Monday, May 27, 2013

Learning the Ropes: Post by author Bernadette Marie

Learning the Ropes
By Bernadette Marie

This morning I had the opportunity to sit down with a young man who just last week graduated from high school. He wants to be an author and get into publishing. I sat down and showed him how I published. 

Okay, I sat and showed him all the apps and sites I used to make my dreams, and those of other authors, come true.

As I explained certain things to him I realized that I had learned the ropes of Indie and Small House publishing from trial and error. What a great way to become an expert on something.

Those who fail and think they have failed…well they have. If you fall down and don’t get back up how will you ever keep walking on your journey?

Failing is a great way to learn. Taking every instance in your life, which didn’t quite go your way, only opens the door for more great opportunity.

If you want to be an author, you have to send your manuscript out into the world. There are many ways to do this. You can give it over to a beta reader and hope they give you good feedback. (By the way, having them say, “Wow, that was good,” isn’t helpful. You need feedback.) You can send it out to an agent or a publisher. That is one of the quickest ways of getting rejection and hopefully they will send some reasoning! 

Take their reasoning and learn from it. When you self-publish, giving your work to the world to criticize, you’re going to learn a lot! You’re going to learn the process (the rights and wrongs of how to get the story out there.) You’re going to learn everything that is wrong with your manuscript, because people love to tell you that. And you’re going to learn how to fix it.

Are these failures? Nope they are learning experiences.

A book will go through a thousand different shapes from its first word through publication and the author will too. Perhaps you’re not a good speller, you’re a head hopper in POV, or your tenses mix. This will be brought to your attention and you will have learned a new skill. Formatting is a crazy thing! The first time you format your book for publication (assuming you might try this yourself) it might take you the better part of ten hours, the first time. In time, with enough emails from the printer telling you what didn’t work for publication, you will learn how to format. In time the process will take, perhaps, an hour.

We’d all like to be perfect right from the start. And even if you’re one of those people who reads every direction and follows it to the word, chances are you’re still taking the time to learn the ropes—and you still might make a mistake. Well, that’s just one more opportunity for growth.

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Whether that’s because you’re working so hard or you’re in the dirt praying for the strength to make it through, you will learn the ropes. And, you will probably become an expert at a few things. One will be failing with the intent to get better. The other—getting up and using your new found skill.

About Bernadette Marie:

Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends.  Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter.  At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years. 

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published.  That year she wrote 12 books.  In 2009  she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born.  In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and began the process of taking on other authors in other genres. 

In 2012 Bernadette Marie found herself on the bestsellers lists of iTunes and Amazon to name a few.  Her office wall is lined with colorful PostIt notes with the titles of books she will be releasing in the very near future, with hope that they too will grace the bestsellers lists.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events.  She is also an accomplished martial artist who will earn her conditional second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do in October 2012.  An avid reader, she enjoys most, the works of Nora Roberts, Karen White, Megan Hart, to name a few. She loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.

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  1. Thank you so much for having me here ;)

  2. Hi Bernadette,

    I've linked to this post on my blog today. My own post is about finding your voice. Thought they connected well. Thanks for your wise words, Bernadette!

    Ahmad, thanks for sharing this post! I like your blog.

    Here's the link to the share:

    Hope you are both enjoying a wonderful Wednesday!