It’s funny. Being a writer is easy. You get an idea, you write it down, you edit it a few times and voila! You’re a writer. If you’re lucky, and mildly talented, you can get someone to pay you to write–newsletters, brochures, websites, etc. I’ve had that good fortune for over 15 years.
But being an author? That’s a LOT of work.
First you get an idea for a book–that’s the easy part.
Then you start to write, realize you don’t know what you’re doing, talk to other writers, and maybe join a club or go to a conference. Over time, you manage to craft a pretty good story and you’re ready to “Become an Author.” Da da da dum.
That’s when things get tricky. Here are steps 1 through 397 (or so it seems):
- Write a synopsis of your novel (it’s very tricky to squeeze a 300 page novel into a 3 page summary: Boy meets Girl, Boy likes Girl, Girl gets mad at Boy, Girl wallows, Boy gets angry, Boy admits he’s wrong and they live happily ever after)
- Find someone to pitch to. This can be done by searching online for publishers, making contacts at conferences, entering contests–winning–and being referred to a publisher, or just dumb luck (a friend of a friend? Score!)
Here were the rest of my steps–your reality may vary:
- Get rejected
- Re-write pitch, summary and first 3 chapters about five times
- Give the right pitch to the right publisher and submit your manuscript
- Get accepted! And get a contract
- Find someone who knows what they’re doing to review your contract.
- Develop a bio, get a professional photo, submit cover art outline, write your book blurb, get your manuscript copyrighted and all the other boring administrative stuff.
- Start the editing process. YIKES! You thought you had a book good enough to get published and then all your appallingly bad writing flaws are brought to your attention–page after page of corrections, comments, notes, insertions and deletions.
- THEN you have to start thinking about marketing. Set up a website, twitter account, facebook, pinterest, whatever you think you can keep up with, whatever you have time to learn.
That’s where I am now. I’ve finished my edits, created a website and started a twitter feed(@alleighburrows). I look forward to the next 43 steps I’m sure are coming. That should be the inspiration for my next blog.