A Writer’s Life (Guest Blog by Bestselling Author Michael Palmer)

I asked bestselling author Michael Palmer if he’d like to be a guest on my blog, and he graciously consented. (You can see an expurgated version of our email conversation here.) Need I say how thrilled I am? Most thrilling of all, instead of sending me an article he’d posted elsewhere, he wrote this piece especially for the readers of Bertram’s Blog. Please join me in welcoming Michael Palmer to the blogosphere.

I want to thank pat for inviting me to be a guest blogger……I will be writing the way I write e-mails and get out of creator’s block-relaxed with no consistent punctuation, no caps unless I feel like it…..what pops into my head is what you get

I tried blogging once-three times, actually, on amazon when I was pushing the first patient…..it felt like I was better off working on my book…..it’s a little like the hallowed book tour…..i could never figure those out……so much money, so little exposure (in some cities I have been to, the books weren’t in any stores)……it used to be you could combine a signing with a day of media work, but the papers aren’t all that interested any more (even in a fine fellow like me, with 13 NY times best sellers and a job taking care of doctors with drug and alcohol problems)……there are very few talk radio shows (I used to bop into a studio and talk with the host for an hour, even two-that was my favorite)…..the TV shows like good morning Cleveland are mostly gone……so on recent tours, I hit a town, stay in the best hotels, and spend the whole day before an evening signing racing (with an escort) from store to store, pounding flesh like a desperate politician and doing everything short of standing in front of a barnes & noble yelling “puleeeeeese buy my book!!!!”)……then, comes the signing-15 – 115 depending on how aggressive the events people are (often “kids” on their first job)….. now don’t get me wrong…..i’m incredibly grateful for what my publishers and the industry and the booksellers and the readers have given me……I live in the big house on the hill and love it up here (there, I said it and I’m glad) but I am also a realist……book tours are done many times because the publishers are afraid to tell their big ticket authors that there isn’t going to be one…..

It is always a painful moment for me when a new author excitedly says to me that they have their first book coming out and “what can I do to get people to buy it??……first I tell them to sit down, that they’re not going to enjoy what I have to say……then I tell them: THE ONLY THING YOU CAN REALLY DO THAT WILL HELP SELL YOUR BOOK IS TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK……authors do from time to time catch lightning in a bottle—but mostly it’s a matter of improving your skill, learning from your mistakes, and producing……

For my February release, the second opinion, I will not be going away from home…..a signing in Nashua, new Hampshire (I’ll be there on 2/20/09) or at the boston public library (3/3/09 – reception and talk open to the public) is really no different than a sweep through Denver (pray it doesn’t snow) or Nashville or Miami……there are so many cities……publishers budget funds for each book, and when those are gone, no more publicity…..would I rather have a two week tour away from my kid and word processor and favorite pillow, or a full page ad in the times??…..you can answer that one……often it’s either or, though not necessarily on the same scale……

So, I’m a writer, and I’m best off writing and “performing” locally……if I were more disciplined and less exhausted all the time, I suppose I could blog……but I would never be as good at it as JA Konrath or my friend Tess Gerritsen, who are both consistent and incredibly entertaining……

Writing books isn’t just about writing books…..the demands on our time are incredible even without book tours…..i have already apologized to pat a number of times for not getting this piece in to her…..in addition, I have just finished a piece for the hundred greatest thrillers of all time, and am on a rewrite of a serial thriller I’m doing a chapter in for charity with one more due in january…..then there’s the six advanced reading copies on my floor awaiting readings, talks scheduled at the local middle school (I never say no to schools) and also the senior citizens center (I don’t say no to seniors either) and more blurbs, with anywhere from 3-8 ARCs coming in each month (I’m a wicked slow reader)……finally, there’s my kid, and my increasing need for exercise, and a hobby or two, and the holidays, and oh, yes, the pressure and deadlines inherent in my new 4-books in 4-years contract……(write fast and steadily or prepare not to be paid…..

So look for me right here at my desk, and not on the road…..

