How To Become A Published Author

Becoming a published author - tips on writing a novel for the first timeHi ! Author Stefanie Newell and this is The Life Of A Writer channel. Today’s video how to become a published author. So if you want to learn how to connect with readers and sell more books.

Make sure to subscribe and get new content to your inbox every Tuesday, but in this video I’m going to be sharing seven tips for busy writers who want to write and publish their book without feeling overwhelmed.

So in today’s video I want to share with you guys seven tips that I think are beneficial so you can kind of relieve yourself of that feeling of being overwhelmed and can just begin writing your book with realistic expectations. So that brings me to tip number one – Be realistic.

I want you guys to be realistic about your time and the new endeavour that you’re taking on so when you’re thinking about your time and how many days you can actually put aside in a week in order to write, be realistic about that time frame.

If you realistically know that you only have two nights a week where you’re able to write, I would much rather you go with that two nights than telling yourself that you’re going to write every single night and then once you’re not able to do that you give up all together.

https://youtu.be/BBvEoYO2pIA

Video Transcript: Tips For Becoming A Published Author

Tip number one – be realistic. So tell me down in the comments section. How often do you write?

Tip number tworemember that it’s okay to have a difference of opinion. So, in most cases, this is going to be around the nonfiction genre.

But let’s say for example you write in a genre where everyone has one particular point of view. That does not mean that you have to have that same point of view, in some cases, it’s almost even better that you have a difference of opinion because, first off, there’s going to be someone that agrees with you.

Also, bringing a new viewpoint to an already existing conversation is definitely going to put you at an advantage over some of the other people because everyone has been talking about it from the same perspective. So remember that having a difference of an opinion is not always a bad thing.

Tip number three – outline your book. Now we’ve talked about this in previous videos and I’ve shared with you guys that with my very first book I actually did the pantser method which basically means that you have no plan for your book you’re just writing as you go along.

And what I found in the last 10 years or so is that, for most of my clients, it is much easier for them to write and publish their book within a reasonable amount of time when they have an idea of what is going to go into each one of those chapters, so outlining seems to be the better way for new writers.

becoming a published authorNow with that being said once you get more experience in the publishing industry and with the writing itself. You may find that it’s better to do the pantser method and I personally don’t feel that there’s necessarily a right or wrong way to do it.

But when we’re talking about the easier way for most writers and especially going off my clients and my experiences with them… I find that outlining is going to be the best way to help you to get to becoming a published author, even sooner.

Tip number four – use voice memos to capture some of your ideas. So some of your best ideas are not going to come to you when you’re sitting at your computer, they may come to you when you’re laying in bed while you’re cooking dinner while you’re at your child’s soccer game and having some place that you can capture those ideas, whether it’s your voice memos or your notes or piece of paper or, you know, it doesn’t really matter where it’s just the idea that you want to capture those ideas so that you don’t lose them.

How To Publish Your Novel – A Course By Alessandra Torre, Best Selling Author

And when you do get ready to sit down, you have the starting point and you don’t have to figure out what you’re going to write about.

Tip number five – Go easy on yourself. So I want you guys to remember that writing is a creative process and it’s supposed to be fun. Even though you’re learning a lot of different things.

It’s all about mindset and how you look at it. So, for example, when you’re learning about characters or you’re learning about plot, don’t put pressure on yourself.

If you don’t get it right at the first try, because for many of us, myself included, it took several times before I really started to get a grasp of certain things like dialogue and characters and creating plots and plot twists and all of that.

how to be a published authorThat took time. So make sure that you’re making the process fun and creative and it doesn’t feel like a job because for many of you guys you’re going to be doing this in your spare time.

This is going to be something you’re going to be doing after work, after you put the kids down and if it starts to feel like a job too, becoming a published author will get put on the back burner.

My recommendation is to take it easy on yourself and make it a fun and creative process.

Tip number six – set a weekly writing goal. So I think this is probably one of the most important tips because it’s very important to know very early in the process what your overall word count goal is for your book. So if you know that you need 80,000 words in order to have a completed manuscript and break that down into how much you need to write on weekly basis.

Now for some people, they find it easier to go with a word count goal. So if they have an 80,000 word book that they want to write they may say that they want to write, you know, three to five thousand words a week.

Something that I’ve started implementing with my clients is not necessarily a word count goal, but a chapter goal because chapters can be different lengths and that seems to be easier because you know one week you may be completely busy and swamped and you don’t have a lot of extra time, whereas another week you may have a little bit more time.

