Cosby says:

    Good morning, thank you so much for having me back on your blog, Jennifer. Today’s topic is one I’m passionate about. One thing I believe we can always agree on, hindsight is 50/50. 🙂 Thank you to everyone who’s taking time to stop by and post their insight/tips. Enjoy your day!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  2. Dawn McClure says:

    Great blog post! You never fail to inspire me. 🙂 I love hearing about authors who never gave up on their dream. I have a bookmark that says “There is no such thing as failure unless you fail to try.” (Or something like that.) I love motivational quotes.

    In fact, I still have the bookmark and cover jacket you sent me with your personal message written on it. 🙂

  3. Diana Cosby says:

    Dawn McClure Says:

    Great blog post! You never fail to inspire me.

    ~Good morning, Dawn. Thank you so much for dropping by. If something helped, great! I think it’s ultra important for authors to realize that time is experience, to vent their frustration [Which can be immense.] into a positive focus of preparing for when they sell.

    I love hearing about authors who never gave up on their dream. I have a bookmark that says “There is no such thing as failure unless you fail to try.” (Or something like that.) I love motivational quotes.

    ~I love motivational quotes as well. A couple of my favorites are, and these are from my memory, is something like, “We each have the same 24 hours in a day.”-Hellen Keller. Or, Erma Bombecks, “When I die and go to heaven, I hope to tell God, I used up everything you gave me.” How cool is that!

    In fact, I still have the bookmark and cover jacket you sent me with your personal message written on it.

    ~Awww. *Hugs* Keep going, Dawn. I’m so proud of your every achievement! ^5 Enjoy your day and remember, always persevere!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  4. Shayla Black says:

    Diana, *waving hi*. I think this is a really important topic that doesn’t get discussed as it should. Over the years, I’ve watched people sell books at a point in their career that I’ll call too early. They not only don’t they understand common contract terms and clauses or how to balance their schedule with edits, copyedits, galleys, promotion, deadlines, etc., but they all lack one critical thing, IMO: Realistic expectations. I’ve seen way too many first time authors think that by book 2 or 3 they’ll be on the NYT list. Or they don’t understand why their book gets no publisher-supported promo while someone like Nora/Sherrilyn/JR/fill-in-the-blank gets book dumps and co-op like mad. Authors who sell early tend to expect bigger jumps in their career faster (even if sales don’t warrant it) and often start “phoning it in” because they get overwhelmed by it all. They learned their craft, which is both necessary and commendable. BUT they didn’t learn the business. So they don’t know optimal scheduling in mass market or the difference between a trade and a MM print run, etc. They also didn’t struggle as hard, so don’t always have the full appreciation for how fortunate they are. It’s easier to take for granted something you didn’t scrape 10 years for. And once you start taking your career for granted…well, it may not always be there.

    This is not to say that all authors who sell quickly fall into this trap, but I know more than a few who have.

  5. Good morning, Diana. Great topic for the blog. I sold after 10 years of writing in spurts. That was two years ago, and I still haven’t quite managed to get the hang of marketing. If I’d sold my first story (which came close, btw) I don’t know if I’d still be writing. I realize now that I lacked discipline for years and probably would never have finished the second book. :-

  6. Karen Kelley says:

    I wish I had known more about the business side of writing. My writers group is small. I should have networked more with bigger groups, authors online. I’m still playing catch up.

  7. Diana Cosby says:

    Shayla Black Says:

    Diana, *waving hi*.

    ~Hi Shayla, great seeing you and thank you so much for dropping by!

    I think this is a really important topic that doesn’t get discussed as it should. Over the years, I’ve watched people sell books at a point in their career that I’ll call too early. They not only don’t they understand common contract terms and clauses or how to balance their schedule with edits, copyedits, galleys, promotion, deadlines, etc., but they all lack one critical thing, IMO: Realistic expectations.

    ~I totally agree. As with any goal, I believe a great question to ask is, and what will you do once you achieve it? Authors, as others with their respective goals, get caught up in achieving their dream, but once reached, so caught up in the journey, they flounder at their pivotal moment when it’s time to excel. Again, this is my opinion. If we plan for achievement, when ‘the call’ comes, we hit the ground running. And as Dr. Greg Moffatt said [to the best of my recollection], “My good luck comes after alot of hard work.”

