ACFW's Carol Award finalists (and, no, I didn't make it this year). Just as Maslow postulated that humans have a hierarchy of needs, I believe there is a similar pyramid for a potential writer.
At the base of the pyramid is the thought, "I'm going to write a book." And those who carry that out--who actually put tens of thousands of words together until they reach "the end"--are to be congratulated. They have done something not everyone has done.
But then come the dual steps of gaining representation by an agent and getting acceptance by an editor or publisher. That's something to celebrate. However, the writer's tasks are just beginning. Once a book is published, there are several goals for a writer: reviews, sales and awards.
Good reviews by sources such as Romantic Times Book Reviews are sought after and enjoyed when they come. When they don't, writers often wonder what they did wrong. The answer is that tastes in books are different, and what one reviewer pans a reader might love. Go figure.
I won't go into some of the tricks that have been used in the past to get books onto a "best-seller list." Let's just say that the definition is a loose one, and although I could use the term I choose not to.
As for awards, there are a number of them out there. I've been fortunate to have my share, but it pains me when I find myself frustrated not to be a finalist for every one. That's not how it works--or, at least, not how it should.
I haven't even talked about publishing a second or fifth or thirtieth book. When I started trying to write seriously, I had no idea the industry was this complicated. Did you?
What's your take on my "hierarchy of needs" for a writer? I'd love to hear.