It’s not easy to be an emerging author. There are millions of people who write everyday with the hopes of becoming a published author someday. All around, there are people who choose writing as a hobby or pastime, while equally keeping to their day to day jobs. It’s an interesting prospect when you dream and imagine your book in your hand, or being read by wide audience, or being on the list of other bestsellers. However, making a shift from dream or hobby to reality can be especially daunting.
Looking at the traditional publishing industry from the outside, it is evident that so much goes into becoming a published author— generating ideas for your book, writing said book, pitching to editors, finding agents and potential publishers. The processes are tasking and could even damn the most ambitious aspiring author into quitting. But as hard as these realities seem, the process of publishing can be overcome if a writer approaches it methodically, one step at a time, and with enough grit as possible. The key is to devise a workable plan, then stick with the plan.
How to Become a Published Author
Granted it won’t be a walk in the park. It takes an enormous amount of perseverance, sometimes an equal dose of luck, to be able to get to that peak of having your works published and out there in the world. But asides the major task, however, an aspiring author must be able to show an adequate commitment to the craft, after all you do not intend to market an empty product. There are so many things you must do as a writer to get prepared for publishing. Here are some tips to help you and also give you a general insight into the publishing industry.
Develop Good Writing Habits: Most beginner writers have the task of maintaining balance between their writing and their daily jobs. In order to get you prepared, it is important that you devote a particular, adequate amount of time to your writing. Some successful writers call it a ritual. The effect is not in the title you give it. However, you must have a period set outside of your daily activities when you commit only to your writing. Whether it’s immediately you wake up, or at noon, or before you retire at the end of a day. The point is to choose a time and stick to that time.
Spend Your Time Wisely: Before you sit down to write, you must have a goal set in mind prior that you intend to achieve. 2000 words? A paragraph? It is important that you have a set goal, and that also you have an idea of what you intend to do with your limited time so you do not end up staring at a blank screen the entire time.
Network: With other writers, with editors, etc. It’s easy to put yourself on the radar of people who would be your potential readers, or offer you access into the industry. You can find fellow writers with whom you can firm a community online, or by attending events. You don’t want to work in isolation without having a second wheel giving you feedback on your work in progress so that you are aware when, for example, your work begins to veer off the track. It’s important that you network. Talk about your work as extensively, while also being committed to developing the work.
Build a Relationship with an Editor or Reader: It is important that you have a close relationship with your editor or reader when you get to the stage of editing. This relationship is what makes your editor especially committed to your goal, and see the goal as theirs. A close relationship with your editor will boost the editor’s morale to go the extra mile for your work and prepare it for agents and publishers to read. It so the reason some writers set out to have their friends serve as readers and editors for their works. Although whoever the person is, they must be able to keep sentiments aside when offering feedback for your work.
However, as a first time author, it might prove difficult finding an agent or a publisher, especially when there are so many writers out there and books being put out. In any case, do not let the tunnel deter you from becoming a published author. You can decide to self-publish your work, initially stamp your presence in the literary scene by yourself. But even that in itself has its tragedies. Self-published authors skip the hurdles of the traditional publishing house and get their novel out into the world on their own. They either do this by making the book available for print-on-demand, as an ebook, as an audiobook, or by printing, marketing and selling copies of the book themselves. If you’ve written something that traditional publishers consider less marketable—like an anthology of short stories or poetry—you may want to consider self-publishing to get your own work out in the world.
In all of these, do not stop writing. Even if your work is rejected by several publishers, do not quit. Do not disregard your work because it is considered unsellable. Keep working, keep on writing. And, perhaps, try out alternative methods like self-publishing.