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When Opportunity Knocks

So I was sitting here thinking about what I wanted to blog about and two fantastic thoughts hit me at once.

Nora Roberts’ 200th book, THE WITNESS, hits shelves today, April 17th. This is her 200th published book in a career that began with her first book, IRISH THOROUGHBRED, in 1981.

Jennifer Probsts’ book, THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN, has been sitting atop Amazon’s bestseller list almost since its release in mid-February and for the last two weeks has been on the New York Times and USA Today (for five weeks) lists. She’s the first author to put Entangled Publishing on the New York Times list.  Oh, and to make the story even better, Entangled is about a year old as a publisher.

What I think is so incredibly fascinating about both accomplishments is that they are representative of the vast opportunity that exists for authors right now.

At this very moment.

For a long time, traditional publishing was the only avenue offered to authors. And as Nora’s talent and hard work can attest, it’s a pretty great path. But as Jennifer’s hard work and recent success notes, it’s no longer the only path. Now, thanks to the increasing opportunities digital publishing has created, there are more avenues to authors than ever before. There have been volumes of words written on this subject so far and this really isn’t meant to be a post about the specific avenue an author chooses.

Rather, my goal in this post is to celebrate THE OPPORTUNITY for authors.

And right now, there is an incredible amount of opportunity. Traditional publishing is taking more risks and finding out what they can do in the electronic space. Digital-first publishing is taking bold risks while also navigating the print and foreign rights waters. Independent publishing is allowing readers to find new authors and is also allowing works that might have had a more niche audience find readers.

Opportunity is everywhere.

Despite all these new avenues for authors, there’s one thing that is as true today as it was for Nora Roberts in 1981. All this opportunity will only be realized when we add gobs and gobs of hard work into the mix.

Time spent learning craft is as important as it ever was. Working on our manuscripts and revising and polishing is as important as it ever was. Writing a good book that resonates with readers is as important as it ever was.

Opportunity is knocking. Are you ready to answer the call?

Happy Writing!

Addison

PS

My congratulations to Nora Roberts on the release of her 200th book and to Jennifer Probst on the success of THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN. I wish them both many, many more successes.

33 responses to “When Opportunity Knocks”

  1. Kim Law says:

    Terrific points, Addison!!! It’s a very exciting time right now, and yeah…WOW to both of these authors.

    And I just have to say…can you imagine celebrating book 200? Simply. Amazing.

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    • Addison Fox says:

      I so agree Kim – it’s just such a neat time to be an author. And the romance market is so diverse.

      And yes, 200 books is an incredible accomplishment.

      Addison

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  2. Liz Talley says:

    Great post, Addison, and hard to believe Nora has published 200 books! And Jennifer’s story is amazing. I’ve heard about her hitting both lists and wondered how she managed that – luck? promotions? Right time, right place? I’d be so interested to see how she and Entangled managed to put a book up on the lists so quickly. Very interesting.

    As to opportunity knocking, I always think about that Edison quote about most people not recognizing when opportunty knocks because it’s dressed in overalls. There is something to be said for working hard to create your opportunity, but at least now, an author has more control on getting his or her work out there.

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  3. Diana Layne says:

    Amazing opportunities today, thank goodness! And yes, congrats to Nora (wouldn’t you love to study her brain?) and to Jennifer!

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    • Addison Fox says:

      I so agree, Diana.

      There are just so many paths to publishing right now – it’s so exciting!!

      Addison

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  4. Tia Ramirez says:

    This was a great post! And it really is an incredible time to be an author. There are so many opportunities out there for us. It’s a little intimidating but so exciting all at once.

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    • Addison Fox says:

      Tia:

      I completely agree! And whenever it feels a little intimidating I just focus on the exciting part 🙂

      Addison

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  5. 200th book! Wow! I’m in awe of Nora Roberts! And very excited to see Jennifer and Entangled hitting the lists with a digital-first book as well! This is such an exciting time to be in publishing…lots of changes, lots of interesting stuff going on. There’s no longer one single path to success. The hardest part is trying to figure out which one is right for us! 🙂

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    • Addison Fox says:

      So true, Cynthia!

      I also think that part of the excitement is knowing that there are several paths that will work. I love the freedom of choice authors have right now.

      Addison

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  6. HI Addison! This is such a great post! First off, Nora Roberts is a literal goddess to me – her dedication to her craft, sense of humor, and talent is beyond anything. Just for you to mention me in the same paragraph blew my mind!
    Second, the main theme of your blog post is key: opportunity! I am beyond amazed at the success of The Marriage Bargain, but I’ve seen such wonderful stories all around us in the past year or two. Self pubbed authors hitting the lists. Authors flitting back and forth between print and digital. Social media opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of. And the give and take with blogs, review sites, twitter, facebook, etc. It is such an exciting time for everyone! Thank you again for the lovely mention, and kudos to every single writer who is doing the same exact thing as I am: working hard, learning craft, making friends, using social media, and writing, writing and more writing! I can’t wait to celebrate when you make your own list Addison!