So having that weekly chapter goal has been easier for my clients, but do whatever makes the most sense for you, whether that’s a word count goal or a chapter goal, but make sure you know how much you want to be writing on a weekly basis.

how to become a self published authorTip number seven – break down the information you need to learn into bite size pieces. So I kind of compare it to, you know, going to school. This is an education for you as a new writer, you have to learn the writing and you also have to learn the publishing as well.

And by breaking it down into bite size pieces, it makes it easier so that its not so overwhelming for you the new writer. So let’s say for example you are a fiction writer, you can break that down into little bite sized pieces to make the process a lot easier for you.

So let’s say for the first week you decide that you’re going to do research on how to describe characters so you can go to blogs that talk about writing characters, you can watch videos, such as mine on how to write characters you can take a course, you can buy a book but whatever you do that as your focus until you have a good understanding of that and feel like you can can move forward.

Once you have that, then you may want to move on to the next bite sized piece of information you need. Maybe that’s how to write dialogue, but by breaking it down into bite size pieces. It makes the process easier and of course we know that you’re a busy writer.

You have a lot going on and we’re trying to get information to you in a way that it’s not so overwhelming. If you want to connect with readers and sell more books. Make sure to subscribe. But in the meantime, check out my video playlist, How To Write A Book, where I share numerous tips for new writers looking to write and publish their very first book.

As always, all of my social media links will be in the description box below. If you’re looking to hire me as you’re writing coach, you’ll find that information there as well and I look forward to talking with you in my next video.

https://youtu.be/eLuLbzIqvcE

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Gemma Crisp. I’m the Acting Associate Editor of Stylist Magazine. I’m here tonight at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in London for the first ever Stylist Book Club Event. It sold out within six hours, which is amazing.

We also have a waitlist of almost 500 people. Hello, everybody. Welcome to Stylist’s first ever Book Club Event. Without further ado, please welcome to the stage, Stylist’s Publishing Director Glenda Marchant, and Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

self published authorsChimamanda: First, thank you all so much for being here. This is such a beautiful space. I’m really happy to be here. I’m so happy to see you all. Thank you for that warm welcome.

Glenda: Thank you. What I can say one thing about your novels, you have this incredibly strong women.

Chimamanda: Strong women are not remarkable to me. They’re normal. I think growing up, it was the same. I was surrounded by women, who were all kinds of women, but women also for whom strength was normal.

Glenda: You write very beautifully, very simple English. I mean that is a compliment. Is that something that you’ve learned to do or is that just a natural way you write? It’s beautiful writing to me.

Chimamanda: Yeah. That’s just because I don’t know big words.

Glenda: That’s fair enough. I’m guessing that there’s probably a few budding writers in the room today. Any advice you could give them?

Chimamanda: Read, read, read. I’m not sure that one can be a good writer without being a good reader. If you’re ready to build the desk, it’s very good to see what other carpenters have done. I have spoken to many, many people who wants to write. I just say, “Well, you need to sit down and actually write.”

Glenda: Get it down on paper.

steps to becoming a published authorChimamanda: Because much writing, I think, is really rewriting. It’s that often first drafts are terrible.

Female 1: How wonderful this book is. I haven’t read any other books of yours, but this is so wonderful. It’s so wonderful to read a love story about black people, sorry! It’s so beautiful and it’s so real. The sex scenes are good, but the gentleness and the sweet, it’s beautiful. I just wanted to know if you’ve got an Obinze in your life.

Chimamanda: All I can say is that there are many Obinzes in the world. There are. That’s all I’ll say.

Female 2: Hey. My question’s a bit random, I suppose. I came across you actually, through Flawless by Beyonce, where you’re obviously quoted in it. It’s a song that I found quite confusing. I wanted to know what your thoughts were about being quoted on a song like that, that sends such mixed messages. I think, on the face of it, at the beginning, at least, is very contrary to the principles that you were talking about in your TED talk.

Chimamanda: What I do know is that I’m very happy that because of that song, my niece who is 11, now very proudly self-identifies as feminist.

Female 3: As an aspiring writer, one of the things that you struggle with is how much people around you try and make you change your writing. I just wanted to know how you have dealt with feedback or your criticism that you have perceived, and what your message will be for aspiring writers.

Chimamanda: Feedback is very important. I think honest feedback is very important, but it’s also hard to find. Other writers can be useful, also they cannot, because they’re doing the same thing. Sometimes, they want you to become like them. It’s wonderful if you can find a reader who’s very careful, but who’s not necessarily interested in writing. You have to make peace with the fact that there are people who will not like it and who will not get it, and it’s part of the territory.

Female 4: When the writing experience seems a bit of a struggle, what inspires you to keep going?

