It is my belief that if you have knowledge that would be useful and beneficial to others it is important to share with as many people as possible. Likewise if you can weave words into fabulous stories for others to enjoy, you should.
Many writers do so with articles, blogs and websites but writing a book? Now, there’s a thing.
When I wrote my first book I knew that any agent or publisher that read it would throw petals at my feet and write cheques for mind-boggling amounts. I was wrong! That book never saw the light of day. Over recent years the publishing industry has flipped onto its head, somersaulted and landed back in a different format. From an author’s point of view the ease of self-publishing means that anyone can write a book and have it for sale in an instant.
However, many writers seek to be published in the traditional way and here are my thoughts to help if that is you.
If you are new to writing a book, try out different ways of creating your masterpiece.
For non-fiction it might be useful to list subjects you want to cover and then bundle the items that go together. Or, start with chapter headings and expand from that. Or, start at the beginning and write. Or… do what works for you.
The process for fiction can be similar but tends to develop, as you write, but not always. One author will say the book surprised them or the main character turned out differently to how they expected. Another will say they knew the whole story before they ever wrote a word.
What is clear is there is no right or wrong way or default setting in the creative process.
Books are organic and often go on journeys or tangents. Let that happen but keep control of the overall project. When I wrote the first draft of The Psychic Way, I had almost finished when I realised it wasn’t becoming the book I wanted it to be. The only thing to do was delete it and start again. I felt sick but it had to be done. I knew in my heart and soul and, eventually my head, that it was the right thing to do.
Usually, you are expected to have a work of fiction finished before proposing it but this isn’t always necessary for non-fiction. However you must demonstrate that you can complete a whole book. When you have finished, edit thoroughly and then do so again. And, maybe, again and once more for luck.
One trick writers use is to ignore the book for days, weeks or even months and return with a clear mind. It will be like you are reading someone else’s work and it is therefore easier to spot the mistakes. We become word-blind when we look at our own writing all the time.
If you are seeking publication, just having a book isn’t enough. A publisher will want to know that you know whom your readers are that you can reach them. And, if you are self-publishing you will need a marketing plan too.
Developing a platform is something you must do very early in the process. You have to get yourself ‘out there’.
If you have a mailing list, blog, write articles, teach workshops and make use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook so much the better. When we get to this stage with my book coaching clients it can cause a variety of inner conflict and I’ve heard all the reasons why people can’t or don’t want to market themselves –
“I don’t like talking about myself”
“People will think I am trying to make them buy my book”
“Oh, I’m too busy for all that”
“It is the publisher’s job to sell the book”!!!
Those are my exclamation marks.
Why should a publisher invest in you if you won’t be part of the process? How can they do any marketing for, and with, you if you want to stay under a rock?
It isn’t about being a full on in your face sales person. It is about keeping anyone, who might want to read your words; and potential new readers, informed in a permissive way.
- Develop your platform.
- Research the best publishers for your genre: either online or from The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook. If your preferred publisher wants 3 chapters, a synopsis and a chapter outline then you must supply exactly that.
- Believe in yourself and your knowledge.
- Toughen up.
- Take on board any advice or suggestions given from agents or publishers.
- Take rejection personally.
- Send a proposal enquiry beginning with ‘Dare Sires’ – especially to me. It’s happened. I'm sure you can guess the outcome.
- Fire off angry defensive emails.
- Send a proposal and then give up your job.
- Think you are the exception to the rule.
If you are interested in submitting your book proposals to me please read through the respective websites first and follow the instructions.
If you aren’t quite there yet please consider having some coaching.
Or, if you're in the mood for a writing holiday or workshop, drop by Write Your Book
News from the Muse
These posts are a mixture of information, interviews and tips for writers and those who are interested in getting published.
I also write about my back and the road to recovery and something might resonate with others in pain and maybe my discoveries will help.
Overall it seems that I prattle.
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