Becoming A Successful Author: The Price!
So you want to be a successful author? You want to be up there withBrown, Archer, King, but what price are you prepared to pay? You might be lucky and your first book could be an overnight success but the chances are you'll be hacking it for years before success knocks.
If you decided to become a lawyer, an accountant, a bricklayer, or even to start an 'ordinary' business then you would be prepared to make sacrifices, to invest in the future. Why expect it to be different??
The amount of effort you put into your apprenticeship will dictate how successful you will be as a fully fledged tradesman, a successful author!
Are you prepared to spend a year putting a novel together to have it rejected by not one, not two, not three but four publishers? Are you prepared to take the novel sit down and do a major rewrite! If you are then you might, just might, be more successful second time around.
Harder still are your prepared to accept that the book just doesn't hack it and bin it!
There are very few real overnight successes: role up your sleeves and do some hard graft, learn the trade. Then you'll succeed.
Competitions are a good starting point. You are continuously challenged to meet deadlines. You should aim to enter at least one competition a month and you should aim to enter all the major competitions for new writers. For details on current competitions see my website http://www.abcwritersnetwork.co.uk/competitions.htm Remember that as far as major competitions are concerned you can 'win' without collecting the first prize, though that would be nice! Get a good mention and it will do your career the world of good. Publishers are often asked to judge competitions, think name recognition.
Competitions also help you understand what it is you are doing wrong, and what it is you are doing right. Contact the winner, congratulate them on their success, ask them for a copy of the winning entry and see how it differed from yours.
When entering a competition you are effectively asking someone's advice, you are asking them is my entry the best in the bunch. And they will say either yes or no! The price here is rejection.
If possible get your own personal critic. Your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, sibling. Anyone as long as they are prepared to give you a good, fair, honest opinion and not just say for an easy life, 'that's a fantastic story.' If they're not prepared to give it to you, warts and all, then let them wait until they eventually see your name in print.
A good place to find honest critics is at your local writing group. Join one, join two - but join! Some people underestimate these groups; think that they are just a bundle of middle age women playing at writing. In many cases that is correct but there is always one or two serious authors there and it is those you want to meet. Together you can knock ideas of one another. Believe me you will learn and grow.
You wouldn't dream of becoming a lawyer or a doctor without buying the books necessary to study. Granted you'll not buy them all, you'll borrow some, perhaps most, from the university library but there are key books you'll need throughout your career and these you will buy and use again and again.
Why on earth are you not prepared to invest in your chosen career by buying your own trade books? I've given a list of the most popular ones over on my website. They're not all essential, like all reference books there is some cross over. But please: beg, borrow or steal (no skip that last one!) at least three of them. I've suggested the main ones. It's all part of the price.
You've decided on the genre you're going to specialize in. You have, haven't you!! Well then make it a point to read at least one, if not two, books in that genre each week.
We all like to go to our local library and borrow books, and I'm all for supporting my local library. Be honest though, they are totally under-funded and while my librarians are wonderful they can't come up with the goods.
I'm not suggesting buying a new book every week but I do suggest buying one every four to six weeks. You must keep up with what the market is producing. My site carries information on what is current - http://www.abcwritersnetwork.co.uk/reviews.htm.
For those of us who are forty plus tax there is the added danger of reading what we like: be careful, ask yourself the question would your favourite author hack it today?
Consider collecting the works of a particular (modern) author who you appreciate and admire and don't be afraid to use the yellow marker, after all they are text books, not collector's items.
What ever you do, don't try to be the same.. Why be a second rate Stephen King, or Jeffery Archer when you can be an original!
© Kevin Hart MA BA(hons) ABC Writers Network 2005
7 Steps to Successful Publishing
The decision to publish a book is very exciting! It causes the creative juices to flow and the eyes to light up. But wait ? before you begin the publishing process, know about the seven most important steps you need to know before publishing your book. Make sure that you take every step into careful consideration so that your road to success is an easy one:
Top Ten Ways to Write Like a Pro Checklist
Sure you can write, but can you write crisp, compelling copy thatezine publishers, related Web sites, and book audiences willclamor for?
Help! I Cant Write!
Writer's Block can strike like a King Cobra, paralyzing every little golden nugget you try to create. What can you do to lick it? Below are some fun suggestions to crack the nut! (write about each prompt for twenty minutes)
Technical Writing for the Terrified
Writing Press Releases That Get Noticed
Among the various foolproof methods used to boost traffic to your site (ezine advertising, and search engine submitting, to name a couple) one method seems to be forgotten about by many new Internet marketers. That method is writing press releases.
The self-indulgent writer listens only to the mumblings of sycophants, toadies, and flatterers, thus failing to heed the valid criticisms of editors, critiquers, and reviewers.
What you Dont Know About Book Publishing Can Cost You
Dream that your book can be a number one best seller? Read books or visit Web sites that say they have your answers? -- All you need to do is get their program, follow their advice, and the world is yours. Or, you think I'll write it, but someone else can market and promote it. And that would be who? Publishers certainly don't promote unknown authors.
Write A Better Newsletter!
You've decided to write your very own Newsletter to promote your business, communicate with your customers, or just for FUN.
Format Each eBook Chapter Before you Write It
Do you have a problem creating a focus in your chapters? Does your writing slip around, leaving a muddy path to the gold--your unique, useful message?
Why I Write Horror
These are some of the snapshots I carry with me:
Five Golden Rules for Writers
Regardless of what sort of writer you are and how much you love to write, there are probably days when you'd rather clean ditches than face another blank page.
Have You Settled On First Choice When Choosing A Title?
Short Story Writing Tips -
7 Journaling Tips
Set your journal or diary where you will see it everyday, i.e., on your nightstand, at your desk, where you have coffee. This will help to remind you to journal.
Learning to Question Your Elephant Child: Who, What, Where, When and Why
Having problems writing? I don't know why. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll writes up to five columns a week. After all, if he can write five columns, you should be able to write a five-lined poem-but that does not seem to be the case.
You Dont Need Inspiration!
Or do you?
Imagine The Imagination
Imagine a three hundred page book was in the author's mind before it was poured out onto the pages of the book.
7 Secrets For Beating Writers Block
Most people can easily identify with the dreaded "writer'sblock". It is a well-known phenomenon that just abouteveryone has faced at one point in their lives.
Trying Too Hard
If you dread the thought of writing, if you fear your desk, and if you hate your computer, then you are trying too hard.
How To Avoid Viewpoint Slips
Sit back, and imagine what it feels like to be you. Now that shouldn't be too hard - you've lived in your own skin for a long time.Do you feel happy or sad?
6 Tricks To Squeeze Your Letters Onto One Page
Anyone who has read any of my articles on the subject ofletter writing or resume writing will know how important I believe it is to minimize the number of pages, preferably limiting them to one page whenever possible.
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