    I’ve seen way too many first time authors think that by book 2 or 3 they’ll be on the NYT list. Or they don’t understand why their book gets no publisher-supported promo while someone like Nora/Sherrilyn/JR/fill-in-the-blank gets book dumps and co-op like mad.

    ~Exactly. In the book industry, ignorance isn’t bliss. For most authors, ignorance = lack of sales.

    Authors who sell early tend to expect bigger jumps in their career faster (even if sales don’t warrant it) and often start “phoning it in” because they get overwhelmed by it all. They learned their craft, which is both necessary and commendable. BUT they didn’t learn the business. So they don’t know optimal scheduling in mass market or the difference between a trade and a MM print run, etc.

    ~Before I sold, I always felt like there was this big mystery to being published. Now I understand, it’s the business end. And understanding the business end, utilizing your strengths in this venue is crucial to a successful career.

    They also didn’t struggle as hard, so don’t always have the full appreciation for how fortunate they are. It’s easier to take for granted something you didn’t scrape 10 years for. And once you start taking your career for granted…well, it may not always be there.

    ~I sincerely believe it’s imperative to appreciate your every success, and also as important if not more, to thank every single person/group who took time out of their lives to make a difference in yours. No one achieves success alone. Period.

    This is not to say that all authors who sell quickly fall into this trap, but I know more than a few who have.

    ~Right, I totally agree with you. Also, I want to add that a writer’s goal is to connect with their reader. Cathy Maxwell once said at a conference, know your reader. Who are they? What age group? Cathy is mega wise and an amazing, inspirational person. Think about it, if you know your reader, your promo will be on target for the greatest impact for the cost/time.

    Thank you so much for coming by. Great insight and tips! Enjoy your day!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  8. Melissa says:

    Diana!
    Shouting hello from your old stomping grounds.
    I am with you. I have taught classes on this subject so it is near and dear to my heart. Especially the online part:)

  9. Diana Cosby says:

    Keena Kincaid Says:

    Good morning, Diana.

    ~Good morning, Keena, thank you so much for stopping by!

    Great topic for the blog. I sold after 10 years of writing in spurts.

    ~Congratulations! ^5 I’m totally thrilled for you!

    That was two years ago, and I still haven’t quite managed to get the hang of marketing.

    ~Amen, I’m on that MAJOR learning curve as well. I swear, I’m keeping notes and going to write a book for writers on marketing effectively.

    If I’d sold my first story (which came close, btw) I don’t know if I’d still be writing.

    ~Interesting comment. You know, it makes me wonder if I, too, would have continued. I answer yes, as I love crafting stories. Besides, I don’t think my characters would have let me sleep if I had stopped. *G*

    I realize now that I lacked discipline for years and probably would never have finished the second book. :-

    ~Excellent point. Discipline is imperative for a writer, as is focus, organization and alot of hard work. No one thing is the key, but a combination, belief in self, and a solid story.
    Again, thanks for stopping by. Excellent comments/tips. Enjoy your day and I wish you every success!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  10. Diana Cosby says:

    Karen Kelley Says:

    I wish I had known more about the business side of writing. My writers group is small. I should have networked more with bigger groups, authors online. I’m still playing catch up.

    ~Karen, hang in there. You have the perfect attitude – learn. There isn’t any problems in life, but challenges. Define your challenge, then make a plan of attack to over come it. Problems are a pain, challenges we can overcome. Persevere, believe in yourself and push forward. I know YOU can do it! My sincere best to you! ^5

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  11. Diana Cosby says:

    Melissa Says:

    Diana!
    Shouting hello from your old stomping grounds.

    ~:) Hi Melissa, thank you so much for stopping by!

    I am with you. I have taught classes on this subject so it is near and dear to my heart. Especially the online part.