I love traveling and meeting people and staying at **** hotels (the norm on tour), and eating at the restaurant of my choice, and cleaning out room service, and being treated as something of a celebrity……but, as it has been said many times in one form or another….WRITERS DON’T LIKE WRITING BOOKS, THEY LIKE HAVING WRITTEN THEM…..

Back to work

Have a great day…..

michael

58 Responses to “A Writer’s Life (Guest Blog by Bestselling Author Michael Palmer)”

  1. Kenna Says:

    I like the free flowing style, Michael. It’s a great glimpse into your thoughts, with lots of fodder for the newbie ‘author’ (please note the quotes – I’m really newbie). Thanks so much for sharing!

    And Pat, thanks for hounding . . . uh, hosting!

  2. Martha Says:

    Good advice Michael. I’ll keep your words in mind if/when I get around to all those projects on my list. Appreciate your taking the time to advise us. And thanks to you Pat too!
    Martha
    jakeandtycho.com
    idurmutt.com

  3. Pat Bertram Says:

    Thank you for this article, Michael. It’s good to see what a writer’s responsibilities really are. Too many of us think of writers as someone who . . . well, who writes. Period.

  4. jalex Says:

    Michael, I can’t believe this is the first time ever guest blogged. How did you manage to avoid that particular eater of time?

  5. xelene Says:

    Good article, Michael. I like that you have a sense of humor, and that you were kind enough to write this article for us. I’m looking forward to your new book!

  6. JOHN BECK Says:

    Thanks for this snapshot of your life as a promoter of your books. I focus on your point that to get readers you need to be prolific. My question: Do you favor self-publishing ones first book just to get it out there before going with a publisher?

  7. James Rafferty Says:

    Michael,

    Thanks for sharing a quick slice of your writer’s life.

    I’ve written my first novel and am working on my second, so I take your advice — THE ONLY THING YOU CAN REALLY DO THAT WILL HELP SELL YOUR BOOK IS TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK — to heart.

    Given all of the time commitments you mention, I can see why you prefer writing over blogging. But, this post did work and I’m sure you’ll find new readers from this exposure.

    Thanks to Pat for inviting Michael to chat.

  8. Sy Says:

    Great article. I am amazed that someone as successful as you would have similar problems with publisher publicity budgets and strange book tour schedules that unknowns with their first book have (speaking personally here). I dont know if I feel relieved or depressed. I like your advice re writing another one. I suppose that cant hurt. Thanks for sharing this.

  9. otherlisa Says:

    then I tell them: THE ONLY THING YOU CAN REALLY DO THAT WILL HELP SELL YOUR BOOK IS TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK

    I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. I’ve been hearing so much about promotion and all the things that writers have to do to sell, much of which makes me pretty uncomfortable. But this, I can do.

  10. Laura Elvebak Says:

    Great article, Michael. I’ve published my first book and am focused on the editing of the second book. Spend a lot of time blogging and on interviews and signings, but now am glad that bit is over so I can finish editing. It’s fun for a while, but I’d rather be writing. I can so relate to what you’re saying.
    Thanks,
    Laura

  11. joylene Says:

    Thank you so much for taking time to talk to us. I’ve written five books and published one, and yet I felt like a failure because I have grown to hate marketing. Writing another book is definitely something I can do. Thank you!

  12. Sherilyn Winrose Says:

    I too am glad to hear the best thing I can do is work on the next one. Thank you for agreeing to post to Pat’s blog.

  13. Wanda Says:

    Great article Michael. I really appreciate your advice to simply write another book. I have heard that one must write a million words and I am working on that. If/when I am in the position to actually sell a book, I will keep this permanently in mind.

    I really enjoy your work. And I really love the fact that you guested here on Pat’s blog.

    Thanks.

  14. Suzanne Francis Says:

    I truly like writing books. (I hope this doesn’t mean I’m not a real writer…) 🙂

    Thank you for guesting on Pat’s blog.

  15. john elder robison Says:

    I think there is a significant difference between writing fiction and non fiction. Even as a first-time writer, I have pretty good success with media wherever I go, and I am actually using that now to prepare a base for my next book.

