Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Christina Hollis—5 Ways To Measure Writing Success... (US) (UK)
What does success mean to you? Are you expecting to earn a million from your collected poems, or self-published autobiography? It's fine to aim for the stars—fall short, and you might still hit the moon. But just in case you don't manage to make J K Rowling's bank manager sick with envy, here are some  ways to make sure 2015 is a successful writing year for you. It all depends on how you look at it...

1. Millions of people dream about writing a book. Most aren't brave enough to try. Think how you'd feel if this was the year you finish that story you've always wanted to write. You can do it. Set aside some time each day, make a plan, then put in the work to make your dream come true. For hints and tips on writing, visit my website, and follow my series of blogs called Birth Of A Book. You can read the parts I've published so far by clicking on the links here: Part One—From Thinking To Writing, Part Two—Finding The Heart And Soul Of Your Book and Part Three—Finding Your Writing Style.

2. Start your next book the minute you've caught your breath. Work on it while you're trying to sell you first book. If you're able to say you've got more work in progress, it's a definite bonus when you approach agents and publishers. Finishing your next book is the success you should be aiming for from the time you type The End on your current work in progress. Writing books is a continuous process. As one is finished, ideas for the next one should be jostling for writing-time.

3. Once your book is finished, the hard work starts. Whether you publish yourself, or try and get accepted by a conventional publisher, it's a tough road to travel. If 2015 turns into the year you hit print, you've scored another big success. Holding your newly-published book, or seeing your ebook up on Amazon is something you'll never forget.

4. Getting reviews when catching a reviewer's eye is so difficult is another reason to be cheerful. Get a friend to vet any reviews for your book in advance, in case reading a bad one scars you for life (it happens). Your kind reader can strain any constructive criticism from one-star scaldings, and giving you the chance to up your game. Writers should never miss a chance to learn about their craft, and readers are your best teachers. Give them more of what they want to read, and both sides will be happy.

5. Your first royalty payment will be another reason to get out and celebrate, no matter how small it is! Covering your costs is good—if you do nothing more than that in 2015, you'll have earned more than many self-published authors do. Making any sort of profit at all is an amazing feat, and if you manage this, you're a success (of course, if you really do make a million, you don't need me to tell you that!). Don't forget to squirrel half of anything you earn away somewhere safe in case of a tax bill. Use it to create a contingency fund.

Long before I had a contract for His Majesty's Secret Passionthe first book in what has become my Princes of Kharova series, I was already hard at work on the follow-up, Her Royal Risk. That's a very descriptive title, as I was taking a big risk the first book in the series would be accepted. The idea for Her Royal Risk started with my Beta readers. They wanted to know what happened to two minor characters in His Majesty's Secret Passion, so I picked up on their interest and gave them Krisia and Athan's romance as soon as I could.

His Majesty's Secret Passion is published by Wild Rose Press, and Her Royal Risk follows later this year. To keep up with the latest news about both books, click "like" on my author page on Facebook, here, or follow me on Twitter, where I'm @christinabooks.

Christina Hollis writes both contemporary and historical fiction–when she isn't cooking, gardening or beekeeping. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen different languages, and she’s sold nearly three million books worldwide. You can catch up with her at,on Twitter and Facebookand see a full list of her published books at For more details of His Majesty's Secret Passion, see  (US) and  (UK)

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