Chimamanda: I love writing. Writing is what makes me happy, happiest. When it’s difficult, what keeps me going is the possibility of joy. When you write and if it’s not going well, take a break. Eat chocolates. Just leave it alone for a while, and then go back.

Glenda: Thank you so much for coming.

Chimamanda: Thank you.

How to become a published author with Alessandra Torres

How To Publish A Novel – Traditional Publishing Vs Self-Publishing

How To Publish A Novel – Traditional Publishing Vs Self-Publishing

OK, Your book is finished at last! The manuscript has been edited by a pro (or at least expertly self-edited with the help of beta readers) and is the best it can possibly be. So what happens now?

You need to know how to publish a novel, and the very first step is to explore the different options available to an author. The video below does just that, from a point of view of a hybrid author. A hybrid author is someone who uses traditional publishing methods, but also self-publishes online.

There are, of course, pros and cons for each  publishing method and Johanna Penn explains quite fully.

https://youtu.be/Aqn_2ZvcRuU

The Pros and Cons of Traditonal Publishing Vs Self-Publishing

How To Publish A Novel – Traditional Or Indie?

Video transcript:

Hello creatives – I’m Johanna pen from thecreativepen.com and today I’m talking about the pros and cons of traditional publishing versus self-publishing, or being an independent author.

So first of all, what is traditional publishing, as we’re defining it here? Well, it’s the sort of time-honored approach of getting an agent and then that agent getting you a publishing deal. Then essentially a company, a publishing house, putting your book together.

You work with editors, cover designers and then they publish your book to all the online stores and physical stores, and retail, and all of that type of thing, so it’s basically working with a company who will take your book and put it out into the world.

Whereas being an independent author is essentially taking control of that process yourself and of course I have lots of videos on how to self publish. This is the book that you want to grab, if you’re interested in the technical details but for day today we are just talking about the pros and cons.

how to get your book publishedSo let’s start with the big one. One of the biggest reasons that you would want a traditional publishing deal is the prestige, the kudos, the validation, the penguin on the spine or the Virago press or the Hay House. I completely get it. I’ve had these thoughts myself but it’s interesting, because sometimes the myth and the dream, it doesn’t necessarily connect to the reality.

This always comes back to your definition of success. If you want literary acclaim, if you want to win a literary prize, if you want a famous editor to pat you on the back and say you are a good writer, if you want a particular newspaper to report on you or magazine, and that really is what you consider the most important thing, then traditional publishing is certainly the way forwards.

However, I am thinking that at some point being in the author will be as cool as an indie filmmaker or an indie musician. Many of the independent sort of markets growing up. Indie beer but a small batch breweries, that type of thing. We are moving into an age of the artisan, where people do love to buy direct from the Creator, so I think and then talking about validation as well. For me, as an indie author very happy when the author validation comes from reviews.

So on the screen right now is an example of, you know, lots of readers loving a book and readers are fantastic for telling you what they think obviously. So validation can come in the form of reviews. It can also come in the form of money, in the bank accounts and at this point I make a multi six-figure income as a writer, so again how you define success is so important.

tips on how to publish a novel book - workshop linkFor these pros and cons, in your own mind, the next big thing that people often say ‘is distribution to physical bookstores’ as in physical books in a physical bookstore, preferably the one down the street so that your friends can see it.

When you walk into the airport, your book would be there, so first of all, yes, you can definitely get into bookstores as an indie author and I use Ingram spark particularly to get into bookstores so they can order it in.

But the reality with bookstore distribution at this point in history, I’m sure you’ve seen the various news about high street retail. If things are changing in terms of the retail environment, and if you sell your books online, so I sell ebooks, print books, and audio books online.

If you have a print book for sale online, as I do, then people can order that online and get the print book shipped to them often within 24 hours, even if that book doesn’t exist yet. Using print on demand, so yes it can be easier to get a book into distribution stores and retail stores through traditional publishing, but also it’s worth noting that most books go into a bookstore and then out within a month or months to six weeks.

So of course, if you walk into a bookstore this weekend and then the following weekend there are going to be new books on the tables, unless they are mega mega outbreaks in which case there would be lots of lots of those books. And they might be there for a while but most books go in and out of the bookstores quite quickly.

Then of course there’s working with an established team. If you do get a traditional publishing deal, you will be assigned an editor or an editorial team. Maybe different kinds of editors. You’ll be assigned cover designers, hopefully a publicist, for at least the month of launch.

You will have an established process to go through, so if you are insecure about it then that can go through it but of course, if you independently publish, many of us do, and there are lots of resources where you can find the process. To be honest, the process of publishing a book is not that complicated.

