10 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming a Published Author
by Heidi Garrett
It’s more demanding than you think it will be. I knew self-publishing would be hard, but almost a year into to, I’ve found myself declaring in the past few weeks that it’s even harder than I thought it would be. And it is, but it’s also totally worth it.
Creating typo-free books isn’t as easy as it looks. Prior to publication, we have several beta-readers, a professional editor, and myself read the manuscript again and again. We do automated spelling and grammar checks. Invariably, things fall through the cracks. The worst is when you inadvertently create a new error while correcting an existing one.
Book covers can be challenging. Whether you hire a professional artist or go the D-I-Y route, creating an image that expresses your story through image, while visually connecting with readers is no easy task.
Pushing yourself to write will make you a better writer. As someone who wrote privately for many years, I was not a forceful writer, in that I never forced myself to write. I’ve been surprised that sitting down and forcing myself to write, no matter what else is going in my life, has made me a better writer and allowed me to produce some of my best writing.
Writing and finishing more books will make you a better writer. My writing has improved with each completed book. Writing and re-writing the first fifty pages of my manuscript stunted my growth as a writer.
Readers will make you a better writer. Readers respond to a book in a different way than other writers do, even if they are also writers. Readers respond directly to character and plot. Readers will tell you what they love and hate about your book. They will help you learn your strengths and weaknesses as writer.
Setting and committing to deadlines can overcome writer’s block. By setting deadlines—and committing to them—you will be forced to write (see #4). By setting deadlines —and committing to them—you will learn that you are truly a writer.
You will have the opportunity to meet many incredible people, you would, otherwise, not have met. Now, we’re getting to the really good stuff. By publishing, the size of my world has increased exponentially. I have met wonderful, fascinating people from all over the world. This makes me incredibly happy.
Readers who love your books will mean more to you than you can ever imagine. It’s hard to connect with each other beneath our skin. Writing and reading books allows us to do that. It’s part of the magic. Hearing from and connecting with readers who “get” your story is amazing.
The entire process is a spiritual journey. Writing the book, figuring out how to market it, connecting with readers, it’s all an opportunity to grow as a person, to expand your worldview, and to discover deeper levels of truth. That’s pretty spiritual stuff, if you ask me.
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Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG
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