Author: Kim Purcell
Publisher: Viking Juvenile, 384 Pages (February 16th, 2012)
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: A 17-year-old Moldovan girl whose parents have been killed is brought to the United States to work as a slave for a family in Los Angeles.
Hannah believes she’s being brought from Moldova to Los Angeles to become a nanny for a Russian family. But her American dream quickly spirals into a nightmare. The Platonovs force Hannah to work sixteen-hour days, won’t let her leave the house, and seem to have a lot of secrets—from Hannah and from each other.
Stranded in a foreign land with false documents, no money, and nobody who can help her, Hannah must find a way to save herself from her new status as a modern-day slave or risk losing the one thing she has left: her life.
Top Ten Writing and Life Lessons of 2012
from a 2012 Debut Novelist to Future Debut Novelists
I didn’t know that when my first novel, TRAFFICKED, came out, I’d learn so many lessons about writing, which also, surprisingly, apply to anything in life. Here are my top ten writing/life lessons of 2012.
1. If It’s Too Much, Ask for Help.
I’d wanted to be a novelist for most of my life and I thought that once I reached that goal, well, the hardest part was over. Boy, was I wrong. My workload doubled this year between writing blog posts, doing school visits, teaching at writing conferences and doing book events. You’ll need all hands on deck at this time. Get more babysitting. Get cleaning help. Ask friends and family for help.
2. Get Professional Help
I don’t mean a therapist here, but that wouldn’t hurt either. I’m talking about a publicist. Most writers don’t have a huge publicity department behind them. If your book is a priority for the publishing house, you’ll learn this early, like three months ahead. If it’s not, hire a publicist to help. I hired Deb Shapiro, and she was fantastic getting the word out. For a less costly option, you can also go with one of the bloggers who help authors put together blog tours like Amy Del Rosso.
3. Start Early and Be Realistic about Time
I tend to be overly optimistic about time. I think I can do something in half the time it really takes. Give yourself three to six months before your book comes out to do the marketing, not a month and a half before like I did. Be early for events. I’ve been to a few events where authors sail in at the last minute and it’s not cool.
4. Avoid Seeking out the Approval of Others
Don’t look your book up on Amazon/Goodreads/Google. Don’t look up your stats or your ratings. At least don’t go on five times a day. Don’t let your heart soar with the 5’s and crash with the 1’s. Don’t read every reader review, dissecting every word. No good can come of it. Enough said.
5. Keep Working on Your Next Project
For writers, this means keep writing. Writing isn’t hanging out with writers or talking about writing or writing about writing – all these activities are pretty tempting once your book comes out. Most of the writers I know need to write – they become crazy people if they don’t. Plus, if you’re on to your next book, you won’t be so obsessive about your first and this is a very good thing.
6. Learn Everything You Can About Social Media and Technology
Like lots of novelists, I’m a little old fashioned. I love good old paper books. But warning - you don’t want to be like one of those old farts who can’t work their television. At the start of 2012, I definitely had some resistance about social networking. I love talking to people in real life and I didn’t want to waste time. However, since I reached out and gave Twitter/Facebook/Reddit a big old hug, I’ve found it’s a wonderful way to connect with other writers and reach out to readers. Bloggers have been a huge help too – they’ve spread the word to thousands of people I never could have reached otherwise.
7. Stand up for Yourself and Your Work
Nobody cares more about your work than you do. If you want a book tour and nobody else is arranging it, call bookstores yourself. Make sure you know enough people in the area to ensure a crowd. I arranged my own book tour and at every bookstore I had from twenty to sixty people. Thank you, big family.
8. Help Others
The people I know who help others are usually happier people and experience more success in their careers and this is true for writers too. Make sure you give to the writing community. It might be as simple as spreading the word about books you like. You could organize events for writers or volunteer your time visiting lower income schools. Or you could do something totally amazing like blogger Kieran Viola did and organize a huge online auction with over two hundred YA authors to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. If you dare.
9. Do Whatever Keeps You Sane
Meditate, run, do yoga. Find your peace. If your book is doing well, it’ll be hard not to let that stroke your ego. If your book is bombing, it’ll be hard not to let it wound your ego. Get zen. Find a daily practice outside of your writing that keeps you sane.
10. Be Kind
The golden rule is applicable to many parts of the writing life. Be kind to everyone from booksellers to librarians to PTSA moms. At readings, read for a minute less than you’re allowed. If you’re on a panel, make sure you don’t talk more than your share. Thank every blogger, panel organizer, festival organizer, reviewer, who supports your book in any way. Give some love to booksellers, maybe even cookies. It takes a village to get any book out there.
Peace. Happy New Year. And Happy Writing Life.
About the author:
Kim Purcell is the young adult author of Trafficked, a novel about a seventeen-year-old girl from Eastern Europe who’s forced to be a modern-day slave in America. When she’s not writing or teaching writing, she loves doing yoga, going for long runs with her dog and dancing anywhere music is playing, much to the chagrin of her two girls.
Find Kim Online:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Enter to win a SIGNED COPY OF TRAFFICKED!
- ONE winner will receive a copy of the above title.
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Kim, thanks for asking me to host this guest post for you! Wonderful tips and it was sweet of you to share such insight to readers and future authors.
Also, I have to say a HUGE thank you for also providing a copy of your debut title Trafficked to giveaway.