Romance has been a booming genre since it took off in the early 1970s, however, how do authors who have been writing for most of their careers keep the spark of creativity alive? Yesterday, authors Rosanne Bittner, Jennifer Blake and RT’s own Kathryn Falk sat down for a discussion about how writing is as much a business as it is a passion. With a collective (and incredibly impressive) 95 years in the industry, these pioneers of the genre shared essential tips and tricks for not just surviving in publishing, but conquering the business side of romance writing!
Passion is a big part of romance novels, sure, but according to publishing pioneer Rosanne Bittner, it's also the fuel that will power your career. "Passion can help our careers by bringing us new perspective and keeping us at the computer," says Bittner. It was that drive that kept Bittner and her panel mate Jennifer Blake, writing — on manual typewriters, with carbon paper and whiteout, no less — with full-time jobs and children and husbands to feed and clothe.
But for the ladies, it's also been fun. Bittner says, "I like to joke that I've written 57 books and had 57 affairs." Along the way, Bittner advises sticking to your guns, "because not just anybody can write a good story," while encouraging aspiring writers to submit their work. "Failure is not being rejected. Failure is never submitting to begin with."
Of course, there's going to be a lot of rejection along the way, and as RT founder Kathryn Falk acknowledges, things in publishing are tough, but this entrepreneur extraordinaire says, "Somebody's going to make it, it might as well be you!" Falk added, "the smartest thing to do is turn your hobby into a business."
All in all, Blake advises aspiring writers, "Proactive, perseverance, persistence, and most of all, passion," are the keys to a successful publishing career." And as a legend in romance, she certainly knows of what she writes!
You can get more tips all year round at the RT Aspiring Authors Page. And check back later today for coverage of today’s annual Giant Bookfair! (Or if you’re in the Chicago area, come join us for the fair ($5/person) or for the second annual Teen Day for YA enthusiasts and first-ever FAN-tastic Day for adult booklovers!)