These are the most frequently asked questions I receive from potential authors.
Q - I want to be a non-fiction author. Can you tell me what to write?
A - Write about what you know, what you are interested in and what you can research accurately.
Q - I want to be a novelist. What is the next trend going to be?
A - Writing to fit a possible trend is not a good idea. Writing the story that is bursting to be told is the way forward.
Q - I have looked through The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook and it seems such a lot of work to get my work in front of an agent or publisher. Tell me the shortcuts.
A - Writing a book is only one aspect of being an author. If you want to be published you have to put in the work. If you are self-publishing you have to put in the work.
Q - I want to do it all myself. What is vanity and self-publishing?
A - If you use a vanity publisher you pay the company to produce your book. There are usually different packages available and they sell the books to the author. If you are self-publishing you create and/or upload your book yourself. Some authors use POD (print on demand) and this is when the book is printed when someone buys it. Self-published authors tend to succeed when they have a good fan-base and are good at marketing.
Q - What is the difference between those and subsidy publishing?
A - Subsidy works in a cooperative way in that the author contributes a small percentage of costs to the process of the book production. The publisher has the contacts for marketing and the author isn’t left completely alone to do the selling.
Q - I keep hearing that I need a platform. What does it mean?
A - It is a metaphorical term but imagine it as an actual platform that you stand on and tell people about yourself and your book. You can fold it up and take it to where your readers hangout because you know where that is. You make it easy for them to find you.
Q - I definitely want to write. Now what?
A - Be excited that there are no rules or laws preventing you from being an author. If you have trouble writing you can use a ghost-writer and it always pays to get someone else to edit your words. Very few people can edit their own work because we get word-blind after we have looked the same thing for a long time.
Do the work (I say that a lot). Read a lot. Write. Believe in yourself and get writing.
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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