Thursday, December 21, 2017

Dear Newbie Writer.... #MFRW Authors #51

First of all, HOW is it there is only two more weeks of 2017?  It seems to have flown by!  Thankfully, most of my holiday gift-buying is complete, as well as most of the baking.  Now I need to shoo everyone out of the house so I can wrap everything. Thankfully, we're staying home this year, and traveling after Christmas.

Dear Newbie Writer,
***Just realized I misunderstood the topic....if you've already written a book, skip the first few paragraphs****

I applaud your desire to write!  If this is truly what you want to do, then by all means write.  Get your story/poem/memoir down on paper or some form of document.  Don't worry about getting it perfect; this is a 1st draft, so your only priority at the moment is to finish it.  I don't care if it takes a month, a year, or twelve hours....I want you to write 'the end'.

Then what?  You've finished; now take a day or two to celebrate!  Because now the hard part begins.

What?  You thought writing it was hard?  Oh no, my friend....roll up your sleeves, fix yourself a pot of coffee/tea/favorite non-alcoholic beverage and sit back down.  Flex those fingers and dive in again.

Read your document again, or if you're just now typing it up, see if you can fix any errors.  Typos, grammar, punctuation.  Or plot holes.  Does any character suddenly experience an eye color change?  Or forget they're already wearing a coat and put it on twice?  (Yes, it happens!)  After you think you've polished it, save it, email it to yourself, or send it to a trusted friend.

Another hard part is blurb writing, or condensing your story down to 25 or even 50 words.  Believe me, it's tough at times.  Maybe write a synopsis (another 'dirty' word, lol!) 

You want to be published?  Research is next.  Search publishers.  Get on social media and talk with other authors, publishers, editors, etc, to find the right 'fit'.  Want to self-publish?  Awesome!  Have a professional editor comb through your words and let them work their magic.  Don't know an editor?  Get out your favorite book and email the author (if you're not already friends on social media with him/her) to ask about contacting said editor.  Also cover art.  You want a professional cover.  Authors on social media can help with this also.  

After you've done all that, start a blog (if you've not already) and reach out to other bloggers for interviews, guest spots, or seek out Goddess Fish for a book review tour ($35??).  

The day your book goes live, celebrate!  Splash it all over Social Media. Hold a contest on your blog.  Soak in the wonder of your success; you are now a Published Author.

Now even more hard work begins.  You want to reach readers, right?  Find a local craft fair and rent a booth.  Go to Vista Print dot com and order business cards, bookmarks, and any other promotional items.  Order print copies of your work.  Not a huge amount, unless your budget allows for it.  Have fun!  You'll meet readers, people who will express interest in writing, and yes, some people will turn up their nose at your baby.  Do NOT be offended; not everyone will 'automatically' fall in love with your masterpiece.

If that's not your style, then search for author events in your area or price range.  If you're too late for space, volunteer at the event and network with the authors.  Yes, you have to TALK to people.  Make friends; many other published authors are friendly and will invite you to play in their sandbox.  Don't forget to return the favor or pay it forward after you've mentored another newbie.

I know, this seems like a lot.  But do it at your own pace, at your comfort level.  No one is going to force you to publish your work, or even get it written.  Only YOU know can decide how much or how little you want to do.

Why did I decide to pursue publishing?  Because I had several people ask me 'why aren't you published?'  Why did I start writing?  Because I finally found a way to get these characters out of my head.

The best piece of advice someone gave me?  "Don't get it RIGHT, get it WRITTEN'.

Good luck and remember I'm here if you have any questions.  Didn't like what I had to say, then by all means, seek out the others on this blog hop by clicking here. 

Kenzie Michaels


Shari Elder said...

The writer's life well captured. Yes the blurb is one of the worst parts.

Helen Henderson said...

Nice summary of a writer's life.

Alina K. Field said...

Gosh, I too struggle so much with blurbs!
And I totally agree with you about writing all the way to the end. That's the numero uno thing for aspiring authors.

Kenzie Michaels said...

Back in 2008 or 9, I attended an online blurb-writing workshop. Wish I could find those notes; it was very helpful. My only advice is to read the blurbs on your favorite books, to get a 'feel' for them, then apply it to your own stories.

Maureen said...

I love - don't get it right, get it written- awesome! I need to heed that advice more.

Unknown said...

When you're writing, it's hard to remember it's a first draft and you can edit later. And, blurbs? Don't get me started. Sigh...

Ed Hoornaert said...

I'd add, Don't expect ever to 'arrive' at success. You'll probably find that your goalposts keep moving!

RaineB said...

Thank you, Kenzie. Some of your advice is (expensive) lol, but I am slowly reaching the point where I'm going to be able to start participating in at least one or two, so appreciate your advice!

Meka James said...

Yes, the blurb writing. Man it's so hard to narrow down what to say to hook the reader, but not give too much away. Such a balancing act.

Mary J. McCoy-Dressel said...

Ugh, the blurb! How does anyone expect us to put a 100K word novel into a few paragraphs? Well, they do, and somehow we do it. You've given some great advice in this post.

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