    Also, as a NF writer there are speaking engagements which surely help build a following. I’ve had the same experience you describe in bookstores. Actually, at this moment, Target is the biggest seller of Look Me in the Eye.

    Also with NF you have academic marketing. If schools take a book up that can well mean thousands of sales over many years, so those events are particularly important to me.

    When I look at those different opportunities, I do wonder how a debut fiction writer gets anywhere in today’s world.

  16. Wendy Hardin Says:

    Michael–
    How refreshing to hear an honest answer in such depth. And, I can relate to the last comment on the writing. Although I love telling my story, it is all the rewrites and rules that are bogging me down right now. At times it is easy to let frustrations chase you down and reign over you. However, I picked up the old hobby of running. Seems to work when you can outrun the stress of expectation!
    Then, when at last you rest at the keyboard, tranquility wrestles the future paranoia away…thanks for the honesty, and congrats on having published. And, published well.

    And, thanks persistent Pat! You are amazing!

  17. Henriette Gyland Says:

    Thank you, Michael, for guesting on Pat’s blog. Great article, and I do so know what you mean about “writers like having written”. I’m the same, even though I belong to the great unwashed throng of pre-published authors.

    As for getting readers to buy one’s book by writing another, I’d not heard that response before, but it makes perfect sense to me.

  18. Michael Palmer Says:

    hey, everyone…..thanks for all the comments……i really appreciate your reactions to my first guest blog……thanks pat for inviting me…..i’m really not cynical about publicity, but no amount of it measures up to a well written book (plus a good dose of luck)……just keep saying “somebody does it……somebody does it”…..:send me your e-mail address via my website (look it over while you’re at it) and i’ll put you on my mailing list……thanks again…..

    best regards

    michael

  19. GABixler Says:

    Well, this is a great blog entry! Just because it is so honest and open…I too would have a hard time writing a blog, so mine is purely to share reviews! It is refreshing to see that a top author tells new writers the same thing. I’ve met a lot of writers along the way that have published a book(s) and then want to sit back and have people come and buy it… It’s hard to convince them that it doesn’t happen that way…
    And of course, they think their book(s) will be turned into movies soon and then the book will sell! Thank you for such an open sharing! But how about one more thing…you have to have the quality and quantity to continue to write great books…YOU have it! It does make a difference!

    Merry Christmas!

  20. Ken Coffman Says:

    We’re all used to the treadmill of our day jobs. It’s an illusion to think the writing game isn’t a treadmill too. As Michael says, finish the book or don’t get paid… We writers need to be careful what we wish for. With my day job, I get lots of quality hotel time and expense-account meals. What would be the difference if one of my books did catch a cultural tailwind? Probably not much. It’s better to focus on the writing and making each book as good as we can make it.
    Great, thought-provoking commentary, Michael and Pat. Thank you for posting it.

  21. Heather Fowler Says:

    Hi Michael and Pat,

    Thanks for sharing this blog. It’s a sad state of the industry and the American public when authors are no longer any media draw most of the time. Where did the days go of the public intellectual who was actually known by a larger slice of the public? Ach. 🙂 Okay, before I think or voice the sky is falling again, I just wanted to drop in and mention I REALLY appreciate Michael’s words on the whole “book tour” concept and his advice to new writers. It echoes what I seem to hear from many writer friends. And wow, 4 books in 4 years. Good luck, Michael! (I also think it’s admirable that you never turn down schools! xo!)

  22. Latayne C Scott Says:

    Thank you so much, Michael and Pat, for Michael’s snapshot into the writing life. The sparkle of glamor is dusted all over plain old hard work, I see. And Michael said it better than anyone I’ve ever read.

    I’ve published my million words, I guess (never anything of Michael’s stellar quality) and very much appreciate his turning our noses to the “next-book-grindstone” of reality. Again, thank you so much!

