Kinley Baker – 7 Secrets to Surviving Publishing

Happy Friday everyone! Casey Wyatt here.

Today we have a special guest – Kinley Baker. She is the author of the newly released, fantasy romance — Ruined. Stay tuned at the end of the post to learn more.

Kinley has 7 secrets

Kinley is here to share her 7 secrets to surviving publishing.


Thank you for letting me visit today at the Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes Blog! I’m so glad to be here. And I’ve decided to share 7 secrets to surviving publishing.

Like any secret, I don’t generally talk about these things on-line. But since I feel like I’ve just jumped off Round 1 of the publishing rollercoaster, I started thinking that someone may be saved a little pain if I shared these details. These are my own opinions. You may think they are wrong. I’ll try to be okay with that and assert my own authority (see #5).

Here are my 7 secrets to surviving publishing:

1.) Finish your book. Keep working, learning and writing. Finishing the book is the biggest step and you’ve got plenty of aspiring authors out there to cheer you on and offer encouragement.

2.) Make friends. There are hundreds of people like you lurking on the internet. Maybe thousands, but that’s kind of scary to think about. These hundreds of people want to be writers. Find someone who is at the same place as you in their writing journey and talk to each other. As long as you like and believe in your friend’s writing, you can’t go wrong with this.

3.) Form your own clique. This is following secret #2. Do you notice all those writer cliques? They get together at conferences, drink wine and talk about their children? There’s generally loud squealing when they see each other. Do you ever wonder how to become a part of that clique? You make your own. Find a few other people who have no idea what they’re doing, too, and form a support group. The cliques you see now at conferences, which make me uncomfortable because I’m an introvert and shy as heck, have been forming for the past 5, 10, even 20 years. If you are not part of a clique, I guarantee if you stick around in this industry, you will find one. Someway. Somehow.

4.) Everything happens for a reason. It recently occurred to me that while I believe everything happens for a reason, I don’t actually believe everything happens for a reason. Because if I was a true believer, those rejections wouldn’t make my gut wrench. I wouldn’t feel tears brimming on my lashes. A fever wouldn’t make me feel suddenly ill when I open the rejecting e-mail. If I was a true believer that everything happened for a reason, I could give a regal nod in rejection’s direction and continue my day. But it’s not that simple. Rejection sucks. And it’s around every corner in this industry. Yes, even that corner up ahead that looks all clear. Rejection sucks. Rejection continues. If you can, look at every rejection as an opportunity. I’m obviously still working on this one.

5.) Make your own authority. Sometimes I look around in confusion and wonder who gave out all the power, and why I wasn’t around when it happened. Everything is kind of backwards in terms of the advice giving. What makes you qualified? Last week, I taught a workshop on dialog tags. One person told me they understood something they’d been struggling with. Who am I to think I can teach a workshop after publishing one book? Well, no one. But it helped one person and I learned a lot, so it was worth it. People will talk down to you with this imaginary authority they’ve given . . . themselves???–I guess, still haven’t figured this out. I’m not encouraging anyone to talk down to anyone, but level the playing field. If you’ve published a book and the person you’re talking to hasn’t, step up to their level from where they’re talking down to you with asserted authority. They may be trying to give you advice, but they could probably learn more from you. If you are like me, you don’t automatically have confidence and allot yourself value. Value yourself and your work. I’m also still working on this one.

6.) Turn back now. Seriously. Just turn around and go back home. This is not an industry for the faint hearted. If I would have known it would be like this, I never would have had the courage to jump into publishing. If I would have known how long this uphill trek stretched, I’m not sure I would have had the strength to start. I’m still climbing a steep incline. That’s how long it is. If I hadn’t naively walked down this road with a backpack and a tale to tell, I’m not sure I’d be here at all.

7.) Be nice. It’s that simple. This is kind of a life question I often ponder. Why do people go out of their way to make other people feel bad? I don’t get it. I’m naïve, blah, blah. I still don’t get it. I dislike when people make me feel bad. Why would I intentionally do that to someone else? If I’ve ever made you feel bad, I apologize. I know it happens and often times the offender doesn’t even know they are doing anything wrong. But just be nice if you can. I’ve run into some really mean people and this is a small industry. I still remember the woman who was ridiculously cruel to me last year. I’ll always associate her name with rudeness. Burn bridges if you have to, but I’m going to be over here in the corner trying to be nice. Honest, but nice. The person that I may have burned ten years ago could be the next bestselling author. That person will probably say no when I send them my request for a cover blurb. (I didn’t actually burn anyone ten years ago, just as an fyi. I haven’t been around that long. Lol.)

This is what I’ve come up with for surviving publishing. I’m sure each day will bring a new challenge and my list will constantly change. But for now, I’m going to go read the list again and remind myself of these points.

Kinley Baker is the author of the fantasy romance, Ruined. She read her first romance novel at the age of thirteen and immediately fell in love with the hero and the genre. She lives with her husband and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. You can find Kinley at

And as promised – Ruined:


Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court’s Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient’s.

Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he’s given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family’s hold on the land–and his deceiving advisors aren’t afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.

But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.

Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.

Does anyone have their own secrets of survival? Any questions for Kinley? Don’t be shy!



23 thoughts on “Kinley Baker – 7 Secrets to Surviving Publishing”

  1. Thanks for your candor, Kinley. I hear you about the uphill climb and questioning the journey. That comes under the heading, “be careful what you wish for.” We all want to be published authors–in theory. But since we don’t truly know what the experience will bring, we can’t imagine it until it happens and then it’s about holding on for the wild ride.

    Great advice and the book looks excellent!

    1. Thanks, PJ, for your encouragement on the book! I’m holding on for the wild ride even as my fingers slip. 😀 I think I was always aware there would be complications to a dream as simple as… I want people to read my stories. But I had no idea the complications would be so… complicated? Lol.

  2. I do! My advice would be (in addition to being nice, with which I wholeheartedly agree!): Be patient. Time in the publishing world moves much, much more slowly than time in the real world.

    1. Excellent addition, Kristan! Patience should definitely be on the list. I probably didn’t include it because I have none. 🙂 Although lately I find myself on publishing time. “Oh, did three months pass?” Unless I have something on submission. Then I do count the weeks.

  3. Thanks for your honesty and kindness, Kinley. I started my journey a year and 2 months ago. I’m still editing my first book and working on a first draft of a second book. Never did I imagine I would get so sucked into my characters or my worlds. Though I love writing, oftentimes I succumb to that blasted “Doubt Monster.” But quiting for me is not an option. Like you said, this is an uphill battle. I just hope someday I will conquer it.

    1. Thanks for posting, Joy! Every huge author started where we are now. Some journeys were more difficult than others, but they all conquered their own self doubt. They just don’t tell us how hard it really is to win against ourselves. We’ll conquer it. If I think of it as… if the biggest hurdle is myself, I’m not really that scary. Kind of crazy if cornered. But not scary.

  4. Hi Kinley! What a great post! And if you feel like it, check out our blog tomorrow…it has to do with people who aren’t nice and one way to deal with them…but thanks for your advice! I think we all need to wear a little bit of arrogance as armor to protect us in this industry. So when people aren’t being nice, just imagine their nastiness bouncing off your t-shirt and landing back on themself with a splat. That’s what I do…;)

    1. Hi J! I will check out your post tomorrow. I need some more tools. It’s very hard for me to recognize that one person could have made me quit. We have to be tough enough to persevere even if their logic is right. I’ll work on the bouncing off. 🙂

  5. Thanks, Kinley! I love the title of your book, the cover, and the premise. Sounds like a winning combination, and I can’t wait to read it. Your points about finding or forming your own support group are very well taken, and very timely considering that next week the Scribes are all going to be talking about that very topic. Best of luck with Ruined.

    1. Thanks Susannah! I’m so glad Ruined sounds like a good read. I will definitely stop by for the forming your own support group week. We can never have too many people who believe in us. I constantly battle to believe in myself, so supporters help me see the light. I appreciate your support of Ruined!

    1. Thanks Karin! The first rejection after selling is the hardest. But I take heart that even NYT Bestselling authors come up with ideas that don’t work. We’re not alone in rejection.

  6. Hi Kinley, Thank you for sharing with us. I especially like your point about your workshop helping one person. I think if you can even reach or touch the soul of one person, you have done your job, and no one should have anything to say about it. Brava. I also get attacks from the Doubt Monster, but I know the only way to make that beast back off is to keep going. The really interesting thing about a writer’s journey is we all strive toward the same destination, yet, we all travel different paths to get there. Thank you for sharing yours.

  7. Loved this post, Kinley! Great advice, particularly your doing a workshop. The individual you helped made it worthwhile. After all, writers are made one at a time.

    I’ve watched too many writers become hoarders — hoarders of information that could help fellow writers if they’d only share. Someone else succeeding by use of shared information does NOT detract from your efforts. The simplest kindness can pay off a thousand-fold later in a career. And any deliberate hurt can throw ten-ton roadblocks in your path later. I’ve never understood malicious people, and I’m sorry you had to experience one. Common decency should be an enforced Life rule!

    I hope you keep this realisttic, yet sparkling, attitude through your entire writing journey!


    1. Thanks, Runere! Writers are made one at a time. Great point. I think authors are starting to see value in sharing their knowledge. I know I’ve read a lot of blog posts that pointed me in the right direction or encouraged me to travel the right road.

      The more I think about it, the more I realize that the person probably wasn’t trying to be mean. She was just looking out for her own best interest. This is a business and I get that. But it’s a business made up of people you’ll probably run into again.

      Wow! Realistic, yet sparkling. I love it! I’ll strive to make it true. I appreciate the kind words.

  8. Congratulations and success Kinley with Ruined. And for the wise words! The world is a teeny tiny world. You meet someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone, ad infinitum, so be nice to everyone is the way of the world. Thank you for the great post.

    1. Thanks Gale! I try to be nice to everyone even though I know I fail sometimes. The world is a small place. To demonstrate, one time at a writing conference I met a woman who went to High School with another lady I shared a house with in college. Random!

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