Stay True to Yourself in Publishing

I don’t know Wade Rouse other than from the article he wrote for Writer’s Digest‘s Top 10 edition (which, since that edition came out in September 2010, shows you how far behind I am in my WD reading). From what I can determine, Rouse is a humorist who made WD’s Top Ten “Writers, Dead or Alive, We’d Love to Have a Drinks With” list.

I wouldn’t mind lifting a wine goblet in toast to him myself, because for me, he’s one of the top ten contributors to this edition who sparked my blogger muse. His article, “Top Ten Ways to Stay True to Yourself in Publishing,” struck a chord with me, so I’m going to share the music with you:

Rouse-Yezak’s Top Five Ways to Stay True to Yourself in Publishing:

5. Install a Lithium drip in your home

Okay, with my illness, I’m on enough drugs, so let’s substitute “chocolate stash” for “Lithium drip” (since this is a pretend world in which I’m collaborating with Rouse, we’ll also pretend there is scrumptious, no-cal chocolate). Rouse says, “a balanced life is vital . . . So, exercise. Cook. Run. Garden. Spend time with the ones you love.”

Right about now, I need to combine this with another one on his list: Write is always might. “Write. As much as possible.”

I’m still in search of the “balanced life” that makes room for writing (and blog posts don’t count). I’ve had a heavy dose of spending time with the ones I love since October of last year, and I’m seriously ready for the “write” part. What I wouldn’t give for a week in a five-star hotel with room service and a broken telephone!

4. Realize that publishing isn’t art, it’s Bart

By that, he means it’s “business and art.” “A writer needs to realize he can’t just sit home and write. He must market, promote, blog, Twitter, travel . . . whatever it takes to build a platform. It lets you continue to do what you love: write.”

Between the various crises in my family’s and friends’ lives and my marketing/promotion activities, I wonder, again, when am I going to have time to write? I long to sit at a successful author’s knee and beg him to grace me with his wisdom: “How did you figure this ‘balanced life’ thing out?” (Hey, Mr. Rouse, you available?)

3. Be like Dolly the Sheep. Clone yourself

Rouse suggests: “Choose an agent, editor, publisher, publicist and Web developer who believe in your work as much as you do.”

I think that’s the key answer to figuring out how to balance this life. Which lets me know how far I am from from my goal. Yes, I’m published, but being with a small publisher, who doesn’t have that many resources and assets of her own, leaves the bulk of the work on my shoulders. As much as I’d love to, I can’t afford a publicist or Web developer. Although I’m beginning to wonder whether it would’ve been cheaper to hire them than it is to work this trial-and-error marketing plan I’ve resorted to as a result of all the crises in my life.

2. Fuggetabout fear

I love this one, but for a different reason than what Rouse had in mind when he wrote it.

Being a city girl, I was terrified what “real” ranchers and rodeo folks–especially bull riders–would think when they read Give the Lady a Ride. I alleviated the second fear, because I didn’t believe the men of rodeo would read chic-lit. Well, some do, and I’ve heard from one of them. Apparently, my research was spot-on, and my representation of cowboys and bull riders was true to life. Aside from that, according to my ranching friends, there’s enough difference between the way ranches operate that my depiction of their lifestyle was feasible.

In other words, I did a good job with my research.

Perhaps every time I have to research the unfamiliar, I’ll worry about how those in the business will respond to what I write, but for this one novel, I got an A+.

1. Look like your author shot

“When you show up looking nothing like you did when you were 25, your fans will consider you a sellout.”

Forget about 25. At 54, I’m having trouble looking like I did when I was 50. Besides, my photographer, God bless him, puts me in the best light, brings out the best expressions, uses the best filters–and airbrushes me into a better looking Linda Yezak than real life can allow.

I have a concentration crease running between my eyes that Greg touches with his airbrush to keep from looking like the ravine it is. In candid shots of me, it’s the first thing I notice and it bugs me. I look mean. Angry. If it wasn’t for the fact I’m spending all my money promoting my book, I’d spend it on a plastic surgeon to get rid of it. And that’s just one of the differences folks will notice when they meet me.

Does this mean I’m going to let Greg do a natural shot of me? Heck, no! Every now and then, I love living the fantasy that I’m as pretty as his magic makes me appear.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
This entry was posted in Personal, Promotion/Publicity/Marketing, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Stay True to Yourself in Publishing

  1. I’m chuckling about # 1. My husband has an entire photography studio upstairs but do I suggest he retake my publicity photo? Not until I lose back those last 20 pounds. Then again if I lose those pounds, I’ll actually LOOK like my publicity photo and won’t need a new one.


    • Linda Yezak says:

      I swore I’d never have another picture taken until I lost some weight, but now I’m having candid shots taken at different places and I have no choice. Grabbing their cameras and deleting the pictures isn’t an option. Darn it.


  2. K.M. Weiland says:

    This is great! I loved WD’s Top 10 issue, and this is a hilarious spin. When you figure out how to get a no-call chocolate drip, lemme know!


    • Linda Yezak says:

      If someone ever figures out how to make a *good* fat-free, calorie-free chocolate, I’ll be first in line, credit card in hand!


  3. I am with you on the photo. Everyone has a super great cover photo. No one looks exactly like the pro photos in real life, not even the movie stars, but yes we should at least look our age, darn it. Loved the post. Great advice and tips, as always, Linda.


  4. Nikole Hahn says:

    Actually, having a day job and family make it challenging to write (not counting blogging either), but it helps spur me forward to FINISH. šŸ™‚ I have a problem writing when I have too much time on my hands. I like the intensity of writing under pressure. I prefer deadlines. I am learning discipline.


    • Linda Yezak says:

      Nikki–I agree about the deadlines. And self-imposed deadlines don’t work for me. My boss is too easy when the deadline flies by.


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