Is it the fame? The fortune? The ability to see your name in print? For many people, becoming a published author is a lifelong dream. But what does it take to actually become a published author? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are some key steps you can take to increase your chances of success.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou
Is it difficult to become a published author? The answer to this question depends on your definition of “difficult.” If you define difficulty as “requiring a great deal of effort,” then yes, becoming a published author can be difficult. The publishing industry is competitive, and it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. However, if you’re willing to put in the work, it is possible to achieve your goal of becoming a published author.
We’re going to do our best to provide a comprehensive guide to becoming a published author.
Step 1 – Writing the First Draft
The first step to becoming a published author is to, well, write a book! This may seem like an obvious statement, but it’s important to remember that not everyone who wants to be a published author actually completes a book. If you’re serious about becoming a published author, you need to sit down and write.
1a. Put your business head on
There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re writing your book:
– First and foremost, you need to write a book that people will want to read. Write something that you’re passionate about and that you know other people will enjoy.
– It’s important to remember that becoming a published author is a business. As such, you need to approach your book from a business perspective. Who is your target audience? What are you trying to achieve with your book?
– Keep in mind that the publishing industry is constantly changing. What’s popular today may not be popular tomorrow, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on trends.
1b. Outline your Book
There are a few different methods you can use to outline your book:
– The snowflake method: This method involves starting with a general idea and then fleshing it out with more and more details.
– The index card method: With this method, you write down each scene or chapter on a separate index card. This is a great way to organize your thoughts and get a bird’s eye view of your book.
– The Three Act Structure: This is a popular method used in screenwriting, but it can also be applied to novels. The Three Act Structure involves dividing your story into three parts: the setup, the conflict, and the resolution.
1c. Put pen to paper, or fingers on the keyboard
Once you have an outline for a book, how do you start writing it?
The answer is simple: just start writing! It doesn’t matter if you start with Chapter 1 or Chapter 10. Just start writing and the rest will come.
There are a lot of different pieces of software that writers can use for writing a book. Some popular choices include:
Here are some bits of advice from famous authors to kickstart you’re writing.
“Write the story you want to read.” – J.K. Rowling
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” – Neil Gaiman
“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it truthfully, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.” – Patrick Ness
“The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway
Step 2 – Editing Your Book
There are lots of ways to edit your book and the answer is probably to utilise a few of them. Most authors will tell you that the real writing is done in the edit. Although others blurred the line, for example, Ernest Hemingway would start each of his work days by re-reading what he had already done, editing as he went.
However, here are some great strategies for editing your first draft:
1. Get a second opinion
One of the best ways to edit your book is to get someone else to read it. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or professional editor, getting another set of eyes on your work can be invaluable.
2. Use editing software
There are a number of different editing software programs available, such as Word’s track changes feature or ProWritingAid. Editing software can be a great way to catch errors and typos that you might otherwise miss.
3. Read your work aloud
Reading your work aloud is a great way to catch errors and awkward phrasing. It can also help you get a feel for the rhythm of your writing.
4. Take a break
After you’ve been working on your book for a while, it can be helpful to take a break. This will allow you to come back to your work with fresh eyes and catch things that you might otherwise miss.
5. Hire a professional editor
If you’re serious about getting your book published, hiring a professional editor is a good idea. Professional editors can help you improve your writing, catch errors, and give you an objective opinion on your work.
Step 3 – Getting Your Book Published
What are a writer’s options when it comes to trying to get their book published?
The most traditional way to get a book published is to submit it to a publishing house. If the publisher likes your book, they will offer you a contract and pay you an advance.
The best way to do this is through an agent. Agents are professionals who help writers get their books published. They know the ins and outs of the publishing industry and can help you navigate the process.
If you don’t have an agent, you can still submit your book to publishers, but it will be a lot harder to get your foot in the door. Look up all of the publishers that seem to be a good fit for your book and find a section on their website for ‘submissions’. This is where you can submit your book for consideration.
Self-publishing is when an author publishes their book without the help of a traditional publisher. This means that the author pays for all of the costs associated with publishing their books, such as editing, design, and printing.
