It has always been your dream to be a published author. But there is something holding you back: The belief that you aren’t good enough. You want to know what that is? I’ll tell ya…
It’s a LIE!
It is my belief that everyone has a story to tell. And I know I am repeating myself when I say that, but it’s the truth. Authors, novice and seasoned, are publishing books everyday.
So I’m wondering… Why shouldn’t you?
Let’s look at some non-in depth reasons that keep people from accomplishing their dream of publishing that book.
1. You don’t know where or how to start.
Let’s say you have this idea for the next big thing. You know what you want to say but aren’t sure how to begin. You don’t know anything about writing a book or the publishing process.
Well, I have some really good news for you! The internet is FULL of resources to help you along the way. There’s tons of stuff that I don’t know about. And I can tell you the internet is my best friend to get to the answers I am looking for.
With that said, however, there is no way I could give you a list of places to turn to for help, but I will give you a push in the right direction!
The Writer’s Market is probably the holy grail for authors. Think of it as the 101 class for beginning authors and the literary bible for writers in general.
I’d also suggest looking into writing forums. Get involved. Ask questions. The folks in these groups are more than happy to answer your questions and give you their opinions on whatever you have in mind.
READ!!! AND READ A LOT!!!
Reading will help give you insight on how a story is constructed. Sure, there’s the technical stuff like the setting, plot, character development, grammar usage, and so on.
By reading you can get the feel of how a story should flow and what it should look like.
Writer’s Digest would be another valuable source for info. They are all the time holding classes and writing competitions. I think it would worth your time to look into.
2. Unveiling the mysteries of publishing.
Publishing a book is an art form in and of itself. Today, you have two options: traditional publishing and self publishing.
I won’t get into great detail about either, but here’s the basic low down:
The road to traditional publishing is a tedious one. If you’re looking to go with this method, I’d suggest using the Writer’s Market to find a publisher that deals with the type of material you have.
More than likely, the publisher won’t even look at your manuscript unless you have an agent, but this isn’t always true. Not in the least bit! And there are books for finding and submitting to agents, so stop looking at that trash can.
When submitting to an agent (or to a publisher, magazine, whatever), you’re going to need to write a querie letter and a cover letter.
If you’re manuscript is accepted to be published, which is sad to say the odds are stacked against you, then you’re in for a very long wait. There’s contract negotiations, editing, cover designs, and more that’s going to cause you nothing else than a big headache.
Personally speaking, I don’t do stress and drama and I also like having control of my work. Which is why I take the other route: self publishing.
Self publishing, in my opinion, is a lot of fun. Now don’t get me wrong! It’s a lot of work, too! The general consensus is that self publishing a book is about 30% writing and 70% marketing.
Unlike the traditional method, where the marketing is done for you (for an allotted amount of time), self publishing is ALL on you! This is to say that the success or failure of your book, no matter how great or small, is determined on how well you spread the word.
Also unlike the traditional method of publishing, you will need to edit your own work. Fortunately, there are programs yo help you with this. You can use a free software like Pro Writing Aid, but I would advise you study on word usage and punctuation before submitting your book to go live.
I’m no English major by a long shot. But that’s not going to stop me from getting my work into the hands of the public. And it shouldn’t stop you either!
With self publishing, you have total control of everything. From the book design to how much you want to charge for your book. And, OH! Let me say a quick word or two on covers and pricing…
As for designing a book cover you can do it yourself, but I’d suggest you have a background in graphic design. No one wants a cover that looks like your eight year old colored.
You can hire some one to create a cover for you or you can do a search for premade book covers. Most of these look really good. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. Just be sure to read the fine print before purchasing anything.
Pricing is always a question that many people are very insecure about. Don’t fret. It’s just really a matter of personal interest and common sense.
For example, I wouldn’t want to write a full length novel and sell it on Kindle for .99 cents. Nor would I sell a novella for the their (lowest) max royalty price of $2.99.
What you decide to sell your book/E-book (and you can do BOTH!) can be based on several factors. I would say to get an idea for whatever type of book you have to go to Amazon and compare your work to the work of others.
In doing so, you can get not just an idea of how to price your book, but cover designs of other books in your genre. Indie authors like doing this to see how they can get their book to stand out from the crowd.
Another thing you need to do is to know how to format your work. To do so you will need to figure out which platform you want to publish with. And there are several choices out there. The biggest names are Amazon’s KDP, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble’s Nook – to name a few.
3. My stories SUCK!!! :C
Aw, yeah? So somewhere, at some point, some one gave you some negative feedback? Ha! JOIN THE CROWD!!!
As a writer, you will need to learn to take the good with the bad. Artists of every form of media has to develop a tough skin. Let’s face it! Everyone’s a critic. And the world is filled with them!
I’m sure that a bunch of those folks that said you’re writing wasn’t any good is probably jealous that you have done something they can’t. Little do they know they could. Just don’t let those people get to you.
It’s a great feeling seeing your work published. There’s something so internally gratifying to it (and, for me, the process) that it’s difficult to put into words.
But first thing’s first. You need to WRITE! And start writing now. Today! Devote some time each day to write something. Use the resources I’ve given you to head you in the right direction.
It may take days, weeks, or even months, but before you know it, you’re going to be a published author! Believe in yourself, and soon your dream will become a reality! So stop worrying!
YOU GOT THIS!!!