    Latayne C Scott
    http://www.latayne.com

  23. Jason Starr Says:

    Hey Michael
    Thanks for the great post. Do you really think it’s the case that if an author passes on a tour, the money could be spent instead on–for example–print advertising? My impression is that the tour money would be spent on someone else’s tour (not re budgeted for the author) I’ve toured and been put up at 4 star hotels before and it always seems a bit excessive. Why not a 2 star hotel and more print ads? But my impression is that the money wouldn’t be re-budgeted in this case either
    Jason Starr

  24. authorcamilson Says:

    Excellent piece Michael.

    It is so very true, that an author is only as good as their next novel, so your words “THE ONLY THING YOU CAN REALLY DO THAT WILL HELP SELL YOUR BOOK IS TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK” are ringing home true. Of course, there is also the idea that writers also have to do alot of their own PR as well, so that, for newbies, is something that can take alot of time in the process of writing the “next bestseller”.

    Thanks Pat for posting this. Very true words.

    C.A.Milson ~ Horror Novelist

  25. martha frankel Says:

    i loved reading this blog. my first book, a memoir called HATS & EYEGLASSES, came out in february. i pushed and pushed to have my company (tarcher/penguin) send me on a book tour. they were so very gracious and sent me around new york, massachussetts, jersey. some of these events held a couple of hundred people, some a handful. in between i did a huge satelite radio tour. i was exhausted, had laryngitis, could not wait to get home. now the paperback comes out in february (with a great new cover, a reading guide, and a 10 page conversation with me). tarcher is doing a huge relaunch, which will include radio and ads. i have not brought up the notion of signings and readings— give me one well place tv show or an ad in the new yorker or the times. and give all my readers myw ebsite so they can email me. i always write back. i want to do video book groups, or on the phone. this way the readers get the best of me and i can do the thing i should be doing— writing another book!

  26. L.J. Sellers Says:

    Great post. I think writers are the busiest people in the world. And it seems that book tours might be winding down as publishers look for ways to cut costs. I’ll take the full page ad in the NY Times too.

  27. Trixie Says:

    Great advice! Thanks very much Michael and Pat.

  28. Kathy Says:

    What a treat. Thanks for sharing your experience here. I’ve heard the advice to “write another book” when you’re first seeking publication, but what interesting advice to “write another book” after that book is published and in the market. That takes a lot of pressure off, really, because so many today advise you to promote, promote, promote when, really, it takes time to build a career and that’s only by writing more and more better books. Wow! What a great new thought. 🙂

  29. damian mcnicholl Says:

    Yet another published author of a first novel here.
    Good advice about getting that second book written, which I’m glad to say I did as well.

    Enjoyed reading the article. Thanks Pat and Michael.

  30. Aaron Paul Lazar Says:

    Michael, I’ve enjoyed so many of your books over the year, this is a total thrill. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, and keep on producing those wonderful books.

    Pat – your courage is exemplary. How many of us would “dare” to request something like this. You are my hero. ;o)

  31. Doc Huckster Says:

    thank you for sharing..a poets job is to live and paint pictures with words about what they have seen discovered..not writing would be the same as not breathing..good luck with all you are seeking.

  32. A. F. Stewart Says:

    Great article. It’s nice to get some insight from a seasoned writer. Sometimes you can lose focus on your writing and improving with every book.

  33. Jordan Dane Says:

    This post really cracked me up, Michael. As a new author, I quickly came to realize that although the promo and seeing your books on the shelves was very cool, that didn’t get the next book written. And writing is the ONLY thing we have control over. I’ve learned about virtual tours and do online blogging but I’ve scaled back the travel this year to make more time for writing. So kudos to you, Mr. NYT bestseller. I like your honest message. And thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    You and I have chatted on MySpace. I love when an author gets out there and doesn’t work through an administrator. You’re a talented and generous guy. And I appreciate you taking the time to share a slice of the writer’s life.

    And thanks to you, Pat, for getting the word out on his post.

    Happy holidays everyone.

  34. Terry Odell Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. I’m published, but with a small press and they only take one book at a time. Trouble is, I’ve written two more connected to that one, but my agent is trying to sell the next one to a house with wider distribution.

