Tuesday, October 25, 2011

K Dawn Byrd, Ten Things I Learned on my Publication Journey

"A few things I've learned along the way"
during my publishing journey.
by K Dawn Byrd

1)      If you don't have patience, you'll get it during the publishing process. I'm not a very patient person. I want what I want now! I've learned to apply the old Army slogan, "Hurry up and wait." Everything moves at a snail's pace and you might as well accept it.

2)      You never know what you can do until you give it a try. I'm 43 years old and wondered if I could get inside the head of a young adult well enough to write a young adult novel. Judging from the emails I've received from young adults, somehow I pulled it off. I've had several ask me to tell the story of a secondary character. Shattered Identity, the sequel to Mistaken Identity, will tell Lexi's story and will be out in April.

3)      My cover artist normally knows what's best. Never have they given me exactly what I've asked for on a cover, but that's fine because I'm not a cover expert. Only once have I had a cover that I truly hated and my cover artist was nice enough to work with me to come up with something I liked.

4)      Not everyone will love what you write. The lowest ranking I've ever received was three stars and I can live with that. It's important to develop a thick skin early on because not everyone will love what you write. Even NYT bestsellers get bad reviews.

5)      Never underestimate the power of networking. I've attended two conferences in the last two years and loved both of them for various reasons. It's so important to invest in conferences where agents and editors you're interested in will be on faculty.

6)      NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was one of the best challenges I ever took. It changed the way I write forever. It's a yearly Internet event where authors come together and take the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Give it a try. It's always during the month of November.

7)      My editor knows best. I'm lucky enough to have an editor who I truly respect and trust. Sometimes, I question what she says, but when I think it over for a little bit, I know she's absolutely right.

8)      Writing is a lonely hobby. You'd better enjoy being alone because you'll shut yourself away for hours during the writing and editing process.

9)      I need my writing friends. There are times we all feel down and wonder why we write. It's great to have encouraging friends who will lift you up. In my case, I can't NOT write. I've tried. I once went for a month without writing and was one of the most miserable people on the face of the earth.

10)   Don't write for money or fame because they may never come. Write because you love it. I write for the simple joy of placing words on the page.

K.Dawn Byrd, Author of:
Queen of Hearts (April 2010) & Killing Time (August 2010)
Mistaken Identity (June 2011) & This Time for Keeps (October 2011)


  1. I agree 100% with this entire list. I feel as if I could have penned it myself. Well said!

  2. Amen to all of these points, particularly #1 and #9. Writing and publishing take time. We're talking years here. But it's an excellent tool that God uses to teach us patience.

    Writing friends are so necessary for us. How many of our family and friends truly understand why we sit at our computers all day when we could be outside in the sunshine? Fellow writers give us the support and comaraderie that's so essential to our lives.