Today on 9 Questions With...Hannah R. Goodman YA author of The Maddie Chronicles and its sequel Till It Stops Beating.
1. Give us a tweet-sized pitch of your latest book.
The Maddie Chronicles: A young woman's journey through high school where she experiences love, loss, and addiction...all wrapped up in painfully hilarious story-telling. (Ok, so tweeting is not my forte!)
2. Why did you write this book?
I wrote each of these stories as a way to recover from the agony of high school and also as a way to reach out to teens today who are in a similar agony.
3. What has been the hardest part of the publishing process?
Understanding that talent, an agent (or two), an MFA, winning awards and accolades for your writing, and hard work are not necessarily enough to get you into the door of the Big 5 publishers. After 20 years, I still cannot figure out what that "special something" is that not only opens those doors but escorts you through!
ALSO, author events can be humiliating and yet sometimes the opposite—sometimes they can be so lovely and fun. (Try not to take any of this personally...easier said than done!)
4. What has been the biggest (pleasant) surprise in your publishing journey?
The camaraderie among us self and/or indie pubbed folks has been so lovely and inspiring to me.
I think always start out by submitting to agents and the Big 5 because you never know. However, don't spend decades doing this because before you know it, you will be tired and, quite frankly, bitter. That being said, I say, give that a go first because it COULD work! If it doesn't and you are PASSIONATE about your writing (not about making money and/or seeking fame) then do some research on self-publishing and small press publishing. Whichever way you choose, have your eyes WIDE OPEN to the reality that you most likely will not make money off of this venture. Understand that you have to approach this as a passion project. This will reduce the stress and (unrealistic) expectations lots of authors put on themselves, stress and expectation that shrinks their (already fragile) self-esteem to just a shriveled, pile of nothingness. If you lower the expectations and focus on creating a beautiful book, whatever comes after that will feel like gold. This is my opinion based on my almost 20 years in the publishing world. Other folks have drastically different and very opposite opinions. You can listen to all of us, but at the end of the day, listen to yourself and evaluate your own situation.
6. What’s the worst advice you have ever received about publishing?
"Don't self-publish." DISAGREE! Self-publishing has been cathartic and liberating. Plus it got me a lot of press back in the day, including being featured in Publishers Weekly, and it brought me to both of my agents. #writergoals
7. What author or book has influenced your writing?
Judy Blume is my jam all the way!
8. What is your philosophy about rejection?
Each no brings you closer to a yes...also I'm not for everyone and everyone is not for me.
9. Tell us the brutally honest truth about being an indie (self-published/small press published/unfamous) author. (Please don’t be offended by my irreverence).
Three truths and one lie: 1. The money, time, and energy will never be reflected in your profits. 2. Booksellers don't really love consignment but the nice ones tolerate it. 3. Going the small press route is very similar to self-publishing but the support aspect of it so very much worth it. 4. Non-indie or non-self-published authors totally understand our plight. (Can you figure out the lie?)