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    • Kim Law says:

      Hi Jennifer! Welcome to the Ruby blog!!! And super congrats on all your success!!!! I was at a regional conference recently and heard your name a lot so had to rush right out (to my smartphone) and buy your book. Loved it! Hope every one your write does so well!

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      • Thanks so much Kim! I’m so glad you loved the book! And I am SO much a part of the Ruby sisterhood now – I just love this blog! And big thanks to you Addison – may all the Nora fans unite!!

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    • Addison Fox says:

      Jennifer:

      I’m so glad you’ve joined us today!!! And I have much Nora love, too. Her accomplishments are all rooted in doing the work and she sets such a shining example for all writers of what to do that’s right, 100% of the time.

      Write! 🙂

      Addison

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    • Kelley says:

      Jennifer,

      I discovered The Marriage Bargain while checking out Entangled’s site. You’ve written a terrific book—funny, magical, romantic—and it is selling like crazy. I’m enjoying it completely. Apparently, I’m not the only one.

      Congratulations and good luck with it,

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Big, big, big congrats on your success, Jennifer!!! It’s incredibly inspiring!!!

      And I’m so glad you’re here with the Rubies!!!

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  7. It blows my mind how many opportunities there are out there – and 200 books?! I saw that on Twitter and was totally amazed. What a fun (and sometimes frustrating, but mostly exciting) time to be an author!

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    • Addison Fox says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Anne Marie!

      It’s such a fun time. There really is no greater job in the world and to know now that there are so many avenues for our work just makes it even more exciting.

      Addison

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  8. Sometimes too many choices can be more intimidating than the lack thereof; the road is less defined, the rules flexible, and charlatans abound. That said, smart and savvy writers with books that defy marketing niches are much better off today than they were even back in 09 (yeah, just three years. Amazing, isn’t it?)

    Congratulations to Nora, of course. The number is staggering in itself, but to have maintained the quality is a testament to a great talent.

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    • Addison Fox says:

      I know, Gwyn – it’s hard to believe it’s only been 3 years. I feel like I’ve known you all forever, you’re such a wonderful part of my life.

      And 200 books of the highest quality – and “supreme keeper-ness” – is such an awesome accomplishment!

      Addison

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      It ASTONISHES me how much the publishing world has changed (and expanded) since 2009!!

      This truly is an exciting time to be a writer!

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  9. Rita Henuber says:

    Great post. You are so right. Opportunities abound. It’s more important now than it ever has been to be very clear about what you want. Where you want your career to go. It’s also extremely important, as you said, to hone your craft. I am amazed at how the publishing industry has changed in the past five years. I’ve watched authors who were doing relatively well five years ago disappear because they were able to keep up with the changes. It’s those that improvise and overcome who become the conquerors.

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    • Addison Fox says:

      So true Rita – it all still comes down to craft. The work always wins in the end!!!

      Addison

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  10. Wonderful post, Addison! I agree. Opportunities abound for writers right now. What an exciting time we live in! Can you imagine publishing 200 books??? Wow, Nora is amazing. I’m struggling with my sixth right now. LOL. But I definitely love all the avenues authors have. Go forth and write!

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  11. Tamara Hogan says:

    I’m a Nora Roberts fangirl from WAY back. Not only do I own a copy of IRISH THOROUGHBRED, which I purchased myself in 1981, but I own every book she’s ever written. I swear, my bookshelf is 1/4 Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb.

    Isn’t it funny how much the publishing industry’s changed since we were all named Golden Heart finalists in 2009? A mere three years ago, a multi-book deal with a traditional publisher was pertty much the holy grail. Now, there are so many more options available for writers to get their words out into the world.

    It’s a really exciting time to be a writer!

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    • Addison Fox says:

      Sounds like we’re both in the Nora-book-hoarding-club. I’ve got them too! 🙂

      Addison

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  12. Kelley says:

    200. I’m tired just thinking about it.

    Thanks, Addison, for an inspiring post.

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    • Addison Fox says:

      Kelley:

      So glad you joined us today – thanks for your kind words!

      And 200 is really such a mind-boggling number. Figuring an average of 80,000 words a book (balancing out her category work vs. her longer single title work), that’s 16 million words.

      Truly AMAZING!!!!

      Addison

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  13. Elisa Beatty says:

    Great post, Addison! Sorry I got here so late! You have me all shivery with the publishing possibilities out there….and, yes, congrats to both Nora and Jennifer! Inspiring all around!

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