Saturday, February 27, 2016

Coming Clean: How to Tell Others That You Write

For many of us independent authors, we started out in the moonlight hours. By day we are accountants, firemen, teachers and telemarketers, but at night, WHAM! We throw on our fancy capes and live the glorious lives of characters that exist only in our minds.

At some point, we are ready to emerge from the darkness and present our baby to the world. We may attempt the traditional publishing route at first, or go directly to the less formidable self-publishing. Either way, our blood, sweat and tears will see the light of day.

Whether or not you decide to quit your day job, we will all have to tell the world that we are writers. It might be that we need to be present for our marketing strategy, or maybe we need to contact independent bookstores and beg for mercy. No matter what, the truth has to come out.

Why don’t we just tell everyone from the get go? Why is there such a stigma for new or independent authors? For some of us, the content of our novels may not jive with our daily lives. Accountant by day, erotica novelist by night; perhaps not a great conversation starter at lunch. 

Or maybe there is some mildly inappropriate component to our novel that we don’t necessarily want to reflect on ourselves or our family. Just imagine: “Hey Grams, I just wrote this book! Kids are dropping F-bombs and making out in the back seat like you wouldn’t believe! Can you pass it around to all your friends?”

Perhaps we’re just nervous of being judged. Writing has a tendency to be intensely personal, even if the content is fictional. What if someone reads our book and doesn’t like it? We could go down in writing infamy, to lie for all eternity somewhere next to Rebecca Black and William Hung.

So who should you tell and where should you start? First, consider whether or not the content of your work could have negative repercussions for your job. Do you teach elementary school? Then it’s probably great if your students, parents, and coworkers are in the know about a children’s book you just published. On the other hand, if you wrote a book about sex crimes, you might just want to keep that to yourself between nine and five.

Second, could your friends and family be negatively represented by your novel? If you wrote a young adult novel about time travel, you’re probably safe. If you wrote a book on the misery of your childhood and all the therapy you had to pay for, then perhaps you shouldn’t mention your book at Thanksgiving. It’s just not polite.

Then, consider if your friends and family could represent a network connection for your genre. My mom happens to host a monthly book club for some wine enthusiasts. I offered them an early copy of my book and was floored by their enthusiastic support. Go moms!

Most importantly, do you love writing? Has writing become a part of who you are? If there isn’t a reason to keep it to yourself, then by all means share it with the world! Shout it from the proverbial mountain top. Tell your barista at Starbucks, the girls who bags your groceries, and anyone else you can get to listen.

In fact, it may be easier to start with strangers. For all you know, you’ll never see them again. A guy on the corner asks for your spare change? Lean out your window and shout “I wrote a book and it’s damn good!” Sweet little lady in the elevator wants to swap life stories? Feel free to drop in a “I’ve been writing in my basement for three years” between breaths.

It’s time to embrace it. Be proud of who you are. You are a writer. Someday you will be published. Go forth and tell the world! 

**Today's Guest Post by Author RS McCoy**

Rachel McCoy is a Texan living in New Jersey. Between binge watching MTV reality shows and baking gluten free treats, she writes paranormal fantasy and science fiction novels. She is the self-published author of the Sparks Saga trilogy as well as numerous short stories, some of which now reside in anthologies. Back when she lived in the real world, Rachel earned a degree in marine biology, which contributed to her die-hard love of manta rays.

To connect with RS McCoy (or swap recipes), visit her on her website ( or check out her Facebook page ( You can also join her newsletter to receive release updates, free stories, and bonus extras (

**Works by RS McCoy**

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