As an author, I have attended a number of conferences and writing classes. It’s part of what you do to become a better writer. That being say, one of my personal pet peeves is when a new author ask a teacher, editor, or the main speaker. We’ve all heard it…wait for it. “What do I need to do to become published?”
Now, the question is not the problem for me. It is the answer that has me putting my hair out and ready to walk out the door. Here is the standard answer to the question…“Write the best book you can.”
Well, duh, how exactly does this help them or answer the question?
Does it go into the art of writing, the mechanics of writing, explore the changing landscape of the publishing world, or the many jobs an author needs to perfect to sell their work?
No, it’s a lazy way of saying. “I don’t want to waste my time helping you because I’m up here to get you to buy my books not help you.” Okay, that’s a little harsh. Yet, why can’t they say something like “the answer to that question takes years to discover and is different for every person who decides to write a book.”
Okay, not exactly helpful either.
So if an author wanted to give more than a six word answer. Where would they start?
Personally, I’ll agree it starts with the writing. Yet, again the answer is more complex that just the standard answer…“of write what you know.” This, like the above answers are not a one-size fits all.
Each writer has to discover what they enjoy about the writing process. Some strive on research and love to spend hours learning everything they can about a certain subject. This might be the makings of a non-fiction author. Others might excel at draw word pictures and escaping into other worlds…a fantasy author in the making.
Even if a person has read and enjoys a certain genre, there are still things they can learn. The art of writing includes such things as pacing, characterization, plotting, how to weave setting into the story, dialogue, etc. These are learned by attending writing classes, studying self-help books, and reading books in the genre of their choice.
Will this get them published?
Not necessarily, because in today’s landscape of the publishing world agents and publishers are looking for more than just a good story. Depending on the author’s popularity, the story might not be that important either, considering the number of actors and politician’s books in bookstores. Publishers are in the business of making money. If they feel a book will sell, they’ll buy it and publish it.
Of course, authors no longer have to wait for an agent or publisher to come knocking on their door. With the low cost of self-publishing, everyone is free to publish their book. Now, some may say this is the easy road to success. Let me warn you, there are the same requirements in self-publishing that are in having a publisher.
First, you need a good book that is well written (sound familiar). It has to be edited, have great cover art, and needs to be promoted. All phases of the process are on the author. I liken it to become an entrepreneur. Not only does the author have to write the book, she has to contract for cover art and edits, decide on the budget for these items and do promotion. The author has complete control, which can either excited or terrifies a person. Not everyone is prepared for the demands required to make their book a success.
So what should we tell new authors who are looking to write a book and have it published? The first thing to consider might be to work on building your author name. This can be done by working the social sites before the book is ever finished. Why?
It goes back to the story of building a better mousetrap. If no one knows about the mousetrap, how can they buy the product? A new author is not known by anyone. So why would anyone want to buy their book? But if the new author has a blog, twitter account, facebook page that people follow. Then when that new book comes out, there is already a market for their book. If that following is devoted to the author and they spread the word. The new book is talked about, generating interest and more books are sold.
Again, this may sound simple. Ask most authors, and they’ll tell you, it’s not. If a new person is struggling to find time to write, how are they going to find time to build a social network?
New author should understand right up front that being an author is more than just writing a book. As been said many times, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Authors, through the task of writing the book, have learned to take small steps to finish the book. The same is true with social networking. Open one social site, play with it, become familiar with it and connect it to other. Each will lead you to another, some demand more time and are more enjoyable than others. Yet each site exposes the author to more people, which in turn, opens a new market for their book.
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to the road to publishing because once the book is published the journey doesn’t end. It’s the beginning of letting the world know the work is available to read. Authors know, whether they are with a publisher or self-published, that they have to have a presence on different sites to give fans a chance to connect with them.
After years of working in the business world doing a variety of jobs, she decided to try her hand at writing and hope to incorporate the joy of being a mother into her books.
Currently working on a series about four executive wives, she is excited about combining elements of women fiction with the passion of romance. The first three books have been released and the last one is coming out in 2014.
Married twenty-five years, she and her husband love to travel and play golf. She can’t wait for Mike to retire so they can do more of both.
Read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website.
Sylvia Donovan is emotionally wounded from the unexpected death of her husband and still haunted by their last conversation: his request for a divorce and his confession of love for another woman. Her husband gone, her only daughter off to college, Sylvia faces the challenges of learning to live alone and move on with her life.
Vince Wilshire, enchanted with Sylvia, is more than willing to do what it takes to capture the heart of the hurting and untrusting Sylvia.
Can he help her forget the past and make her believe in love again?
Buy ‘CFO’s Affair’ here.