Wednesday, July 5, 2017

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Published - Guest Post by Teen Author, Jaquelle Crowe

I'm thrilled to have teen author, Jaquelle Crowe, on my blog today to share what she's learned along her quest toward publication. Not only is Jaquelle a published author, but she also helps other young writers achieve their writing-related dreams through her role as the co-founder of Young Writers Workshop. {You can find out more about this amazing program by clicking here!}


About Jaquelle: 
JAQUELLE CROWE is a 19-year-old writer and author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years. She’s also editor-in-chief of TheRebelution.com, host of Age of Minority (a podcast for teens), and a regular contributor to The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, and Unlocking the Bible. In early 2017, she co-founded the Young Writers Workshop with Brett Harris to encourage and equip writers under 30. You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.



Last March my biggest dream came true: I published a book. Months and months of writing, editing, feedback, emails, planning, and preparation were over, and my baby released to the world. Looking back now, there are so many things I’ve learned through the process that I wish I’d known before I started it. Here are 5.







1. Consistency pays off.


I blogged for over six years before getting a book contract at 18. And full disclosure: that blog got scant traffic; it never exploded in popularity or even visibility. When I signed my book contract, it was tempting to feel like those hundreds of obscure posts were a waste. But the truth is that they were what led to my book. Consistency is what led to my book. It was the discipline of writing regularly that honed my craft, clarified my passion, and pushed me to eventually start writing for bigger websites and pursue a book.


2. Community helps.


Before I wrote my book, I had never been part of a writing club or online forum. Honestly, I was content to be the loner teen writer. Until I realized what I was missing. I became part of a community a few months before my book released, and it’s changed my life. Having a writing community offers you unique support. It also provides a grassroots publicity team – people who know you and care about your success and who are willing to help you launch your book.


3. Be prepared to wait.


One of the hardest parts of publishing a book is waiting. I never realized how much I’d have to wait – for the contract, for edits, for feedback, for the printers, and on and on. No one publishes a book in a week. It’s a long and complex process, and it demands patience. Aspiring authors, be prepared for that now.


4. Publishing a book is more than writing a book.


At the beginning of the process, I had the naïve idea that my only job would be to write the book. But there is so much more required of an author – marketing, networking, publicity. There are a hundred hats an author will wear, and Writer is only one of them. More and more, publishers are relying on their authors to sell books.


And of course, for authors who self-publish, they bear even more technical responsibilities. We live in the digital age, and with it comes unprecedented opportunities for publishing. But it also brings unprecedented reliance on the author to do more than just write.


5. There is so much help available.


It’s only in recent months that I’ve become aware of the wealth of resources available for young writers. For example, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry and The DIY MFA by Gabriela Pereira are two books that are profoundly practical and informational. Tessa’s blog is a massive service to young writers. So are blogs like Kingdom Pen, Go Teen Writers, and The Writer’s Digest and podcasts like Home Row, Why I Write, and Writing Excuses.


Increasingly, though, I’ve seen the need for a bigger, more comprehensive resource to equip young writers – something that would provide both ongoing training and community support. That’s why I teamed up with Brett Harris (best-selling author of Do Hard Things) to create the Young Writers Workshop – a monthly membership site for writers under 30. And even though this is a resource I’m involved in leading, it’s something I love and personally benefit from.


Ultimately, no author can be perfectly prepared to publish a book. But we can be as prepared as possible, and it’s my hope these lessons I’ve learned will help young writers be more equipped to pursue publication.



Thanks for sharing your expertise, Jaquelle!

Readers: What have you learned along your journey toward publication?




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