    I write ‘the next book’ because I’d go nuts if I wasn’t writing, but the promotion required just to get my name out there is a time and energy suck. And the motivation can wane, because why write book 4 in a ‘series’ if book 2 and 3 won’t sell?

    So, I guess I set the newest one aside and try writing something different. But I LIKE the characters in my current manuscripts! Shifting to something totally different hasn’t grabbed me yet.

  35. Julie Kramer Says:

    THE ONLY THING YOU CAN REALLY DO THAT WILL HELP SELL YOUR BOOK IS TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK…but I have to tell you, Michael, it’s harder to write a book than to do promotion. Like you said, writers like having written a book, not having to write one.
    My debut, STALKING SUSAN, recently came out. And I did write another, MISSING MARK, that will come out in July. But now I have to try to write a third, and it doesn’t seem to get any easier. Then I look at authors like yourself and how productive you are and tell myself it’s possible. Not easy, but possible. Thanks for the insights into your own writing life. Now I better log out of Facebook and get back to my story.

  36. joylene Says:

    Michael,

    What was it like for you after your first book was published?

  37. Diane Farr Says:

    Welcome to the blogosphere! I loved reading your post; it’s fascinating to a mid-list author (like me) to read about the life of a bestselling author. And reassuring, in a way, to discover that it’s not much different! Except for the big house on the hill, of course.

    It’s always a bit maddening to observe publishers throwing money away (no offense) on book tours for their top-tier authors … money that should be going, naturally, to fatten the advances paid to midlist authors … LOL! Looks like your experience of it pretty much jives with others that I’ve read — an astonishing amount of $$ spent for a rather dubious return on investment. I like your suggestion that the best way to sell your book is to write another. That’s the best advice I’ve heard in ages. And I think it’s probably spot-on. I know authors who haven’t been blessed with book tours who have actually spent their advances doing their own — exhausting themselves, since writers make lousy hustlers and there’s lots of hustling involved. And again, receiving a return on investment that, at best, is unquantifiable … and at worst was a complete waste of time and money.

    Writers should write.

    The good news is, you probably reached a lot of readers with this blog post! 🙂

    Many thanks for your valuable time. I enjoyed it.

    best wishes for your continued success –
    Diane

    http://www.dianefarrbooks.com

  38. Mary-Frances Makichen Says:

    Hi Michael,
    I appreciate this post. There is so little in publishing that we have control over that it’s great to be reminded of what we do have control over: our writing!

  39. Yosis Says:

    Wow. I feel like I just had a candid chat with Michael over chai. Thank you, Pat, for bringing us yet another insightful experience. And thank you, Michael, for taking the time to share. Good stuff!

  40. suzettevaughn Says:

    Pat…Thank you for the emails. I made it over here.
    I owe Pat a blog or two and she has patiently waited for copies of her full book cover over the past few weeks. Good to know I’m not the only one she has to hound.

    Michael,
    Thank you for this.
    I don’t like promoting. I don’t like speaking in public, So my thoughts where write more books. More books equal more exposure, which should mean more sales….
    Good to know that for once it wasn’t an oddity for me personally.
    I’d love to do the four-star hotels and the travel. My son likes me being home. Although I am concidering a weekend in NC for Valentines.
    Now if I can just find the time between covers, websites, blogs, and holidays to write, I might just get number three out the door before Jan 1st.

    Hugs and prayers…Suzette Vaughn

  41. Shirley Ann Howard Says:

    I wouldn’t mind doing the promoting and marketing if I had more ideas and opportunities. Thanks for your input.

    Shirley Ann Howard

  42. ~Sia McKye~ Says:

    Pat, this proves a point I’ve always said. Never be afraid to ask. You may get a no and that doesn’t kill you, but surprisingly, you also get many a *yes*.

    Michael, thank you for graciously saying yes and sharing your views on writing. A lot of common sense things. Writing is a constant endeavor. For many authors, promotion/publicity is hard to balance against writing time. All too easy to drop one and do the other, but not both.

