10 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming a Published Author
I remember back in the 90’s when I first had the dream of becoming a published author, when email didn’t really exist in publishing. You still sent in your queries to agents on printed paper with an SASE (self addressed stamped envelope), and you waited for the answers at the mailbox. It was also the golden age of believing published authors all lived in posh New York apartments or big, woodsy houses by placid mountain lakes, clacking away on their electric typewriters, surrounded by piles of fan mail and cash. Things were never like that for most authors, and I have a feeling they never really were.
Here’s a few more things I wish I’d known back when I was dreaming up that big dream of published authorhood.
- Most authors do more than just write to earn money. Really, they do. I think even if I made enough money off my writing to make a living, I’d still want to do other things to earn some cash. Why? Experience. One day I’m going to get a job as a waitress just because I want to know what that kind of job is like.
- Most published authors I know spend more time marketing, researching, brainstorming, planning, and attending writerly events than actually sitting their butt down in a chair to write. The actual writing part of writing takes less time than you might think. But all of those other things usually have to happen so that the actual writing can take place. It seems upside down, but I see it all the time.
- Becoming a published author doesn’t have to be hard. Nearly anyone can publish his or her own work and claim that published author status. But producing actual quality work? Consistently? That’s hard.
- The first book is just the beginning. I’ve seen many authors make the mistake of thinking that once they’ve got their foot in the door with one published book that the rest of their career is made. Guess again. It’s all uphill, baby.
- The busier you are, the more you’re going to get done. It’s true. I swear it’s the busiest authors I know who produce the most work. I don’t know how or why, but it seems that authors can piddle away a lot of time if they’ve got it, but if you’ve got deadlines and a tight schedule, there’s definitely more of a push to get things done and just get those words written.
- Writing it not a solitary event. I think anyone who claims to write in a vacuum is crazy, but maybe that’s just me. My writing is constantly shifted and shaped by other people coming and going in my life, by other people whom I choose to share my work, by fans who tell me what they love and dislike, by life in general. Living and interacting produces the best writing.
- Not every book is going to be “better” than the last. Authors, at least the good ones in my opinion, keep experimenting. Sometimes that means a new book that comes out might not match the taste or expectations of the author’s fans. It makes me sad when people “lose faith” in an author because of this, but to me it shows that the author is branching out, learning, and growing, and hopefully fans will try to expand their own horizons because of it.
- Being published does not mean you’re in a competition. I think it’s easy for published authors to fall into this trap. Who is making more sales? Getting the bigger deals? More marketing? This is a road that leads nowhere but misery. As a friend of mine always says – keep your eyes on your own paper.
- You will never, ever please 100% of readers. Ever. It’s impossible. It’s so important to remember that a reader’s experience is literally 90% of what they are bringing to the table. An author has no control over that. All the author can do is write the story from his or her own heart and find the courage to put it out there. Then step away.
10. Publishing success will never make you permanently happy. What makes you happy is when you finish the book and find pride in the journey. Any publishing success an author finds is temporary. Pride and joy in the actual writing process? That lasts.
“Beautiful prose, interesting characters, and sizzling romance make this book simply unforgettable. I adored it.” – Kasie West, author of The Distance Between Us
“Avery may have a bad memory, but I will never forget this book.” – Natalie Whipple, author of House of Ivy & Sorrow
“Achingly sweet and beautiful, If I Forget You stole my romantic reader heart.” – Cassie Mae, bestselling author of Switched
Avery Hollister is a little more than absentminded. She has trouble remembering faces, names, and dates without her piles of lists and Post-it notes. When she heads off to college it takes her a week to realize the guy she’s crushing on is, in fact, three different guys. With a faulty memory and three men who have no idea she’s mixed them up, Avery doesn’t know how to fix the mess she’s made. But she knows she has to try, even if it means losing a love not even she could forget.
**If I Forget You is considered clean New Adult/Young Adult fiction appropriate for adults and young adults. It contains adult themes and issues.**
Genre – Contemporary New Adult Romance
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author