Keeping Up With the Debuts is an original That Artsy Reader Girl feature, where I bring back former debut authors and give them the opportunity to talk about what they learned from their debut novel and what’s next for them!
I’m so excited to welcome Lori Goldstein to the blog today! Lee’s debut novel, Becoming Jinn, came out in April of 2015, and she’s here to tell us about what she’s learned, what’s she’s been up to over the last year, and what’s on the horizon!
Keeping Up with Lori Goldstein
Guest Post by Lori Goldstein
I’m an all-in kind of person. If I need to bake a cake, I do it from scratch. If I need to clean out my closet, I strip it down to the bare rod. If I need to learn how to write a novel, I read every craft book, take every writing course, and write, revise, write, revise until I’ve achieved my goal. I don’t do things halfway. But in the world of publishing a debut novel, this can be a dangerous thing.
Because doing things all the way means you begin to veer away from your original goal: to write a book, sell a book, and write another.
For me, doing things all the way meant immersing myself in not just the writing, but in the marketing and promoting of a debut novel. For months, I didn’t just dive into the deep end, I sprouted gills and lived underwater. I went down the Internet rabbit hole and read all I could about booking events, promotional campaigns, blog tours, media pitching, book festivals, writing workshops, and more. I hopped on all forms of social media and learned them inside and out. I watched my fellow authors, and I was fortunate to be able to talk with some amazingly smart writers and marketers and learn from them. I absorbed it all. And then I put it all into motion.
Since April 21, 2015, when Becoming Jinn released, I’ve attended more than forty-five events in thirteen states, I’ve spearheaded initiatives to mentor teen writers, online and in person, and I’ve helped countless writers with their own journey to publishing, editing query letters and first pages as part of the Pitch Wars contest as well as for writers who purchase or preorder new copies of my books, a marketing initiative that I’m continuing to implement.
Marketing took over writing in 2015, and still, as much as I did, there’s so much more on my list that I never got to. Because no human being is capable of learning and doing all it takes to both write and promote a novel. The field is too vast and the options and opportunities are limitless. But I tried. I really tried. Not just because I wanted Becoming Jinn and its sequel, Circle of Jinn, to be successful (which of course I did!), but because it turns out that in my debut year, I learned something: I love the “business” side of publishing almost as much as I love the writing side. It may seem a strange thing to say—and I know it is hard for some writers to believe. But marketing is actually a creative endeavor too, and it works a different side of your brain than writing does.
The time I spent marketing in 2015 did take away from writing, but I can’t imagine Becoming Jinn releasing into the world any other way. I’m an all-in kind of person, remember? And still with all that I did, I also completed revisions and edits on Circle of Jinn, which releases on May 17. I wrote a prequel story called Genius of Jinn, which will be available as a free e-book on March 15, and I wrote one manuscript that I’m revising now and plotted another that I’m writing now.
Oh, and did I mention I’m a bit tired? 2015 was a crazy year. I worked harder than I ever have, and I enjoyed it all more than I ever thought I would.
Being an all-in kind of person can be dangerous, yes, but it can also open the door to adventures you never imagined you’d have. Much love and thanks, 2015.
Thanks, Lori, for such an interesting and inspirational post! Lori brings some exciting news to those of you who have been itching to read Becoming Jinn, and also for those of you who loved it and want more!
Becoming Jinn is $2.99 across all ebook retailers until April 4th! This gives you time to read it before the release of the sequel, Circle of Jinn, on May 17th.