    ~An author needs to take charge of their career, not wait for it to ‘arrive.’ Education, networking and hard work are the keys. Oh yeah, believing in yourself is a must. 🙂 Enjoy your day and thanks again for stopping by!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  12. Your post couldn’t have been more timely…not that I sold but because I needed to hear from someone who had a nice stack of rejections but kept on plugging along.

    Great post with excellent advice!

  13. Lori Avocato says:

    Great advice. I totally agree. We learn so much as we grow in our careers and our writing. I though my first completed novel was fantastic! Yet, it never sold. Hm, when I look back now, I’m glad it didn’t. I’ve learned so much throughout the years. Even in writing my romantic mystery series, each book gets better and better. I would wait anxiously for my editor’s reply of “This one is even better than the last one.” Phew.

    Rejections? Ha! I’ve got hundreds–and STILL get them after having 18 books published. It’s part of the business just as if you were in advertising–not every one of you projects is going to fly!

  14. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: ArkansasCyndi
    Your post couldn’t have been more timely…not that I sold but because I needed to hear from someone who had a nice stack of rejections but kept on plugging along.

    ~Cindy, hang in there, believe in yourself and persevere. Identify areas where you feel you have weaknesses – work to fix them. I can’t tell you how many classes I’ve taken in the past, or, how many I’m still taking. An amazing instructor is Alicia Rasley. Other fabulous instructors who really helped me when they offered or are offering classes are, Suzanne Brockmann, Virginia Kantra, Margie Lawson and Mary Buckham. I know I’m leaving some amazing people out, and for that I sincerely apologize. Find instructors/teachers you connect with, and persevere. Again, for all fronts, education and perseverance are the keys.

    Great post with excellent advice!

    ~If anything helped, that’s what this is about. I assure you, I learn daily. We CAN do this! My sincere best to you!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  15. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: Lori Avocato
    Comment:
    Great advice. I totally agree.

    ~Good morning, Lori, thank you so much for stopping by. Yes, I’m definitely listening to any advice you want to share. 🙂 And Lori is a fellow RomVet! http://www.romvets.com/

    We learn so much as we grow in our careers and our writing. I thought my first completed novel was fantastic! Yet, it never sold. Hm, when I look back now, I’m glad it didn’t. I’ve learned so much throughout the years. Even in writing my romantic mystery series, each book gets better and better. I would wait anxiously for my editor’s reply of “This one is even better than the last one.” Phew.

    ~I believe we learn with each book as well.

    Rejections? Ha! I’ve got hundreds–and STILL get them after having 18 books published. It’s part of the business just as if you were in advertising–not every one of you projects is going to fly!

    ~*Smile* I know, it is. It’s still hard that everyone doesn’t love our babies. Again, my sincere thanks for stopping by. Have an incredible day, and I wish you continued success!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  16. Hi Jennifer and Diana!

    Diana, this is terrific. I especially love the line about setting the rejection letter aside and focusing on your career. We all know to learn what we can from the rejection letter, but we are then lead to focus more on smaller aspects of writing. No matter how important those aspects are, it’s the bigger career picutre that needs constant attention.

    I knew a good deal about the business before I published, but going thru all the processes is a whole new level of intensity. I’m grateful to all the readers who blog, or review and blog, and who invite authors for guest appearances. They are treasures!

    And, yes, my very first guest blog was with Jennifer. 🙂

    Light,
    Nancy
    La Vida Vampire
    Last Vampire Standing

  17. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: Nancy Haddock
    Comment:
    Hi Jennifer and Diana!

    Diana, this is terrific. I especially love the line about setting the rejection letter aside and focusing on your career.

    ~Hi Nancy, thanks for stopping by Jennifer’s Random Musings! ^5 It’s always important to keep the big picture in focus. There’s challenges along every path, those designed to test if we really want what we say.

    We all know to learn what we can from the rejection letter, but we are then lead to focus more on smaller aspects of writing. No matter how important those aspects are, it’s the bigger career picture that needs constant attention.

    ~Exactly.

    I knew a good deal about the business before I published, but going thru all the processes is a whole new level of intensity.

    ~Oh yeah, big fun. *G* But you know, nothing worth anything is easy. Plus, I’ve met numerous amazing people, those who unselfishly take time out of their crazy lives to make a difference in mine. If that’s not a blessing, nothing is.

