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Live and Learn: Reflections on My Year in Publishing
Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year again; time for reflection, time for acknowledging our accomplishments and perhaps admitting we didn’t do quite all we wanted to do in 2008. But that’s okay, because there’s always next year…fresh, untouched and mysterious.


But before we can plunge into that virgin territory, it’s only right to look back. Life is about learning, after all, and how else do we learn but from experience?

2008 represented a major learning curve for me in regard to my publishing career. It was a year for finding my stride, experimenting a bit with what I’m capable of and what not. I found out what it was like to release my first New York published book. How was it different than releasing an e-book? One of the differences was that it exposed me to a whole different set of advertising opportunities, reader networks and people in general. There is a lot of overlap between readers of e-books and print books, but the traditional print market also has some readers, bloggers, book store owners, book clubs, etc. that I’ve never ran into before in the e-market. It’s been really rewarding to meet so many interesting, kind, knowledgeable, and involved people.

For the first time in 2008, I had deadlines. I experienced what it was like to work on a book when the contract was already signed, versus writing a book with the aim of selling the finished product. I wrote three books, several proposals and might just squeeze in a short before the end of the year. I’ve written more in the past, but I have to forgive myself, because there were so many other things I had to learn in regard to promotion and marketing. In 2008, I felt the thrill of being told that my NY publishing debut, WICKED BURN had made both the Borders and Barnes and Nobles bestseller lists. It was twice as wonderful, because as a new author, I had no expectations in regard to lists. I guess I was lucky, because my ignorance kept me from worrying about it one way or another.

I met and became closer to so many wonderful fellow authors—other souls finding their way down this exhilarating, often murky path of publishing. I was inspired by their stories (see my blog, So You Want to be a Writer?) I met new readers and writers on my chat loop, Total Exposure, and I grew closer to several people who have been around for a few years now. I learned that virtual friendships can be just as rewarding and wonderful as in the flesh friendships.

I also learned that I’ve handled stress better in my life. I’ve always considered myself a relatively easy-going person, so there were a few times during the weeks before WICKED BURN released when I didn’t recognize myself as I fretted about whether I was doing things “˜right’ as far as promotion…whether I’d done enough. I learned a ton, but I could have done without some of the self-imposed anxiety.

Oh well…live and learn.

Did you live as fully as you wanted this year? What lessons will you take with into that lovely untouched territory of 2009?

3 comments to “Live and Learn: Reflections on My Year in Publishing”

  1. Lacey Savage
      · December 30th, 2008 at 2:00 pm · Link

    Oh Beth, what a wonderful post. It sounds like 2008 was a hugely exciting year for you! Even with all the stress and the anxiety, you had so many positive things going on.

    Here’s to another great year!

  2. Juliana Stone
      · December 30th, 2008 at 5:55 pm · Link

    Beth….beautiful post…much kudos to you on your amazing year….and well, 2009 can only get better don’t cha think??!!

  3. Tabitha C
      · January 1st, 2009 at 3:30 pm · Link

    Cheers to another great year for you, Beth!

    2008 was not quite up to par for me. Goals I set fell way behind and even then, I did not live quite as richly as I wanted to. Now I’m debating whether to cut out my longer term goal for 2010 (b/c of 2008 goal set-back) or push harder and hope that 2009 will end better than 2008 did.

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