    I do believe SOME regional book signings are a good thing. but judiciously worked in. But, I agree, with the consensus, it’s money best spent elsewhere.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your books and wish you the best for next one.

    ~Sia McKye~

  43. MH Bonham Says:

    Hi Michael! Thank you for your blog. I found your comments interesting, and I hope you’ll entertain a difference of opinion.

    Before I get too far, let me state that I’m an award-winning author of some 30 published books. I’ve been published by big houses such as Wiley, Penguin Putnam (Alpha), Barrons, Sterling, and small houses such as Capital books, Dragon Moon Press, Yard Dog Press, and WolfSinger Pubs. I’ve made a living as a freelance author full time since 2001. My books have been successful, but not in the range of bestseller like yours have been.

    I think there is a basic difference between large press and small press. My thoughts are that to a certain degree distribution and PR sells a book. If you don’t get the distribution and PR — or if you don’t work to sell your book — then pretty much your book is going to languish and your publisher will not pick up your next book.

    What’s more, this is pretty much true for first time authors whose books don’t take off right away — or have enough “buzz” or promotion budget behind them. If the authors don’t get out and do the work that the PR department is supposed to do (and trust me, the PR guys don’t get behind every book that comes out), and the numbers don’t take off immediately, they can kiss that second book contract goodbye. Or, if the publisher is a tad more patient, they might wait until after book two flops because the bookstore chains won’t pick up an author with losing numbers.

    It’s very easy to say that a beginning author should just focus on their next book when one has a promotion budget close to your six or seven figure advance. Most beginning authors will be lucky to see $5000 to $10,000 advance from the big NYC publishers and won’t see much of an advance from a small press. The NYC publishers stick those books out there in a sink or swim scenario — it’s up to the author to ensure his/her baby stays afloat.

    That being said, I think that most book tours are worthless and a waste of money. You’re better off determining where your fan base is (SF/F, mystery, romance, etc) and meeting with those fans at their conventions. Internet presence is a must. Being accessible and networking with fans will build a brand/platform. Nowadays, most editors and agents want to see authors who will have a platform and not just hope for the book lottery to strike.

    That being said, authors must learn to wear several hats. They still must be authors and work on their craft and on their next book (this is where we agree). But they must be willing to step out and get fans, or pay a marketing firm to do it.

    Just my two cents.

    Maggie (MH or Margaret H.) Bonham

  44. Jo-Anne Says:

    Before I read any of the comments, I want to share my thought: Thank you, Michael, for taking the time to be ‘real’. Your flow of thoughts and insights of the world as ‘is’, rather than a glossed-over account is much appreciated. Never should we have to apologize for honesty and opinion, yet as we cringe in the corner, afraid of making a mistake or stepping on toes, we limit our followers or fellow readers the reality of the situation. Sure dreaming is wonderful. And thanks to my husband, he has shown me dreaming should be permissible; but there comes a time when a person has to look at the reality. And Michael, you have pasted this picture for aspiring writers–thank you and good luck with your future endeavors. Yours: Jo-Anne Vandermeulen gr5mom2.wordpress.com

  45. D.B. Pacini Says:

    *******
    I agree with poster John Elder Robison, there is a significant difference between writing fiction and non fiction. Many NF writers develop a speaking engagement base that gains them loyal readers and interest in their future books, especially if their books have academic value.

    I am a debut fiction author. My youth/YA fantasy novel, THE LOOSE END OF THE RAINBOW, is the first book in a trilogy. It is being published within the next few weeks by a small/reputable publisher. The second novel in the series will be competed in the fall of 2009, and the third will be competed in the fall of 2010. I’m a youth advocate and I intend do speaking engagements at schools and youth organizations. Readers that enjoy THE LOOSE END OF THE RAINBOW will be able to trust that the second and third books will be available when promised.

    Also, I’m offering youth writing contests, youth projects, etc. to involve young people with writing opportunities.
    I currently have a free international YOUTH DREAM TEAM reading project. To learn more: http://www.astarrynightproductions.com/loose_end/pages/dreamteam.htm

    I thank Michael Palmer for all he has shared with us, I especially thank Pat for having Michael as a blog guest, and I wish you all success with your writing endeavors. There are many layers to the business of writing, becoming published, and promoting our books. We must learn all the avenues we can learn and employ as many as possible.

