Friday, September 7, 2012

Publishing News and Book Giveaway: From Sadie's Sketchbook (Naomi Kinsman)

Here's a giveaway you won't want to miss! Brilliant Hues, the fourth book in the From Sadie's Sketchbook series, completes the four-book set, and I'm giving away one set of all four books, signed. The details of how to enter are below.

But first, since Sadie's a list girl, and we're talking about misconceptions this month at Smack Dab, I'll give you the low down on the top five things I had all wrong when I pictured my publishing journey. (I think you'll be surprised).

1. I thought I had to have everything prepared ahead of time.

You know, the important stuff such as my website and my social media platform and my fine-tuned marketing plans. But it turns out that the timing, even when it felt stressful and too-late, and like an utter disaster, has been full of happy surprises.

2. I thought there was one right path to publication: the perfect first book, the perfect way to approach an agent, an editor, the market.

Yet, when the big yes came through for me, it was because an editor looked at a book I never meant to publish and asked me to propose a series. And after I had my offer, only then did I find my wonderful agent. Who'd have guessed that all the planning (and worrying) didn't matter one bit. Real life is a twisty-turny, unpredictable, uncontrollable adventure.

3. I didn't know how much it would mean when my writer friends took time out to tell me they'd read my book.

Hands down, this might have been the biggest surprise of all. I'm now totally committed to writing fan letters to my fellow authors. I thought this kind of feedback, coming from beyond the target audience, might seem strange. But no, it's some of the most meaningful feedback of all.

4. I thought being published would be the best part of being a writer.

Actually... (surprise, surprise) writing is the best part of being a writer. In fact, what I love most now is the freedom to curl up in my writing chair with no expectations and no deadline, just me and the characters whispering in my ear. A starred review or book-spotting on the B&N shelves pales in comparison.

5.  I thought I'd give myself more room and space to be creative once I was published. After all, being published makes all that play and exploration legitimate, right?

The fact of the matter is: I am myself through and through. I fight the same battles to carve out creative time now that I fought before I had an Amazon author page. In some ways, now it might be even more difficult to allow myself unproductive, free time. And yet, that's what all artists need, no matter where they are on their professional journey.

I'm so grateful, after this incredible year of releasing four books out into the market, that I'm finally making such important discoveries. Publishing is wonderful, truly. Having a book out in the world, and hearing from readers is so affirming. Still, give me my writing chair, my computer, and my imagination any day. Give me freedom to explore and challenge myself and try something I've never tried before, something I'm not sure will even work. Playing with words, finding the thread of a plot, meeting a new character... these are all the grand adventure I crave. And what a joy, as this adventure requires no strategizing, no planning or worrying. All I have to do is let go, and follow the story where it leads.

To enter for the set of four Sadie books, email your name and address to naomi@naomikinsman.com. And if you already have the books, why not enter on behalf of your local library or school? To enter, you must live in the continental united states and be 18 or older (or have someone who is 18 or older enter for you). A winner will be drawn on September 25, 2012.

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