At this point in time the complication is the writing and the marketing, but yes, you will have an established team. You should also not have any upfront costs and this is very important, because if you are signing with a traditional publisher they should be paying you so you hopefully get an advance.

Of course we hear in the news about six-figure,seven-figure advances but most advances are on the lower end, so around $5,000 – $10,000 and most of them are quite small. Then you will hopefully, if you earn out that advance against royalties, you will then get royalty payments later.

Although many traditionally published authors will say that the advance is pretty much all they saw, and then of course I think related to the validation kudos aspect is the lottery ticket, that you could become the next JK Rowling, the next James Patterson, the next Stephen King, the next whoever your favorite author is. Lee Child, for example.

Although it’s interesting – when I went to thriller fest last year in 2017, Lee Child said, and he’s quoted in the New York Times as saying ‘you can’t have this career, anymore – the publishing industry has changed. Pretty much can’t have that kind of career that he has had.’

So that I thought that was very interesting, but yes, you will get paid and you don’t need to have an upfront budget if you are traditionally published. So what about the cons or the negative side of traditional publishing. Well, I have many traditionally published friends and the biggest issue that many of them have, and many reasons why authors do go indie, is creative control.

how to get a book publishedOnce you sign a contract you’re basically licensing your rights to a company and they are not a charity. They’re a company. Publishers exist to make money, as they should, and basically you’re, you then are signing over control to that publisher.

So for example, if they want to change the book title, if they want to use a cover that’s not your choice if they want to and if you’re assigned an editor, and editor leaves the company and then they decide not to publish your book, these things are quite common you know.

So the the loss of control is a really big aspect. As soon as you sign a contract you’re basically losing control of what you’ve created. Now hopefully , positively everything will be wonderful and amazing, but what if it isn’t? So that creative control is a big issue. The other negative side is speed and this is actually what stopped me going for the traditional publishing reach back in the day, sort of 2007 – 2008 when I was looking at my publishing options.

This was even before the international Kindle. I still couldn’t couldn’t go forwards because of the speed. Basically it will take you and anywhere between six months, a year, two years, potentially more to get an agent, and then once the agent accepts, you it might take a year, it might take two years.

It takes many people a lot longer to get a publishing deal. If you want to wait that long, then awesome – go ahead, but I was determined to make his success of my writing life. I was not waiting around for someone to give me permission to put the book out there. Speed, especially if you’ve written a time-sensitive book, or you’re ready to promote ,or you have an audience, is important.

These are good reasons why you could control it yourself. Then of course royalty rates. So just money, the royalty rates for traditional publishing are between 7 and 25% and show the 25% is up on the higher end. Some publishing companies now are moving the e-book royalties up to 50 cents.

There’s some very good publishers out there who do that but the royalties are on that lower side generally. If you are traditionally published, your contract have a look – oftentimes it will be seven to ten percent. With independent publishing you get seventy percent, so you can sell a lot fewer books and still make more money.

Again, it’s a valid reason because my definition of success is making a living. That was something that was important to me. Another common issue is rights licensing. For example, if you sign a contract for Worlds English which means all English language in all territories, all countries, all over the world and on Mars when we get there, you’ve signed over to that publisher.

how to publish a book

It’s very unlikely that that publisher is going to publish your book all over the world in English. When you’re independently published you can upload your book to the various platforms, and if you own world rights you can be for sale in all in 190 countries. At the moment I’ve sold books in 84 countries in the world, which is far more than most traditionally published authors.

Because most traditionally published sources will not be available in these countries. So there are lots of other things to watch out for in publishing contracts. I’m not an expert in contracts but I suggest you check out this book ‘Closing the Deal on your Terms’ by Christine Kathryn Rusch.

This is an excellent book. So if you are thinking of signing a publishing contract, or if you have and you want to check out the terms, then definitely get this book. Fianlly, to point out that, although you do hopefully get some marketing with a publishing deal, most authors are generally underwhelmed by the marketing that’s done for their book.

Again, if you get a massive advance, you’re gonna get massive publicity because they want to make that money back. If you get a advanced, you’re less likely to get much marketing publicity. So however you publish, and obviously as an independent author you have to do it yourself, but the point is that if you go traditional publishing you will still have to do book marketing.

how to get my book publishedIt’s something we all have to learn and there are other videos on that. Okay, so let’s talk about the pros and cons of being an indie author or self-publishing. Now, I prefer the term indie author because I work with professionals. Professional editors, professional cover designers.

I have people help me with marketing. I have a business – this is not a hobby for me. I do love it but I also run a business, so this kind of attitude I think is very important if you’re going to be as successful as an author. Of course, you can learn all of these skills over time as I have. I actually have a master’s degree in theology, which is not that useful when it comes to practical things.

