"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"
I'm pleased to feature a publicist's perspective:
Remember that writing is just the beginning. When your book is accepted by a publisher and the manuscript is complete, your second job begins. It's time to market yourself! Many authors would love to leave it up to your publicist, and that may be possible, but many of the most successful authors I've worked with are masterminds at self promotion.
You can start small, with a web presence. Create a professional website, complete with blog, and build a community around your characters in your books. Don't forget to visit other's blogs and to make friends with readers and potential readers. Then contact your local bookstores to build yourself and your books in your hometown. I once knew an author who singlehandedly put himself on best-seller lists by making friends with the staff at his local Barnes & Noble. From there the sky is the limit-and there are several books written on the subject you can check out.
Connecting with your readers one on one creates lifelong fans and makes all the writing and hard work worthwhile!
--Vicky Lynch, publicist, Tyndale House Publishers. Visit their website here.