Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Get a 6-Book Contract

I have a wonderful bestie I met on Facebook.  Lindsay Downs was a writer just getting started when I first began networking on FB.  She was the first one to befriend me, then the first one to chat with me.  We have been best friends ever since, pushing each other along in our writing journey, celebrating each other's successes and always being there for one another.  Today, Lindsay is a best-selling regency romance author, her stories and novellas are tighter and more entertaining than ever, and it seems I am not the only one to notice.

Lindsay just announced the sale of a six-book series and a contract to match, from Secret Cravings Publishing.

I didn't even have to prod her to know there was no "magic formula" for this to happen.  Lindsay has been working her craft for the past two years and working on it hard.  She takes advantage of all the writing prompts, and writer's groups she can handle and endlessly edits, massages, and critiques her manuscripts.  I asked Lindsay to share the journey with us to the big contract and she agreed.  May I welcome my wonderful friend, the author Lindsay Downs.

From Point A to a 6 Book Contract by Lindsay Downs

A little over a year ago I joined a small group of published and unpublished writer call Tuesday Tales. Here we would write a scene based on a specific word prompt.  At about this same time I was developing an idea for a new series, as yet untitled. One week the word prompt was “save”. Unlike previous books I hadn’t come up with a name for the heroine so I referred to her as Ice Queen, which became the title of the first story. As it developed I was able to come up with her name, Jessica Sales. And before you ask, don’t, it’s a long story how I found the name.

Anyways, as the weeks progressed I continued writing the book, scene by scene and all based on the word prompt for that week. Creating a book this way was/is not only different, a challenge but interesting and makes you, the writer think outside the box.

With the prompts posted in the Tuesday Tales Facebook group in advance I was able to look ahead. So in June of last year I started the next book having found the logical ending to Ice Queen and beginning to Red Queen. This book progressed in the same manner of the first.

What I did find interesting, I got a few feelers about the series from a publisher. You see, as I was creating the books, I didn’t know what to do with them, self-publish or search out a publisher. I decided to take the plunge and polished the books then wrote synopsis’ for four more books.
In December I submitted the two completed books along with the story line for four more to Secret Craving Publishing. Three weeks to the day after sending them off I awoke to find a contract in my email in-box for the entire six (6) book series. Three will be released this year and the others in 2014.

I should point out, during the time I was working on the Tuesday Tales scenes for both Ice Queen and Red Queen I was also writing and editing two books in the Emily Dahill, CID series. I also broke from the contemporary genre and wrote my bestselling regency, A Christmas Surprise, released by Astraea Press in November. I also sold and went through the edits for Love and War, a trilogy of romantic war stories, which was released by Secret Cravings Publishing in December.
I know this is a lot to take in but remember I’ve been writing since 2006 with my first contract in 2008 and the book was released in 2009. I’ve been working on the craft while developing my voice to create books which readers and publishers want.

The key is never to give up. Take workshops, attend conferences, read books, not on writing, for pleasure. Someday you might get an author’s dream of a multi-book contract and/or a best seller.

Blurb- A Christmas Surprise   

If I hear one more debutante declare that they will never marry unless it is for love, well. I shall break my quill! And we all know what happens when I break my quill. Things become very upsetting and it isn’t long before I--- Well, that is quite another story. Let this author, this matriarch, this paragon of society guide you with her infinite wisdom. It is apparent that many of you have gotten this silly notion of love in your head, most likely from American influence, and please do not get me started on those savages. The point, young dears, is that love, is silly. Take for example Lady Aleece, poor young dear never stood a chance! Can you imagine being mauled in public? By a commoner no less? Although, rumors have been running rampant that this very delicious commoner is in fact the Marquess of Somerset, I have my doubts. For one thing, a Marquess should be more unfortunate looking which is clearly not the case with Somerset. Let this be a lesson dear readers. If you marry for love, there is a very big chance that you will end up with your heart broken, or in that wretched commoners case—kidnapped (though many believe he should have been killed for even breathing the same air as our fair lady). Dear readers, have I taught you nothing this holiday season?—Mrs. Peabody’s Society Papers.

Blurb - Love and War

Simone - Returning to Occupied France in advance of the allied invasion leaves no time for love between Sergeant Brian Deveneau and Simone. War tears apart lives and love. Will they survive?
Rescued - Injured Ensign Steve Henry awakens from severe wounds to the tender care of Lieutenant Suzanne Cunningham. Attraction explodes between them but will war tear them apart in the end?
Angel in Green - Never expecting to find love, 1st Lieutenant Elena Roberts must put aside her feelings for 2nd Lieutenant Steve Johnson. When her hospital is overrun by North Vietnamese soldier's, she must guard not only her heart from the handsome solider, but keep him alive as well.
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  1. Congrats Lindsay! Here's wishing you many sales!

  2. Wow! Congratulations! Never give up -- great advice, in publishing and in life.

  3. Congratulations, Lindsay! You're right... livin' the dream :)

  4. Congratulations! You sooo deserve all the good things coming to you!