Publishing World Wisdom from G.P. Gottlieb
The author series continues in 2023, sharing the knowledge (often hard-won) from published authors as they tell us what they would tell their pre-published selves, and NEW FOR 2023, what they always do to help make book launches successful.
Our February author, GP Gottlieb has performed, taught, composed, and administrated while writing stories, songs, and several unwieldy manuscripts. She also fed her family and developed lots of healthy recipes. After recovering from breast cancer in 2015, she turned to writing in earnest, melding her two passions: nourishment for mind and body and recipe-laced murder mysteries. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped Mystery Series, which centers on a single mother of three who owns a fabulous vegan café in Chicago. Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery (Book three) will be published Feb 21, 2023, by DX Varos Publishing (They are offering great pre-publication prices).
What would she tell her pre-published self?
Dear Pre-Published Self,
Remember the day you got that email saying that DX Varos Publishing was going to publish your first culinary mystery? You were too excited about the thought of being a published author to realize that six months (launch date 8.6.2019) was cutting it close. Way too close for someone who knew nothing about publishing.
After you’d received nearly seventy agent rejections, your teacher/editor suggested submitting your manuscript to online competitions. Much later, you learned that some of those calls-for-papers and competitions were by publishers who had a sudden slot to fill. Congrats on your win, but too bad you didn’t know that once the manuscript was accepted and got printed, it was going to be mostly your job to make sure people knew it existed. If only you belonged to a group of writers, it all would have been easier.
You were right to focus on writing and re-writing for three years, until your manuscript was ready to submit, but you didn’t know anything about promoting and marketing your book. If only you’d known to immediately join Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, you could have attended meetings and learned the ins and outs of being an author!
You could have absorbed tricks of the trade and talked to authors who were going through the same process of launching a debut novel. You’d have been able to share your struggles, laugh about how many rejected queries you received, and discover a community of (mostly) women who love reading and writing mysteries. And you could have asked questions about what to do next.
Maybe you’d have attended a class about how to build a following on social media or a session about how authors can help other authors. When you finally joined Sisters in Crime, you were trying to catch up and didn’t know what they were talking about when they discussed content, where to submit stories, and which mystery conferences to attend.
You were already published when you learned about the Guppies. WHOA! It’s part of Sisters in Crime and offers classes and advice to unpublished authors about the craft of writing. It also offers camaraderie, which you lacked. Being a part of it would have improved your writing, lifted your spirit, and increased the joy you felt about being published. Now, whenever you meet someone who’s plugging away at writing a mystery of some kind, you advise them to join The Guppies.
It wasn’t easy on your own, G.P., and it turns out, you didn’t need to go it alone. You joined two Sisters in Crime groups, MWA, Author’s Guild, Chicago Writes, and Blackbird Writers. You finally learned that you should post reviews for every book you read so you can build a community of people who follow your recommendations. You’ve learned to do launch tours and offer guest posts to bloggers. You’ve figured out how to have fun on the social media posts you most enjoy just in time for your third book to launch on February 21st (Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery, DX Varos Publishing ).
Now, whenever you meet a new author who’s struggling to figure it all out, you suggest that they scroll through the different sites and comment or share posts whenever they can. You tell them that writing might be private, but a published author needs a community.
And one thing you always do when you publish a new book (now that you’ve done it three times) is to thank everyone (either in the acknowledgments or in your thoughts) who helped you become a writer, including the acrimonious English teacher who covered your papers in red ink, told you that you’d never be a writer, and didn’t give you above a B+. So glad you rarely paid attention in that class.
About the Whipped & Sipped Mysteries: Battered, Smothered, and Charred
Alene Barron is the owner of the Whipped and Sipped Café, a fabulous vegan café in Chicago. She doesn't go looking for trouble; it just keeps finding her. Out of necessity, she amateur-sleuths murders that take place in and around her Lakeview neighborhood. She also takes care of her kids, manages and cooks for her café, and caters special events. Some of the café’s best recipes are included.
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