Hi Jim!

I’ve always dreamed of being a writer, but always feared the steps it took to really “make it” being published. In your experience, when did you feel ready to submit your first book for publishing? How long did it take, what steps did you follow, did you already have a following, or enter any contests to get recognized first?
Sincerely,
Marian G.

Hi Marian,

Welcome to Godhood. I’m actually not kidding. Writing puts the ability to create worlds, whole universes, people personalities… literally everything right in your hands. It’s a wonderful yet daunting responsibility, especially when you take your first steps.

It’s very difficult to know when you’re ready. VERY difficult. You literally have to have all your ducks in a row. You need a synopsis, hook, an edited manuscript, and a good literary letter to send to agencies (assuming you’re going the traditional route).

Before you get going on putting your work out there for all to see, you want to consider whether or not its professional enough. Get someone to read it, get a group of people to read it, edit it, and give you their thoughts. Do NOT assume that you can do this yourself. You can’t. Trust me, your eyes are biased and rigged in a way that you will overlook your own mistakes over and over. Also, what makes sense in your mind, may not make sense in other people’s.

This cannot be overstated. Editing as much as possible is key!

If you’re going to go the traditional route, then yes, I would say getting your work printed in Magazines, entering contests, and getting yourself out there is essential. This will get you recognition that you can put into a pitch letter you send to an agency. Almost like a resume.

If you’re not going to go the traditional route, this may not be necessary. However yes, I would try to build a following on social media. You can do this by creating a blog, handing out advice, talking about your experiences, or just write about things that interest you that others may gravitate towards. I personally found my niche long ago by helping people and giving out advice, as you can see.

There are a lot of writing blogs out there, but not as many that actually answer direct questions, so that’s where I found my place.

You also want to make sure that you do this across multiple platforms. I have this blog connected to my Facebook page, pinterest, twitter, and several other social media sites so people can see what I’m doing and follow me if they don’t have a WordPress account.

Whichever publishing route you choose, DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! Look into everything you need to know before going ahead. Feel free to look back on my blog. I provide several resources over multiple posts that can help point you in the right direction. However, don’t just use my blog. Look at several literary sites to gain a feel for the environment ahead of you.

Hope this helps, thanks for the question!

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

1 Comment on “Am I Ready to Publish? #Writing #Author #Advice

  1. If Marian is reading others’ comments, I thought id give my experience on when you know it’s time to write and publish:

    In my experience, I wanted to write my memoirs for my six kids. I had an unusual career, inspecting ships around the world (58 counties….I actually kept track). I self published that first book, which was a way to learn about editors, cover designs, etc. In addition to friends and family, I sold only 300 copies, but I saw that unusual subject matter does attract readers. At least that experience didn’t cost much money.

    My next project was another nonfiction book, in which I wrote and edited a collection of real-life stories from eighteen sailors, both men and women. Because of the women’s stories in that book, I attracted a publisher who specialized in women’s books. Although I had to do most of the advertising, because of the niche market, that books has sold we’ll, and I’ve been asked to do a lot of book signings and appearances.

    That publisher asked me if I wrote novels, because they liked how I featured the atypical women in that book. I had been doing some fiction writing, based around characters and occurrences i’d experienced in my work with sailors. As I’ve told people, it was a continuation of my nonfiction writing, but I changed the names and locations to protect the innocent (and some guilty).

    I had read Stephen King’s book On Writing, and his first advice was to “Write about what you know.” each of us meets or knows about great, unusual characters, just by observing everyday life. Another author, Baer Charlton, in his book, I DRINK A LOT OF COFFEE AND MAKE UP SHIT” also emphasized using characters we know. I have gone so far as to ask permission of people, whom I want to use, if I think their character would be recognizable.

    Attracting a publisher can be tough, but there are small, niche publisher/agents out there who fill that gap. You can share in the development cost for reasonable investment.

    The big thing is, start writing so you have a few manuscripts to talk about!

    Bob Ojala

    Like

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