I get asked a lot of questions on becoming an author from aspiring writers so I thought I’d share some of the most commonly asked questions here. Have some that I missed? Post them in the comments and I’ll try to get to them.
Yes, becoming an author is an uphill battle — but it’s pretty fun.
- How hard was it finding a publisher?
I actually found my first publisher very easily – which should have been a red flag. Although I’m happy for the lessons I learned from it, it turned out she was pretty much one of those scam publishing houses that everyone warns you about. Live and learn, right? Fortunately, I only had a one book contract with this (shall remain nameless) publishing house and I recently got my rights back to said book. I’ve been working on clean up – good times.
My 2nd publisher (AZ Publishing) was easy in the sense that I didn’t need to find an agent or go through the rejection process but it took me a good year of relationship building and begging to have them take on my books. LOL Did I mention I’m relentless?
- Do ideas come to you easily?
Way too easy. I almost laugh when friends try to give me ideas. I have too many to keep up with as it is. I always tell them, if it’s your idea – you should write it!
- Do you edit your own work?
Never! If I can give any advice to an aspiring writer is to please get your work professionally edited. I can’t tell you how many writing groups I’ve been in where the author challenges the group to find a mistake and mistakes are found within the first paragraph. This is on work they swear was perfect. Never ever ever ever edit your own work.
- Do you write full time?
Yes, I do. But not as a novelist. I’m also a freelance journalist and copywriter. But I do write full time, just not books.
- How do you gain readers?
By being accessible and real. I see so many authors trying so hard to be something they’re not. Just be yourself and network. It takes time to build a readership but if you’re you then it’ll happen easier.
- How do you get into events?
With a publisher! Yes, you can do this when you’re self-published but it’s much easier when you have a publisher who already has a network. Best thing to do is attend events and build relationships.
- How do you find the time to write?
You need to make time. I have a 6 year old, two other writing jobs that are quite demanding, a husband, a daunting travel schedule and a million reasons why I don’t need to write — as we all do. But if you really want it, you’ll find a way. We all have 24 hours in our day, it’s just a matter of what you do with it.
- How do you prepare to write?
I don’t. Preparation is the fastest road to procrastination. Just write. You can do research along the way.
- Do you attend writers workshops?
Sadly, I haven’t. You’re already familiar with my ‘accidental writer’ story – and so I’ve never attended one. I’ve actually spoken at a few as an author but never actually attended one. However, I’m such an avid reader that I am always learning by picking up as many books as I can. I also write at least 500 words on a day so I’m constantly working on my craft.
- How many words a day do you write?
I try to make chapter goals. When I’m editing (like I’m doing now) I can either go super fast or super slow on editing. Depending on the book. Right now, it’s super slow.