Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Publishing Playlist by Barbara M. Britton

We've heard of creating playlists of songs to help us with mood while we're writing, but have you ever considered what your personal playlist might look like for your writing experience? Author Barbara Britton shares hers based on what she's learned. -- Sandy

Barbara: I was asked to speak recently about what I learned after publishing my first novel. Now, that could be an all day event, but I only had eight minutes. Since I love to listen to music and even create playlists for my books, I decided to highlight three songs that relay some of my author knowledge.

The first song I would belt out is “You Gotta Have Friends.” Writing a novel is not for the faint of heart. It took me nine years to get published and my path was filled with over 200 rejections over four manuscripts. I needed my writing buddies to encourage me to keep going, and I needed their keen eyes on my words. Proverbs 27:17 tells us that as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Find fellow writers to take the publishing journey with you. Once your book gets the green light, you will need these same friends to shout out your book to the world.

My second song on the playlist would be “Money, Money, Money.” Most people think authors make a lot of money, but that isn’t the case. Writers who indie-publish have to open their own wallets to pay for the costs of publishing (editing, formatting, cover design). Even writers with traditional publishers will need to crack their piggy banks to cover the cost of bookmarks, swag, and mailings.

I spoke at a career day at a local school about my job as an author. The students were shocked that I didn’t receive a paycheck every two weeks. Most writers are paid quarterly, and some are paid every six months. Writers will need some venture capital to cover initial author expenses. Make sure to save that “safe driving” bonus or that refund from Uncle Sam.

Song number three on my author playlist would be “One is The Loneliest Number.” When I launched my debut novel last fall, nobody knew me, or knew how I crafted my stories. I had to reach out to readers who liked Biblical fiction and start to build a readership. But what was I going to offer my readers once they had finished my debut? I needed to have another book for my readers to enjoy.

Writers need to keep writing, but that can be difficult once the promotion potato lands on your plate with the speaking engagement salad, and the social media muffin. Carving out time for creativity needs to be a priority.

By the time I sold my debut novel, Providence, I had almost finished my second book. At the time, I didn’t think the two-year slog of query letters and pitching was a blessing, but now, looking back, I am glad for the delay. God’s timing was perfect for me, especially since I didn’t know I would be battling cancer when I was doing the galley for my first book. Having Building Benjamin waiting in the wings to offer my publisher took a lot of pressure off of me to get my sophomore novel written.

Publishing a book is hard work, but I feel blessed to be a Christian fiction author. Let’s add “To God Be The Glory” to our playlist.

If you’re an author, what song would you add?


Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She writes Christian Fiction for teens and adults. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb kicked off her Tribes of Israel series in October with the release of “Providence: Hannah’s Journey.” Naomi’s journey, “Building Benjamin” is out now. Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America.

Love Grows Where God Grafts the Tender Shoot.

Naomi desires to dance well enough to catch the eye of a wealthy landowner. Her father needs a substantial bride price due to the deaths of her brothers at the hands of the tribe of Benjamin. But when Benjamites raid the Ephraimite feast and capture young girls, Naomi is bound and carried from her home by Eliab, a troubled shepherd who needs a wife.

As Naomi awaits rescue, she finds Eliab has a strong faith in God and a just reason for abducting her. A reason that affects all the tribes of Israel. The future of the tribe of Benjamin hangs in the balance, but if Naomi follows her heart and stays with Eliab to rebuild his lineage, she must forfeit her family and become a traitor to her tribe.

Connect with Barb on her website, Twitter, facebook and Goodreads.

Purchase on Amazon, B&N