Something my editor pointed out to me as she worked with me on making Plotting to Win shine: This is almost like a how-to-write manual, or something like it. I think she said I could turn many of the tips revealed in the challenges into one.
I sincerely hope aspiring authors learn a thing or two as they read it. Perhaps it will help them avoid making some shockingly common errors as they pursue their dreams to publication.
I’m no expert. I’m just an author and editor who’s been around the publishing block a time or two and not all of it was good. And see, the challenges the contestants face are not all writing related, because it takes a lot more than writing a good book nowadays to make it.
Heck, you could write a terrible book but be a bestseller.
There’s so much more to it: promo, cover art, publisher reputation, marketing ploys, right time and place.
My first book: New to the industry, I actually printed out all 150 pages or so, placed it in a manila envelope, and sent it to a publisher in California.
Bad moment number one: The publisher said it was good but it needed professional editing and she’d recommend hers.
Now, I’m not denying it needed editing, but...if you want me to use your editor, shouldn’t you just accept the book and pay for it yourself? After all, there was no guarantee she’d take the book even after I handed over hundreds of dollars to her friend.
I went to an editor of my choice and though it cost me $300 bucks I still haven’t earned back in royalties, I learned how to write a perfect query and how to tackle a synopsis, that letters should always be Times New Roman, 12 pt, and lots of other stuff.
The experience proved invaluable. The knowledge gained from this made it into the book.
Down the road I had many bad experiences. There were publishers who couldn’t pay at a decent time or even report sales. There were publishers who just accepted everything that came their way and as a result, had more books than they could promo, and CRASH. I had books formatted horrendously and readers complain.
I had two choices, three actually: 1. I could cry about it. 2. I could give up. 3. I could cry about it and then learn from my mistakes and turn my badly gained knowledge to my advantage.
I did the latter.
Much of the stuff revealed during the writing and publishing challenges Victor, Felicity, Carmen, Roy, Dez, Tiffani, and Arnold face…I’ve learned the hard way.
If you’re an aspiring writer who dreams of being published, pay attention to what the judges in Plotting to Win say as they tear the seven contestants apart.
Don’t be so desperate to have your name on a book that you do something stupid, because once your name is on that book, you’re going to want some money for it, yes? You’re going to want a publisher that pays. You’re going to want to see the book stay released. You’re going to want to succeed.
Anyone can just throw a book out there now, thanks to the ease of self-publishing, but take care not to just throw a book into a black vortex.
Plot to win. Write to win.
Plotting to Win, a new reality TV show romance by Tara Chevrestt.
Available from Escape Publishing - Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd.
Amazon | B&N | Kobo
In New York City, seven writers compete for a hundred thousand dollars, a publishing contract with Bright House, and the title of the next bestseller. One is Felicity James. One is Victor Guzman.
Drama, plagiarism, and trash talk play out to enthralled audiences across the country as all seven contestants compete against each other in a range of heated challenges, with tensions reaching breaking point. As Felicity and Victor start up a show‐mance, their relationship burns up the ratings.
Will this sizzling fling escalate into a vicious battle for money and fame, or will these two authors manage to write their own happy ending?
Tara is addicted to Law & Order: SVU, has a crush on Cary Grant, laughs at her own jokes, and is constantly modifying recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. Her theme is Strong is Sexy. She writes about strong women facing obstacles—in the military, with their handicaps, or just learning to accept themselves. Her heroines can stand alone and take care of themselves, but they often find love in the process.