How to Become a Published Author – Practical Tips
Millions of people write as a hobby, but transforming their hobby into a passion can be overwhelming and even intimidating. Reviewing the traditional publishing industry as an outsider makes you believe that a lot goes into becoming a professional author – from finding book ideas to creating a daily writing habit and finding an agent willing to get your book on the radar of a publishing company.
Let’s be honest, trying to tackle all the above aspects can be nerve-wracking even for the most ambitious individual. However, a more methodical approach can be more effective in helping you follow your dream career. Whether you want to become a self-published author or bestselling writer, the secret is developing a plan and sticking with it.
This post teaches you how to produce high-quality writing and understand the sector at large so you can ultimately become a published author.
Become a better reader
All best-selling authors are also voracious readers. The more books you read, the more exposed you are to high-quality writing and form your own writing style. While you read good books, you internalise the elements in the text and implement them into your script. Books can also offer writing ideas. The more ideas you have, the easier it becomes to write your own books and determine your preferred style.
Read great authors that write books in the genre and style you prefer. If you don’t read best-selling books, you won’t know how to write one. All authors have started by learning from the masters, emulating them, and finding their own style. Read as much as possible and pay attention to the mechanics the authors use to create their plot.
Write down all ideas, all the time
Keep a notebook in your bag to make sure that you can write it down whenever an idea pops into your mind. You never know when you learn something interesting you can use in your story. Write down snippets of conversations you hear and think you can use in your book, details about people you meet that can help you create characters, or any idea you can later translate into your story. Put together visual details, fragments of poems or song lyrics, and even plot twists that have an emotional impact on you. Having these ideas written down and stored helps serves as inspiration when you write.
If you don’t like to carry a notebook in your bag, install a notes app on your phone.
Set non-negotiable writing time
Practice makes it perfect, so develop the habit of writing daily. If you limit your writing to five pages a month, you’re probably not going to complete the book anytime soon or improve your writing. But if you write daily, the process becomes easier in time, your ideas get more organised, and you begin to enjoy it. It’s always great to do the things you’re good and passionate about. And the better you become at writing and plotting, the more enthusiast you become about writing because you know you have the needed skills to nail the job.
Set non-negotiable writing periods to encourage you to write more. Adjust your schedule according to them and consider them when you make any commitment. However, be reasonable with yourself when you establish the number of words you want to write daily or the amount of time you want to dedicate to this task.
Enroll in a writing course
We already mentioned that it’s important to read great books to inspire skilled writers, but you should also learn from people willing to share the secrets behind their work. Many online courses provide you with the opportunity to improve your writing skills and aptitudes and become a better writer. The greatest advantage of living in the internet era is that you can enrol in online courses and learn from specialists across the globe. Also, many writers engage in live sessions around social media to share with their followers how they build the worlds from their books. Follow your favourite authors, and make sure to watch the videos they publish because you can learn greatly from them.
Get real critiques
It’s challenging to get real critiques, not only as a writer but as a creator in general. Often, people aren’t honest when you ask them for real feedback because they want to make you feel good. But when you’re trying to improve your writing skills, this is horrible because you don’t know if the plot is interesting or your writing style appeals to the readers.
The best way to get real critiques for any creator is to find third parties that can review your work objectively—register on writing forums and ask the members for feedback. You can also use your social media channels to search for beta readers seasoned in reading in the genre you create. Before sending the plot, convert the file into a format they cannot alter, and use a watermark to prevent them from using your work. Check this link for an online converter that allows you to transform your Word document into a PDF file to ensure that sending it won’t modify its content.
Look for marketing and publishing opportunities
When the book is complete, you’ll be enthusiastic about sharing it with the public. That’s the ideal moment to see opportunities to market and publish it. Many online and print publications are eager to collaborate with new writers, so submit your work with them. Suppose they decide to publish your work; they’ll also handle the marketing aspect. You can also submit your writing to literary magazines and contests because it’ll gain you some recognition.
If you have a great book idea, you can also consider self-publishing. Getting your book out in the world is quite simple now that you have access to the internet.
Write drunk, edit sober
Every writer knows this famous quote attributes to Hemmingway. Sure, we don’t recommend getting drunk to write your book, but you shouldn’t get bogged in overthinking and editing. Just write and handle the rest later.