Self-publishing has become a more popular option in recent years, thanks to the growth of technology and the rise of self-publishing platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
The benefits of self-publishing are that you have complete control over your book and can get it published much faster than traditional publishing. The downside is that self-publishing can be expensive and you will have to do a lot of the work yourself.
The best way to self-publish your book is to create a professional quality book. This means hiring an editor and a designer to help you with the process. Once your book is complete, you can then upload it to a self-publishing platform like KDP.
There are a number of different places where you can get a book cover designed. You can hire a professional designer, use a design platform like Canva, or find a premade book cover on a site like 99designs.
When you’re choosing a book cover design, it’s important to make sure that the cover is eye-catching and professional looking. Remember, your book cover is one of the first things potential readers will see, so you want to make sure it’s good!
Hybrid publishing is a mix of traditional and self-publishing. With hybrid publishing, you retain more control over your book than you would with traditional publishing, but you also get the benefit of having a publisher’s backing.
To hybrid publish your book, you first need to find a publisher who is willing to work with you. Once you’ve found a publisher, you’ll need to negotiate a contract. This contract will outline what rights you retain and what rights the publisher gets.
The benefits of hybrid publishing are that you get the best of both worlds. You retain more control over your book than you would with traditional publishing, but you also get the benefit of having a publisher’s backing. The downside is that it can be difficult to find a publisher who is willing to work with you.
The best way to hybrid publish your book is to submit it to a publisher that specializes in hybrid publishing. These publishers are more likely to be open to working with authors who want to retain some control over their book.
What is e-publishing?
E-publishing is when a book is published in digital format. This means that the book is available as an ebook, audiobook, or both.
E-publishing has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to the growth of digital reading devices like e-readers and smartphones.
The benefits of e-publishing are that it is a fast and easy way to get your book published. The downside is that you will have less control over your book and it may be more difficult to find a traditional publisher who is willing to publish your book in print.
The best way to e-publish your book is to upload it to a digital retailer like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). KDP is a self-publishing platform that allows you to publish your book in digital format.
What is print-on-demand publishing?
Print-on-demand (POD) publishing is when a book is printed only after someone orders it. This means that there is no need to print a large number of books upfront, which saves on costs.
POD publishing has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to the growth of print-on-demand technology.
The benefits of POD publishing are that it is a more affordable option than traditional printing and you can get your book published more quickly. The downside is that you will have less control over your book and it may be more difficult to find a traditional publisher who is willing to publish your book in print.
The best way to POD publish your book is to find a printer that specializes in print-on-demand. Once you’ve found a printer, you’ll need to upload your book files and design a cover. The printer will then handle the printing and shipping of your book.
Step 4 – Marketing
How do you market a book?
The best way to market your book is to create a marketing plan. This plan should include strategies for promoting your book online and offline.
Some promotional activities you can do to market your book include:
– Creating a website or blog for your book
– Creating social media accounts for your book
– Creating a book trailer
– Sending out review copies
– Giving talks or readings
– Participating in book festivals or fairs
– Creating print or digital ads
– Hiring a publicist
When creating your marketing plan, it’s important to set realistic goals and a budget for your promotional activities. It’s also important to make sure that your marketing activities are targeted toward your book’s audience.
Step 5 – Persist and Repeat
How many authors make it big with their first book? The answer is, unfortunately, not many. The vast majority of authors who become successful do so because they keep writing and persist through the tough times. The best way to become a successful author is to keep writing and never give up on your dreams. Sooner or later, you will find success.
Some people will say that you need to be writing every day, while others will say that you need to be writing several times a week. The important thing is to find a writing schedule that works for you and stick to it. If you’re struggling to find time to write, try setting aside a specific day or time each week when you will sit down and write.
It’s also important to remember that becoming a published author takes time. Don’t expect to write a book and have it published overnight. It can take months or even years to get a book published.
The best way to ensure that your book gets published is to keep writing and submitting your work to publishers. Eventually, you will find a publisher who is interested in your book.
Remember, you must never give up on your dreams. So keep writing and persist through the tough times. With enough dedication and hard work, you will eventually find success.
Best of luck!