07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Christy Carlyle: Lessons Learned on the Hybrid Path

Happy Blog-o-versary! Thank you, Judith and Sarah, for inviting me to Romancing the Genres’ sixth anniversary! I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to blog at RTG back in 2011.

For those who don’t know me, I write Victorian-set historical romance. When I posted during last year’s blog-o-versary, I mentioned my goal of being a hybrid author. I’m still working at that goal. I wrote three more books for Avon Books in 2016, but I also published a novella on my own.

This year, I have even bigger plans, and I’m already looking ahead to 2018 and beyond. You see planning a year ahead is one of the lessons I’ve learned as I continue on the hybrid path.

I’ve also learned to juggle. My days have never flown by as quickly as they do now that I’m a full-time writer. If I don’t tackle many activities (administrative tasks, marketing, social media), I quickly fall behind. This is true of my writing too. While working on a manuscript, I’m getting better at scheduling in planning and plotting time on other projects.

As a hybrid author, I can’t afford to focus on a single project and forget everything else. It’s a matter of juggling. I’m still dropping balls occasionally, but I’m getting better at keeping them in the air. Right now, for instance, I’m waiting for edits on one book, adding words to a novella that I started months ago, and doing research for my first historical mystery, which I plan to finish drafting by the end of the month.

Being a hybrid author is an adventure with few safety nets, but I’ve learned to embrace the risks and the opportunities. When I sign a contract with my publisher, the expectations are clear, from deadlines to word counts. Those boundaries are comforting. In self-publishing, I’m in charge of every decision, which can be daunting, yet it’s also a chance to learn.

Since I published my first story in 2014, I’ve studied formatting, marketing, and how to upload my book at each retailer. But I’ve learned from my traditional publishing experience too. Nothing has helped me grow as a writer like the lessons learned while working with my Avon editor. 

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Reina M. Williams said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Christy! Wishing continued success to a talented woman! :)

Sarah Raplee said...

We're so glad to catch up with you, Christy! A historical mystery - you are branching out again! To publish so many books in a year you definitely have a lot to juggle!

I'm still trying to figure that out. Tweaking my process.

Best of luck in the future with your hybrid career!

Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks, Reina and Sarah!

I hope you're doing well too, Reina. Wishing you all the best. Always.

Sarah, it is a juggle, isn't it? I'm still learning. And there are days when I fail completely, but I love what I'm doing so that keeps me motivated to keep trying. :)