A-Z of becoming a published author : Tips by Preeti Narang, eminent Author
‘One day, I hope to write a book. ‘It’s on my bucket list.’ Does that sound familiar to you ? Is this something you think about often? I have heard this several times from friends, colleagues, and acquaintances over the years. But only a few could actually do it.
Some blamed it on time, others on life, and others on something else. We are so busy fulfilling our responsibilities that we don’t give importance to the things we love or to do the things we find meaningful or that make us happy. Likewise, I was one of them. After years of neglecting my wish to write a book, I finally came to my senses a few years ago. Publishing a book is one’s triumph if writing is one’s passion.
Writing was therapeutic for me and gave me a sense of accomplishment. Using Mr. Google and a Stanford University creative writing course, I started from scratch in June 2018 and self-published my debut novel in March 2020. I learned the following things during and after my journey toward becoming a published author:
- Choose a subject and genre that appeals to your interest and belief.
- Establish a schedule that you can follow. Time is not a problem, only commitment is. Fit writing into your time-slot by sacrificing something else.
- Read dozens of books in your genre to gain a deeper understanding of your topic, thought process of other authors and expectations of readers.
- Start working on the zero draft. Zero draft is nothing but an unstructured piece of writing that flows quickly through your mind. It does not have to be perfect. It’s only your first attempt. So, go for it.
- Whatever genre you write, write it from the heart. Keep it interesting and emotional. People should be able to connect with your writing.
- Do not focus too much on grammar and tenses, it’s an editor’s job. We are storytellers. I wasted a lot of time redoing and editing the first ninety pages of my book when I should have really focused on jotting down the entire story and completing my zero draft.
- Join a community of writers to deal with frustration, discouragement, procrastination and wanting to quit.
- Take a break to deal with writer’s block, but get back to writing as soon as possible.
- Editing by a professional is important. Find a professional editor who connects with your writing style and is within your budget.
- Traditional or Self-publishing both have their pros and cons. Choose your publishing route wisely. Start working towards it as soon as you can.
- Selling a book is difficult. Writing is only 30% of the job, marketing is the rest of 70%. Start building your platform a few months before publishing the book. Create an author website. Write a blog. Join social media platforms and interact with readers regularly. Create an email list. Write short stories or newsletters. Write for magazines or newspapers.
- Know your readers by regularly interacting with them through your website, on social media, or in person. Find an experienced writer who can offer an honest feedback on your work.
- Accept negative reviews from strangers positively and keep going.
- Last but not least, expect nothing from your friends and family. They are not your readers. A few may buy the book, a few might read it, but everyone will not. So,don’t get disheartened. Believe in yourself and be happy with your achievement.