So all of this I’ve learned how to do myself over the years and of course, now I try and help you to do it too. As I’ve kind of alluded to that one, of the number one reasons people go indie is total creative control. Controlling the cover, the title, what you write because, of course, if you have a traditional publishing deal, they will often want particular types of books.

Or you’ll be guided to write in a particular genre, so if you want to basically write whatever you want to write, then independent is good. Of course, you can do both and this is an important point I should say up front. You can do traditional and indeed that is called hybrids.

Being a hybrid author, which a lot of authors do these day,s and is a fantastic idea. Total creative control very important and mainly because it means that your creative life is under your control. You are empowered. You can make whatever choices you want. You don’t need permission to put a book into a new market, or up on a new vendor, or do a particular giveaway, you can just do it.

You own the right and you have control. You also can get those higher royalty rates, as I mentioned. If you price your book between $2.99 and $9.99 u.s. dollars, you can get the 70 percent royalty rates in most markets, so that is great. It does mean, as I say you, can make a living with selling a lot fewer books than an author who might make seven to ten percent royalty on that sale.

So if you have an audience already obviously, or if you’re writing a very niche book, going indie can really be a great idea. Many publishing houses need to make more money to cover that overheads, so they might not be interested. Whereas if you’re just doing it from your home office, as I am your, overheads will be a lot less.

how to go about publishing a bookYou might be really happy making five grand for a book in the lifetime of a book, whereas another publisher might not see the investment opportunity there. Different types of books will see different types of publishing. Also you can sell wherever you want all over the world and you can do whatever rights you want.

For example, audiobooks. Now we can use a CX, we can get audiobooks out to all kinds of places, as well as ebooks, print books. You can do different editions. Basically, when you have control of that manuscripts, you can do all kinds of exciting stuff. Of course, you can use independent publishing or being an indie author to get noticed by traditional publishing.

If your goal is to get a traditional publishing deal, then it may be a good idea to establish yourself first as an indie. Build up an audience and then publishers will start to come to you. Many indie authors get approached by traditional publishers with certain deals and many of them have taken those deals.

Some famous indie authors include Andy weir with the Martian, who started out putting his book on his blog then put it up on Kindle. He got an audiobook deal and then it became a movie. Other books that started out that way include ‘The rabbit who wants to go to sleep’, a create-space print-on-demand book which got picked up.

Hugh Howey with another big book ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, of course, started out self-published and went on to sell like 150 million copies, so if your goal is a traditional publishing then this can be a way to learn your craft. When you do this, you understand a lot more what publishers do and that can really help you become much more professional.

That’s certainly what I found. I have a lot more empathy with publishers now I am publisher. Albeit only of my own books but I certainly understand the challenges of book marketing and distribution, which I didn’t when I was just writing. I loved being an indie author obviously but there are downsides. There are cons and probably the biggest one coming circling back to the prestige, is many people still think there’s a stigma associated with self-publishing.

how to publish a novelThat’s partly why I prefer the term independent author and it’s true there are lots of terrible self-published books, but there are also lots of terrible traditional published books. I mean, look at some of these celebrity memoirs.

I mean, what are they doing? You know, you can be in charge of the quality aspects. You can make sure you put out the best quality book possible but certainly that validation may well be missing.

Another issue for many people is having to learn to do new things. So you do have to become a project manager as well as a writer. You have to kind of take off your writer hat and put on your project manager hat. You’ll publish a hat but again obviously I have books, there’s lots of books and courses, and everything on how to do this, so it’s not like you haven’t got any guidance.

This is a free ebook available on all the ebook platforms so you can check out. Obviously, all these videos are free, so you can learn these skills but you have to be motivated. You do have to then find an editor, find cover designers and again I have lists on my website at the creative pen at home forward slash editors or forward slash book cover design.

We all have resources that we share in the community but you do have to assemble your creative professionals over time and you do have to organize yourself and learn some new skills to get the book out there. If you want a quality product you also have to invest some money.

No business goes from zero to profit without putting something in, whether that’s time or money. So you know, if you need an editor you can barter for it, or you can pay for it. And of course, investing in your career as an author, editing cover design website, this type of thing these are all important. Publishers will be very happy if you have this type of thing, to a professionally edited manuscript, an author website and some of the basics of marketing are something that publishers will really want you to have.

However you publish, these are good things to do. As for print distribution, as I mentioned, you can do that through sites like Ingram Spark, where which means that the bookstores will have your book in their catalog and then they can order it in. But of course, they have to order it.

how to publish your novel - course link