Sunday, October 13, 2019

Career Goals for the Established Author - a Work in Progress

Here's a little tease of the cover of THE FIERY CROWN, sequel to THE ORCHID THRONE, and book two in the Forgotten Empires trilogy. The full cover will be revealed on Wednesday, October 16, at There will also be a sneak peek of the first chapter!

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is the big career goal to which we currently aspire.

It's an excellent question, particularly as phrased, because our career goals as authors do change over time. Recently a fairly new author concerned about their career trajectory implied that I shouldn't have concerns about my own career because I've "made it."

People, I wish I could count the number of times people have told me that I've "made it" in the last twenty-five years.

It's a common misperception that authors with an extensive backlist (which I do have), a loyal audience (thank you all!), and regular releases (which takes dedicated work) are somehow not reaching, even struggling. The vagaries of the publishing industry are kind to no one, and every author has their ups and downs. (As do agents and editors.) Not many of us have retired to Mediterranean villas to be waited upon by cabana boys while we pithily doodle out our next brilliant work.

So, it's an interesting question to pose to any author. What BIG goal do you aspire to RIGHT NOW? The answers may be surprising.

And note that we're specifying a big goal. It's tempting to say "finish this book I'm currently working on" - because that particular goal is all-consuming. In fact, we so often have our heads down, buried in finishing the current work, that we don't always pop our heads up to consider the big picture.

For me? I have a new book and series out on submission and I have a dollar figure advance in mind for it. If I get it, that will be a big, much-needed leap for me. A saltation in evolution, for those of you who know about those things. My other big goal is to hit a bestseller list, either USA Today or, ideally, New York Times. I never have and I'd really like to tag that particular brass ring. I'm hopeful that buzz for THE ORCHID THRONE - which has been really lovely and wonderful so far - will continue to build and that THE FIERY CROWN will have a shot at making those lists. It's looking more possible now that the NYT list added back mass market paperback

There, I've put those wishes out in the universe, which I rarely do publicly. Cross your fingers for me!