    I’m grateful to all the readers who blog, or review and blog, and who invite authors for guest appearances. They are treasures!

    ~They are. Period.

    And, yes, my very first guest blog was with Jennifer. 🙂

    ~Too cool. I love this blog! Again, my sincere thanks for stopping by and reading my ramble. *G* Always great to see you. You’re an amazing, positive inspiration in my life! ^5

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

    Light,
    Nancy
    La Vida Vampire

  18. Jody W. says:

    Thanks for the post, Diana! I collect rejection letters too. Keep them in a 3 ring binder. Which grew to be two 3 ring binders. Take that, Mr. Tax Man!

  19. Hi Diana,

    What a great article, filled with awesome advice for all authors! I, too, see the advantage of selling later in one’s writing career. When an author is first filled with the joy of writing, he/she is clueless about how much effort and planning will be needed to promote published work. Promotion must begin long before the release of the book. Without it, unless you are a celebrity or a phenomenal star, your book will languish.

    Mary Montague Sikes
    Secrets by the Sea
    Eagle Rising
    Stranger in My Heart (coming in 2009)

  20. Hi Diana!

    Great post. It took me nearly a decade–and a big stack of rejections–to sell as well. And even after ten years, I still had so much to learn about the business. Moving forward with the writing while spending hours a day on promotion has been my greatest challenge, and one I’m not sure anything would have prepared me for.

    Tracy Garrett

  21. P.S.> Hi Jennifer!
    Tracy G.

  22. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: Jody W.
    Comment:
    Thanks for the post, Diana!

    ~:) Hi Jody, thank you so much for stopping by. If anything helps, that’s fabulous!

    I collect rejection letters too. Keep them in a 3 ring binder. Which grew to be two 3 ring binders. Take that, Mr. Tax Man!

    ~*Smile* There you go, another fresh slant on a challenge – writing as a deductible business expense. Enjoy your day and your new puppy!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  23. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: Mary Montague Sikes
    Comment:
    Hi Diana,

    What a great article, filled with awesome advice for all authors!

    ~Hi Mary, thank you so much for dropping by!

    I, too, see the advantage of selling later in one’s writing career. When an author is first filled with the joy of writing, he/she is clueless about how much effort and planning will be needed to promote published work.

    ~An excellent point, but don’t you think that regardless the goal, if the person wants something so much, this blinded by passion symptom is common?

    Promotion must begin long before the release of the book. Without it, unless you are a celebrity or a phenomenal star, your book will languish.

    ~For most authors, so true. There’s always that stars align beyond the norm that skyrockets a new author’s career. Normally, that’s publisher’s backing or some media support. But, then the author is faced with a huge mountain of pressure of, can I produce another sensation? Me, if a person is out there busting it, I’m supporting them and cheering their every success.
    My sincere best to you, and congratulations on your 09 release!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  24. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: Tracy Garrett
    Comment:
    Hi Diana!

    Great post.

    ~Hi Tracy, thank you so much for stopping by! And great meeting you at the book signing last weekend. Thanks, glad you found the post informative.

    It took me nearly a decade–and a big stack of rejections–to sell as well. And even after ten years, I still had so much to learn about the business.

    ~Everyone is so focused on writing, they forget the business side. The bottom line, there’s no magic marketing fairy once you sell. Well yes, there is, it’s called you. *G*

    Moving forward with the writing while spending hours a day on promotion has been my greatest challenge, and one I’m not sure anything would have prepared me for.

    ~Same here. I’m on a major learning promo curve. I appreciate ANY tips I assure you. 🙂 Thanks again for stopping by. You always inspire me and are a really nice person. Take care and I wish you every success!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  25. Hey Diana! I hear you…yep, no matter where we are in our careers there is always something more to learn. Once again superb advice, my friend. 🙂

    Mary J. Forbes
    Silhouette Special Edition
    http://www.maryjforbes.com

  26. Hi Diana!

    An excellent piece, as usual.

