Tuesday, September 22, 2015

After the Contract by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

Richard L. Mabry, M.D.
You’re waiting for that first contract. You wait…and you wait… and you wait. Are there things you can do, other than writing, to make the time you spend more productive? You bet. Here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Don’t be a one-trick pony. Agents and publishers don’t envision you as the author of just one book. They’re interested in your career as a writer. Even while you’re editing that first book, work on the second. Try to stay one book ahead. Editors will love you for it. And it doesn’t stop with a contract. My ninth novel of medical suspense has just been released, but the tenth is already written and edited, and I’m working on the eleventh.

Build a platform before you need it. A platform for a writer is a necessary marketing tool, and if you wait until you have a contract to build one, you’re already behind the curve. One agent defines “platform” this way: Non income-generating activity that fuels the income-generating activity. Interact with potential readers via blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads—the options seem to grow daily—so that you’re building name recognition. That’s another name for “platform.”

Start marketing yourself. Marketing yourself, before people know about your book? Yes, because—face it—one way a debut author gets readers is because people recognize the name. If they like what they’ve seen of you, chances are you may get them to read your novel. And this is just something else in your favor when it comes to making agents and editors take notice of you.
Cultivate the guardians of the books. Make the acquaintance of librarians and bookstore managers. Let them know who you are. Leave a card. Offer to do a signing after your book is published. When your book does come out, give a signed copy to your local librarian. They are asked for recommendations all the time. Do the same for the bookstore managers you’ve already called on.

Spread your net. At my first writer’s conference, I was in awe of the published writers on the faculty. But as I got to know them, I discovered they were neat people, and I formed a number of lasting friendships. Later, many of those authors provided blurbs and endorsements for my books. I didn’t set out with that goal and neither should you, but it turned out to be a wonderful benefit of networking with other writers.

Keep going. Remember that one secret to publication is persistence. Hone your craft. Every sentence you write should be better than the last. I’ve been told that my current book, Miracle Drug, is my “best yet.” On one hand, I’m flattered. But part of me says, “Good, that’s what I want.” How about you?

So that’s my advice. Don’t sit back and wait for results. While you’re waiting, work on these things. It will pay dividends in the end.
About the Author
Richard Mabry is a retired physician, author of “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have been a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel, finalists for the ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award, as well as winner of the Selah Award. Miracle Drug is his ninth published novel.

You can follow Richard online at RMabry.com, as well as on Twitter (@RichardMabry), and Facebook at RMabryBooks.

Miracle Drug
by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.
Miracle Drug
Overcoming these odds would take more than a miracle drug—it would take a miracle.

The infection wasn’t supposed to happen, but it did. The treatment was supposed to take care of it, but it didn’t. Dr. Josh Pearson believes an experimental drug not yet approved by the FDA may be the antidote. But there’s only one dose available for two patients: the former president of the United States… and Josh’s fiancĂ©.

With the nation’s eyes on him, Josh must pull off a miracle to save a man who holds a good deal of power and the woman who holds his heart.

“Mabry has the uncommon ability to take medical details and make them understandable, while still maintaining accuracy and intrigue. He will leave you asking whodunit until the end.”—RT BOOK Reviews