Monday, November 23, 2009

Stuff from a writer...

Recently, there have been some interesting developments in the publishing industry, and I choose not to go over the facts, rumors, or concerns about them - there are plenty out there who have and, personally, aren't all that helpful.


Because it seems to me that most sites who are discussing the new developements, are actually talking to people who already know about publishing, rather than those who are hoping to be published. That is the group that will potentially be more damaged than anyone else. Of course, everyone is worried about a newbie jumping into a tenuous situation, but, at the same time, they aren't telling them what to do. So, here you go, some very basic, but well-meaning advice for an aspiring author:

1. Writing is a job, treat it that way.
Always be professional, do your research, and then do some more. This means you need to learn all you can about your craft and then read for knowledge, not just pleasure. You also need tot delve deeper into the business of writing and publishing, only then will you be equipped to know what isn't as good a situation as it sounds. There are many sites out that offer news and industry happenings, however, know your source, and be able to trust them implicitly. Be able to tell the muck from gold.

2. Know the business you're getting into, know it very well, and respect its unique qualities.
You must put the time in to understand everything in relation to writing/publishing. Everything.
• Understand contracts and how to handle various clauses, the editing process, royalties, and especially the publishing house(s) you wish to submit to.
• Understand that you must do more than write the book. An author must be able to sell it to a publisher, as well as the public. That means you have to promote it and figure out how to do it in a way that suits you, the book, and your publishing house.
• Understand that no two houses are the same. Before you submit [whether it's your first, second, or twelth book with them], read their guidelines, respect them and the house, and do it as they request.

3. And, ultimately, no excuses, BIC - put the butt in the chair and write.
There is no chance of you being an author if you don't actually do the work. Yes, it's a solitary job, but life will interrupt your writing, best get over that hump right now. Find your rhythm and repeat it - everyday, again, no excuses. Now, this is very important so pay close attention: every word you write is not golden. That comes later. So get busy and write, get it all down, then worry about the perfect word, grammar, and polish. Oh, by the way, that perfection will only last until your editor gets their hands on your pride and joy, but that's something for another day.

There you go, the work isn't always glamorous and wonderful, shocking I know, but it explains why many authors are excited to attend events and let their hair down.

Please realize that there is much more to know about being writer. Loads of details, seriously important details, but someone who wants to write needs to go out there and learn all about the business - from top to bottom, and the stuff hidden in the back of the closet as well. I will, however, offer you two platitudes that actually fit and should be kept in mind:

• Don't take the easy route, take the right road, even if it will take longer.

• Don't be desperate to hold the book in your hand, be desperate to do it right, and then hold the book in your hand.

Good luck, because, in the end, it is a very rewarding job - which is why it's worth the time and effort to do it right.

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