    Another thing to think about when writers are waiting to sell to a big publisher is that it’s not the only path. I’ve yet to sell to a big publisher (and I’ve been writing longer than you, my friend–I didn’t realize that until I read this post) (way to go, Diana!)–oops, got off track. Okay, I’ve yet to sell to a big publisher (NYC), but I’m publishing under two names to small and medium-sized houses. Going this route can teach you a LOT about the business so then you don’t feel as clueless when you do sell to a big house. Also, there’s something to be said for receving reader fan mail and positive reviews rather than only getting your feedback from editors, agents and unpubbed contests. That’s all VALUABLE feedback, but for some of us the small pub route can be an extraordinary stepping stone that hones one’s skills as a professional. Also, when you’re with a small house, you don’t feel quite the same pressure I know friends have experienced to write X number of books per year, or whatever. You can more easily focus on the work and save that stress for later. 🙂

    Of course, we (well, I) all want that big house sale, but small pubs are a great stepping stone.

  27. Diana, for many years, I attended the RWA conference each summer. It was amazing to watch the frenzy of excitement surrounding the many hopeful unpublished writers. So many dreams, but, realistically, all those dreams couldn’t come true. However, it was and is true that persistence is a key to success in this business. Sometimes success is a long time coming…

    Mary Montague Sikes
    http://www.marymontaguesikes.com

  28. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: Cindy Procter-King
    Comment:
    Hi Diana!

    An excellent piece, as usual.

    ~*Blush* Hi Cindy, thank you so much for dropping by! Glad you enjoyed my latest blog.

    Another thing to think about when writers are waiting to sell to a big publisher is that it’s not the only path.

    ~That is so true. There is no one right way, but the individuals personal journey.

    I’ve yet to sell to a big publisher (and I’ve been writing longer than you, my friend–I didn’t realize that until I read this post)

    ~I’m well aware that you’ve been working your butt off for many many years. But, you amaze and inspire me daily. Sincerely.

    (way to go, Diana!)–oops, got off track. Okay, I’ve yet to sell to a big publisher (NYC), but I’m publishing under two names to small and medium-sized houses. Going this route can teach you a LOT about the business so then you don’t feel as clueless when you do sell to a big house.

    ~Excellent point. Definitely fodder for thought.

    Also, there’s something to be said for receiving reader fan mail and positive reviews rather than only getting your feedback from editors, agents and unpubbed contests.

    ~So true.

    That’s all VALUABLE feedback, but for some of us the small pub route can be an extraordinary stepping stone that hones one’s skills as a professional. Also, when you’re with a small house, you don’t feel quite the same pressure I know friends have experienced to write X number of books per year, or
    whatever. You can more easily focus on the work and save that stress for later. 🙂

    ~Each step a writer takes is a learning one. And each is invaluable in our growth.

    Of course, we (well, I) all want that big house sale, but small pubs are a great stepping stone.

    ~They are. My sincere thanks for your taking the time to stop by. Thanks for your perseverance, I totally believe in you, and most of all, thanks for being an amazing friend! *Hugs*

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  29. Diana,
    Thanks for the great post on writing. I’m taking notes. 😉 As you know, I sold after eight years of full time writing and collecting rejection letters. My book, Seduction, is finally at the printers this week! If I hadn’t had a wonderful support group of writers, I think it would have taken longer. Writing can be a solitary activity, so having writing friends to compare experiences with and share support with is so important.
    Along with everything else you mentioned. 😉

    Jeanmarie

  30. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: Jeanmarie Hamilton
    Comment:
    Diana,
    Thanks for the great post on writing. I’m taking notes. 😉

    ~:) Hi Jeanmarie, hey, if anything helps, that’s what this is all about. Thank you so much for dropping by to say hi!

    As you know, I sold after eight years of full time writing and collecting rejection letters. My book, Seduction, is finally at the printers this week!

    ~Yeah! This is SO fabulous!!! *Hugs* I’m mega proud of you!!!!

    If I hadn’t had a wonderful support group of writers, I think it would have taken longer. Writing can be a solitary activity, so having writing friends to compare experiences with and share support with is so important.

