Author Guest Post – P.J. Hoover

Do It Yourself!

Being a writer is hardly even about the writing anymore. Sure, you still have to slap down some words on the page (unless you manage to hire magic elves to do this part for you). (By the way, if you find those magic elves, please let me know!) But once you get the words down and have, or are preparing for, a book, what comes next?

As an author, there are a handful of other things you need (beside the magic elves). Like a website. And strong marketing skills. And a social media presence. And sure, you can hire people to take care of many of these things for you, but I want to offer one word (or a few) of caution. Sometimes this puts you in a pickle.

Let’s say someone else is maintaining your website. Sure, you never have to touch html code, but when you get your
gorgeous new cover for your book that’s coming out soon (like I just got for my debut young adult novel, Solstice (Tor Teen, June 2013)), you’re going to want to slap that baby on your website pronto. What if your website maintainer is out of town? Or only updates bi-monthly per your contract? You have to sit around and wait. You panic because you’re sure millions of people are going to visit your website the day you announce your new cover, but it won’t be there! Ack!

Another possibility is book trailers. Yes, it is very tempting to have someone else do this for you. You don’t have to learn new software. You don’t have to do anything but offer feedback until it is perfect. But then, possibly you find out an image is copyrighted and you didn’t know. You have to change that image out, and fast! Once again, you are at the mercy of the video maker. They may charge for this. They may take a long time. They may have other work ahead of you.

Similarly, when you join author marketing groups, you’ll need to bring something of value to the table. Cooperative author marketing groups are much more successful for all involved when all members have something valuable to contribute. You don’t want to be the dinosaur that lives in the cave, never touching all those hard, computer-type things like jpgs and wmvs.

By learning to do at least some of these things for yourself, you’re (1) stretching yourself as an author, (2) becoming independent, and (3) becoming more valuable to yourself and others.

Please join P. J. Hoover at the Austin SCBWI Digital Symposium: The Nuts and Bolts of Success on Saturday, October 6th, 2012, at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Full line-up and information can be found here.

About Solstice:

Piper’s world is dying. Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.

An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik’s cubes, and watching Star Trek. For more information, please visit her website at http://www.pjhoover.com .

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