So you want to become a published author? Guess what? So do I! What is the process? How do we get started? I decided to do some research about the process and came up with a few ways to get started.
eHow says that the first step is to choose a genre. Have you chosen one? I haven’t. There are too many choices and my head reels as I think about all the genres and subgenres. Perhaps, they think I’m ready to write a book.
Then, I found an online magazine that features an author who is a writing coach. She suggests that aspiring authors just start writing. Have you started writing yet? I have. I just started this blog all about writing and I have 2 other blogs that I write in regularly. The key to writing is to find something that you know about.When we start writing, we learn how to jump over our first major hurdle: Fear… Yep, Fear. Fear that our writing won’t be good enough. Fear that no one will like what we wrote. Fear that we’ll get started on a piece, but suddenly… nothing. Fear that after all those hours of labor, no publisher will be interested.
eHow’s suggested 3rd step is to make a plan. I like the bubble diagram method. It looks like my graphic, which is set up to have 1 topic written with 3 paragraphs that contain 2 details each. However, the subtopic bubbles could transformed to list character’s name and the detail bubbles the character’s personality traits. At this stage, I’m going to stick to writing short stories and articles. I’m doing that right now, so I must be on the right track!
I really like eHow’s suggested 4th step: set aside some scheduled time each day to write. Make a goal. They suggest setting a goal for writing a certain number of pages. I’m at the stage where it might be better to write for a certain amount of minutes because I have 6 kids and the only time I can focus on writing is when they’re sleeping. What kind of schedule will you set up?
Next run it by some friends and edit. What do they think? Since I’m writing in a blog, all my successes and failures will be public. Feel free to add your comments.
After editing is done, find an editor. If you don’t know one, ask friends. I have 2 friends who are published authors, Maureen Mullis and JoAnn Chaney, who could lead me in the right direction. There is also “The Writer’s Market.”
Then, more writing! Write letters to explain why they should represent your work. Highlight the main points of what you wrote and what sets it apart from the rest.
Once you have an agent, let them do their work. Do keep in touch so you understand the process of getting your book published and where your book is in the process. eHow said that first works by emerging authors can take many months or a year to get published.
The last few steps to become a published author seem far into the future for me. When I am ready to publish, I may choose to write for an audience who only uses an ereader, such as the Nook or Kindle. I’ve heard that publishing books designed for the ereader is another process altoghether. In the mean time, I’m going to keep blogging.