    ~It is. It’s easy to doubt ourselves/our dreams, so it’s wonderful to have those around you who support you through every challenge.

    Along with everything else you mentioned. 😉

    ~:) Take care, enjoy the release of His Seduction! I wish you every success!!! ^5

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  31. Hi Diana,
    How fun to read your thoughts on the years of rejection. I had ten years worth of rejections myself, and I haven’t had the courage to count up all the rejection letters. But your words really hit home – the years I spent learning how to write better have stood me in good stead now. Plus I also feel that I’ve been tempered in the fire. I was so anxious to get published in 1997, the year I joined RWA, but it truly was a blessing that the contracts started coming in years later. I wouldn’t trade a single one of my writing friends for anything.

  32. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: Maggie Toussaint
    Comment:
    Hi Diana,
    How fun to read your thoughts on the years of rejection.

    ~:) They’re special years that’s for sure.

    I had ten years worth of rejections myself, and I haven’t had the courage to count up all the rejection letters.

    ~*G* Like I said, I quit counting after 100.

    But your words really hit home – the years I spent learning how to write better have stood me in good stead now. Plus I also feel that I’ve been tempered in the fire. I was so anxious to get published in 1997, the year I joined RWA, but it truly was a blessing that the contracts started coming in years later. I wouldn’t trade a single one of my writing friends for anything.

    ~Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your sage comments. I hope new writers will read them and look at rejection as a time to absorb the challenges ahead. My sincere best to you! *Hugs*

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  33. Helen says:

    Diana

    A great post I am a reader and I love hearing about new to me authors love the web page and I love the sound of the books I have added them to my must get list.

    Have Fun
    Helen

  34. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: Helen
    Comment:
    Diana

    A great post

    ~Hi Helen, thank you so much for dropping by and saying hi!

    I am a reader and I love hearing about new to me authors love the web page and I love the sound of the books I have added them to my must get list.

    ~Thank you SO much! I hope you enjoy both Alexander and Duncan’s stories. I’m working on Seathan’s right now. There’s a secret in His Woman. It’s revealed before the end of the story, but no one has guessed it as yet. If you do, I’d love to hear from you. Good luck!

    Have Fun

    ~Always. 🙂 Again, my sincere thanks for dropping by. Enjoy your day!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  35. cheryl c. says:

    Congrats on your success!
    You are a new author for me, so I have checked out your books on your website. Now, I am so interested that I plan to buy the first 2 MacGruder books ASAP. I have discovered a lot of new authors through the blogs that I read.

  36. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: cheryl c.
    Comment:
    Congrats on your success!

    ~Thank you so much, Cheryl! I appreciate you stopping by and saying hi. 🙂

    You are a new author for me, so I have checked out your books on your website. Now, I am so interested that I plan to buy the first 2 MacGruder books ASAP.

    ~Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy Alexander and Duncan’s stories! If you’re interested in a signed bookmark, please send a self addressed envelope to:
    Diana Cosby
    P.O. Box 397
    Pottsboro, TX 75076
    *Please indicate who you would like me to autograph the bookmark to.

    I have discovered a lot of new authors through the blogs that I read.

    ~Have you ever tried Loreth Anne White’s Shadow Soldiers series? Holy cow, they’re amazing!
    http://www.lorethannewhite.com
    *No, I don’t get a cut of royalties. *G* I’m a huge fan of her work.
    Take care and again, thanks for dropping by to say hi. It’s my pleasure to meet you. Enjoy your evening!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  37. Jennifer Y says:

    WOW, look at all the wonderful comments and from some wonderful authors too! I am currently looking for more author guests if any of you are interested or know any authors that are.

    Diana, thanks for this great post and for being my guest. I really appreciate it and am so glad I get to help spread the words about your books. I am glad you didn’t give up because then we readers would have missed out on some wonderful books.

    You offer some fabulous advice here as well. As a reader, I do have to say that I really like when an author has a website…especially an updated website. I have visited several websites to find out info about new or upcoming releases only to find out they haven’t put that info on their site yet because their site hasn’t been updated in a while or that it has old information.

