When I was writing my first book and dreaming of becoming a published author in 2010 I spent spare moments researching about agents, the elusive query letter, how to sell yourself and your story to an agent, and any and everything I could find about publishing. I researched who published what, about how many books each publishing actually published in a year, how many clients did a particular agent carry, how many agents where employed at different literary agencies, what genres do they sell.
As I look back the most important advice I read was that from the authors. Piers Anthony and his blog about his trials and tribulations with traditional publishing companies. Ken Follett’s Master Class about writing. James Rollins blog. Steve Berry. I read every bit of advice I could from the authors whose stuff I enjoy reading, the people I wanted to emulate and write like and become successful enough to stay home and write full time.
The advice from the authors was more beneficial than anything else I read. Even at first when I didn’t like what they were telling me, I continued reading and researching what they had to say and took notes. One of the major things that kept popping up from the writers was to keep writing, write down every idea you get, keep writing, and get to the that elusive 1,000,000 words published. Not just written, not written and scratched by the editor, but published into a book. One Million Words, really? Was that even possible? I went to my calculator and figured if you write ten books at one hundred thousand words per book you’ll be there. My first book was barely over 50,000 words, barely a novel, and my second book came in around 120,000 words.I hurriedly published my first book because I (in my mind) thought it was done and ready. I didn’t really know I could do it. I really pushed hard to get my second book finished and next week when my third book goes to the editor I will be re-editing my second novel for the third time. I figure with each successive edit it should be getting closer to correct, and with each book I go through and make corrections to the more I learn on what to do and what not to do when I am writing. If you’re writing a book take your time and get it edited and proofed to the best of your ability. Bad reviews hurt, but when they (book reviewers) are tearing your book a new one and it’s because of the English and Grammar (which can be fixed).
As I am close to finishing my third book, getting ready to re-edit my second one, and well over half finished with my fourth book, I definitely see the wisdom in the author’s words concerning the one million word goal. I am learning stuff everyday about writing. As the techniques, the elements of style you adopt, the tempo your stories develop, the starts and stops, and the myriad of other facets which come together into this beautifully complex matrix which readers love to immerse themselves into, you gain wisdom, understanding, and enlightenment into the subtle art of writing. From my blog which I use as a daily warm-up to get my brain in the right frame, test my creativity and spontaneity, before I get ready to get back to the work I love and have become some passionate about, each day I get better. I can see such improvement in just the year and a half that I have actually been a published author.
Like with many other areas of my life I continue and will continue to learn and grow as I go along. I like the fact that when I am too old to do anything else of any use, with this medium, computers getting more powerful and smaller, that I will be able to write until I lose the facility of my fingers or my brain which ever may come first. I hope to write hundreds of books between now and then. I realize the potential writers have to change the world with the stuff they write about, affecting the way people feel about certain topics, and bringing to light controversial issues. In the mental hopper of books to write, most are science fiction and some will ruffle some feathers as I do explore elements of the human condition and expose them for what they are, how they are treated, and challenge the mainstay of public opinion. Some of my books will bring to light controversial issues which may still exist hidden within the societies of the world when my books come out. If you never upset anybody it is probably because you spent your life living the way they want you to.
For the writers to be, I advise to study and read the works of the authors you admire. See how they do what you want to do. Read and take heed to what they say about the subject of writing. Don’t waste your time researching publishing, literary agents, query letters, and the do’s and don’ts of getting published. Do not waste your time or money trying to get your book traditionally published. Edit, edit, and edit again. Write every day! Then find a website like Smashwords and read their Style Guide to learn how to properly format your work for submission. Submit it, fix any vets, errors, or problems and re-submit.
Ta Da! You too can be a published author in the new age of literary marvel. Get some people to read your work and review it online. Then you will have to market your work to some degree, but I still say if you want to be a writer and sell more books.
1. Write Better Books! 2. Write and Publish more Books!
If your stuff is good and readers like it, it will sell. Readers talk about what they are reading!
Good Books sell by word of mouth.
Now get back to work and quit goofing off reading blogs and playing on Pinterest!