Tag Archives: advice

It’s Crazy Out There…

heap of booksThe world of publishing is a crazy and often scary place. I’ve been in it a few years so I’m used to it now, but I remember back in the beginning I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. So here are a few bits and pieces I wish I’d known back then…

1. Don’t sign a contract without reading it. Not all publishers are legit.

I’m not naming any names here, not at all, but I remember how exciting it was to be offered a contract to publish my work. I thought it was the best thing ever and didn’t stop to think what would happen if something went wrong with the publisher further down the line. So look at the length of your contract (between three and five years is about average), what rights the publisher is asking for, and so on. If you’re not sure about a particular contract, ask other authors that write for the publisher in question for their opinion. Most of us are pretty helpful.

2. Learn to edit yourself.

The work you submit to a publisher should be your absolute best. Yes, you’ll be assigned an editor, but that doesn’t mean you should send in a piece riddled with spelling errors, and wrong punctuation and grammar. Nobody’s perfect, but you want to stay on your editor’s good side, as well as being professional, so edit your own work before sending it in. I find reading out loud helps.

3. Read lots in your chosen genre.

That way, you’ll get an idea of what’s being published, what sort of quality, what plots, what publishers are publishing what genres and pairings, and so on. You shouldn’t try to emulate anyone’s writing, you should always develop your own style, but it will help you learn about the more technical side of writing.

I hope this helps any budding writers out there. And other authors, please feel free to chip in with any other pieces of advice.


Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over seventy publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include Best Bondage Erotica 2012 and 2013, and Best Women’s Erotica 2013. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

Getting it Together

You know that Baz Lurhmann song? The one they played at every middle and high school graduation for at least three years, with a kind of funky beat and the occasional choral interlude backing up a high school principal’s commencement speech? I freely admit to adoring that song, overplayed or no. It’s even on my iPod.

Anyhow, the point is that while the speech rambles with lots of helpful, and sometimes heart-breaking, advice, it ends up where it starts out: always wear sunscreen. And when I sat down to try and think of what kind of advice I could give this month, that damn song wouldn’t leave my head.

So I thought about it, and I wondered: what’s the sunscreen advice I’d like to give? And then, as I played with the different categories in my digital calendar, plotted my writing activities around estimated editing work, and tweaked my spreadsheets, the answer became perfectly clear:

Get. Organized.

All of the writing skill in the world won’t help you get ahead if you can’t figure out when your due dates are, much less where your manuscripts are out to. And if you take on more than you can actually handle, who do you really have to blame?

So my advice to you for this year is to get organized and take control. And to help you do that, I’d like to share a couple of spreadsheets with you.

Oh yes. Spreadsheet prOn.

First, my infamous project tracker. I’ve shared it with several of the Birdies, and now I bring it to you. Save as and have fun! Office 97-2003 and Office 2010 formats both. Use it to figure out what you want to write, and keep a good bead on what you’ve got going at any moment.

And the other spreadsheet is an updated version of one I found last year. Svenja has written a beautiful sheet that will help you keep track of your daily, monthly and yearly goal, and I share the Leap Year version with you now: Office 97-2003 and Office 2010.

And there you have it. My big advice. My sunscreen for you.

Liz Silver is an editor, an author, and a Gemini. She also seems to think she’s going to put out 350,000 words this year, according to her spreadsheet.