  38. Diana Cosby says:

    Author: Jennifer Y
    Comment:
    WOW, look at all the wonderful comments and from some wonderful authors too!

    ~:) I agree, some phenomenal talent among the posters.

    I am currently looking for more author guests if any of you are interested or know any authors that are.

    Diana, thanks for this great post and for being my guest.

    ~Jennifer, I thoroughly enjoy being a guest on Jennifer’s Random Musings.

    I really appreciate it and am so glad I get to help spread the words about your books.

    ~My thanks goes out to you. I assure you, being here is my sincere pleasure.

    I am glad you didn’t give up because then we readers would have missed out on some wonderful books.

    ~Thank you so much for the nice comment. I hope my stories live up to your praise.

    You offer some fabulous advice here as well. As a reader, I do have to say that I really like when an author has a website…especially an updated website. I have visited several websites to find out info about new or upcoming releases only to find out they haven’t put that info on their site yet because their site hasn’t been updated in a while or that it has old information.

    ~I believe that keeping your website updated is crucial. It’s on my ‘to do’ list now as I have new information to add. No release dates or names yet for the next two MacGruder books, but as soon as I have them, I’ll update my website and add them to my newsletter.
    Again, my sincere thanks for having me here today. I’d love to return again if you’ll have me back. Enjoy your evening!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  39. Diana Cosby says:

    Post to Mary Forbes:
    Hi Mary,
    I apologize for the late delay in replying and for not cutting and pasting your post. Not sure why, but my computer won’t let me. Weird. Thank you so much for stopping by. If anything helped, that’s great. To me, you’re one of the amazing writers who I can only hope to one day emulate. Always follow your heart! Take care, enjoy your evening, and may your every dream come true!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  40. Diana Cosby says:

    Good evening. I want to thank Jennifer for having me on her blog, and another thanks to everyone who took the time to stop by. If I receive any comments over the next few days, I’ll drop in and answer them. Always follow your heart and believe in yourself. Only you can write the story in your heart. I wish you every success!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  41. Diana,

    What a wonderful subject, with loads of good information. I remember when you weren’t published and I said, keep at it and one of these days you’ll be in print. It takes persistence and constant honing of the craft and, even before you obtain a publisher, marketing yourself. I have to say I’m so proud that you stuck with it and a publisher finally realized what a great author you are! As you said, believe in yourself, don’t give up and you’ll gain success. By the way, you have a great website! 🙂 Hugs and here’s to lots of sales!

  42. Diana Cosby says:

    Linda Morelli Says:
    What a wonderful subject, with loads of good information. I remember when you weren’t published and I said, keep at it and one of these days you’ll be in print.

    ~Good morning, Linda. Thank you SO much for stopping by. I believe I remember there were a few tears in that conversation – mine, and a lot of hugs – yours. *Hugs* Thank you.

    It takes persistence and constant honing of the craft and, even before you obtain a publisher, marketing yourself.

    ~It does.

    I have to say I’m so proud that you stuck with it and a publisher finally realized what a great author you are!

    ~*Smile* MY sincere thanks. I’m blessed to be working with Kensington. Sulay, Megan and Kate are totally amazing!

    As you said, believe in yourself, don’t give up and you’ll gain success.

    ~Wise words from an amazing woman!

    By the way, you have a great website! 🙂 Hugs and here’s to lots of sales!

    ~Thank you SO much. The credit for the amazing website goes to Rae Monet, who is a true artist and thankfully, an amazing friend. Again, I appreciate you stopping by. Always great hearing from you. I’m blessed to call you friend. *Hugs* Enjoy, and may you enjoy your every success!

    Diana Cosby
    http://www.dianacosby.com
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder – Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder – Date TBA

  43. I read your blog for quite a long time and must tell you that your articles always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

  44. Diana Cosby says:

    How to Get Six Pack Fast Says: read your blog for quite a long time and must tell you that your articles always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

    ~My sincere thanks. I’ve had alot of amazing people help me along the way. If I can give back, help others, I’m thankful. Follow your heart, pursue your dream, only YOU can write your story. Never doubt the gift God has given you. My sincere best to you.

    Diana
    http://www.dianacosby.com

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