    I write on my present novel 4-5 days per seven. I usually research material 2-3 times each week. I carry a notebook to jot down ideas and inspirations. I read a great deal, especially books written by authors I’ve become friends with. I mentor teen and young adult writers as often as I can. I have a piece I’ve written titled: FOR YOUNG WRITERS. If you want it I will send it to you as an attachment file if you provide me your email address.

    I think helping other creative artists has a boomerang affect, the type of gifts you give are the type of gifts that come back to you.

    Warmest regards to you all,

    D.B. Pacini
    Email: Pacini.Novelist@gmail.com

    *******

  46. Marge Holdorf (AKA Mary Russel) Says:

    Hi Michael.
    Thank you so much for the informative article. It is both encouraging and discouraging but what profession isn’t?

    I’ve enjoyed the comments too.

  47. Christine Husom Says:

    Pat, this is really wonderful, thanks!

    Michael, I loved your blog. I felt like I was reading a journal entry–it is free-flowing, refreshingly honest and very informative. An author has to wear so many hats and continually weigh priorities. Several people highlighted your comment about writing that second book to sell your first. I believe that and am trying to finish my second one to somehow make my first more legitimate! Thanks again.

  48. J J Dare Says:

    Very true about the second and subsequent books. The best encouragement I’ve received was from a non-writing friend who told me that I needed to keep writing, writing, writing, because when one book hits the bestseller’s list (it’s touching he has so much faith in me), readers will want to see what else I’ve written.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement.

  49. DJ Ledford Says:

    Thank you so much for your wise advice, Michael. So refreshing to see a no-holds-barred view of how the industry actually works–and what to expect once our work is acquired.

    Kudos to you too, Pat, for landing such a great writer for your blog.

  50. Lisa Marie Wilkinson Says:

    “Writers don’t like writing books, they like having written them.” What a kernel of truth there! I enjoyed your blog, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  51. Sheila Deeth Says:

    Wow. This was great fun, great advice, and a fascinating read. Thanks Pat and Michael.

  52. Michelle Says:

    Michael – Thank you for taking Pat up on her offer and spending some time with us.

    So for you it’s the destination, not the journey? I find that I rather enjoy the journey, but of course, I am not published……..just ambling about for fun!

    🙂

  53. Beth Says:

    Excellent advice and presented with the encouragement we need to keep writing. Thanks for reminding us that although it’s about the writing, so much more is involved.

    Michael, we’re glad you took up the blog challenge and shared with us.

  54. TarotByArwen Says:

    This was so enjoyable to read. I learned that painful lesson of “just write another book.” It was an eye-opener!

  55. Patricia Says:

    It’s always fun to get a glimpse of a writer’s life. Never realized how tiring a publicity tour could be.

    I checked Amazon and saw “An exciting thriller that is full of surprises…captures the intense atmosphere of the White House.” —President Bill Clinton for The First Patient. I’m impressed! Can’t wait to read it myself!

  56. Allison Brennan Says:

    Michael, I found this blog through Tess’s blog on Murderati and I find it refreshing. Write the next book! So simple, yet so easy to forget. So many new authors especially get sucked into the quagmire of promotion, promotion, promotion that they forget the reason they’re even to promote at all: their book! Thank you for reminding us. (And while I’m a very fast reader, I still have arcs piled up to read . . .)

  57. My Exciting Week « Second Wind Publishing Says:

    […] sure to stop by Bertram’s Blog  and say hi to […]

  58. James Boyle Says:

    Great article by someone who is not afraid to tell it like it is. You’re not the first I’ve heard who likes the art of writing, but detests the business of it. If only it was simply a matter of writing a good story. Unfortunately, there are thousands of good stories no one has heard of. As a basically shy person who is very uncomfortable with approaching strangers to (brag) about my work, it was very encouraging to hear other, more successful writers feel the same way.


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