Scarlet Blog Tour – One Year After Publication: 5 Things I’ve Learned by Marissa Meyer
We’re so thrilled to have Marissa Meyer stopping by today on her blog tour for Scarlet, book two in The Lunar Chronicles. If you haven’t started this wonderful series yet, never fear, you still have time to get caught up by reading Cinder before Scarlet‘s release on February 5th.
Marissa has kindly agreed to share some of the things she’s learned since the publication of Cinder one year ago.
One Year After Publication: Things I’ve Learned
By Marissa Meyer
My first novel, Cinder, came out just over a year ago. At the time, I couldn’t have imagined how my life was going to change, or how many brand-new experiences I was about to encounter. 2012 was definitely my biggest learning curve to date! Now, as I prepare for the launch of Scarlet: Book Two of the Lunar Chronicles, I’m looking back at some of the things I learned during my debut year.
1. Fans are the best advocates.
I’ve been very lucky to have a publisher willing and able to promote my books, but it’s become clear that no amount of marketing dollars, ads, conferences, or promo items can come close to holding the power that the fans themselves hold. Fans tell their friends and family about the book. Fans convince librarians and booksellers to order more copies. Fans create fanart and fanfiction and online communities to share their enthusiasm. Fans drive for hours to attend a signing and wear red shoes and cosplay at conventions and give the book as gifts and leave reviews on every review site they can find. Fans are awesome. Fans make a difference.
2. Touring is a lot easier once you learn the tricks of travel.
I’ve been on a lot of airplanes this year, and it took me a while to get the hang of this constant traveling thing. How to pack a carry-on suitcase with two weeks’ worth of cute outfits. How to survive security with a little bit of dignity intact. What snacks to have on hand so as to avoid overpriced airline food (hint: protein bars and dried fruits are your friend). Which scarves walk the line between cozy wrap and classy fashion accessory.
Touring can be hard work, but at least I’m finally to the point where I can get off an airplane still feeling like I have my act together.
3. Some of the biggest rewards come from pushing beyond your comfort zone.
I’ve had quite a few mini panic moments this last year, but no matter how intimidated I am by something, I’ve made a personal resolution to say yes to every new request (within reason… see also #4).
So they say I should be giving Skype presentations to book clubs? Okay—just let me get my webcam working. My publisher needs a promo video for Amazon shoppers? Sure—as soon as I figure out how to work Movie Maker. Someone wants a radio or TV interview with me? No problem—how scary could it be? Some conference asked me to be a keynote speaker? Sounds great—but what does that mean, exactly?
I realize there’s a first time for everything, and the sooner I try something (and survive!), the sooner I can stop being scared by it. Luckily, I’ve found that things are rarely as difficult or terrifying as I thought they would be. So when a request comes up to do something I’ve never done before, I just take a deep breath, smile, and go for it.
4. Sometimes you really do have to say “no.”
All that said, this year has also been a test in priorities and time management. I’ve learned that there is always more work to be done—blog posts to write, emails and interviews to respond to, web site updates to make, events to prepare for, contracts to read, and on and on. All the non-writing aspects of a writing career can easily take over our days. To protect our sanity, we have to know when to say no. I no longer accept every guest post request, or attend every book fair, or do every school visit I’m invited to. I have to be choosier about where I send review copies. I have to make concessions as to how much time I spend on social networks. I have to pass on quite a few blurb requests, even if it means turning down free books (*sobs*). But when it adds up to more time spent doing what I really want to be doing—writing!—it’s worth it.
Which brings me to…
5. There will never be “enough time” to write. Write anyway.
You know when you’re going to school or working a day job or raising a family, you tend to fantasize about the life of a full-time writer? You envision long, uninterrupted days when it’s just you and your laptop and your characters?
Well, I’ve been a “full-time writer” for two years now and I still fantasize about that life! And maybe there are writers who achieve that firm separation between writing and… everything else. Writers who manage to carve out blissfully long workdays of writing. I’m not one of them. At least, not yet. Between travel, a social life, and all those promotion things mentioned above, I’ve found that I appreciate my writing time more than ever. I’m still squeezing in an hour of writing between a morning blog post and an afternoon phone interview. I’m still stealing away to the bedroom after dinner to knock out another 1,000 words after a full day of school visits.
I guess I’m glad that I learned how to balance writing with a full life before it became my occupation. Just like I’m glad I still have those daydreams of “what my writing life will be like… someday.”
After all, it’s nice to have something to work toward. And, one year after publication, I can feel good in knowing that my writing career has really just begun.
Thank you so much for sharing these with us Marissa!
About The Lunar Chronicles:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Download the first five chapters of Cinder for free onto your e-reader: http://goo.gl/XqLWG
Watch the trailer here: http://goo.gl/AXGwm
Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Download the first five chapters of Scarlet for free onto your e-reader:http://goo.gl/S2Bcs
Watch the trailer here: http://goo.gl/CmhSP
Pre-Order Scarlet and send in your receipt! The first 1,000 people who do will get a Scarlet-branded lip gloss! US only! Get the details: goo.gl/yycA5
Become a fan of The Lunar Chronicles on Facebook where you can stay up-to-date on all things Lunar Chronicles: https://www.facebook.com/lunarchronicles
Catch Marissa Meyer on tour: https://www.facebook.com/lunarchronicles/events
Courtesy of Macmillan, we have one paperback copy of Cinder and a hardcover copy of Scarlet to give away. (US/Canada only.)