Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” Charles Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities,” Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose,” J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series and Steven Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time.” You devoured these books growing up. There was nary a moment where your parents wouldn’t find you holding a book in your hand and reading.
These authors were your inspiration. And they are part of the reasons why you’re now about to graduate from North Western University with a degree in creative writing. Your dream is to become an author, and you’re excited as the course winds down.
Your not yet looking for companies like Action Mailing, which provides a wide array of printing and documentation solutions. But you are excited about starting your first work. Would a talent in writing be the only thing necessary to become a successful author?
Here are some of the things you need to consider to publish your first book:
An Overview of the Publishing Industry
The publishing industry has shown some sluggishness for the past five years, registering a -0.1% annual growth rate. However, it was still able to generate revenue worth $29 billion.
The number of writers and authors in the USA, according to Statista, is about 45,210 in 2018. With this relatively small number, you could undoubtedly regard yourself as being part of an elite group.
Becoming an Author: Writing Your First Book
Reflect carefully on why you are doing it. It’s a path that doesn’t lead to too much money compared to other careers. Make sure you understand the kind of satisfaction this profession will bring. Here are different things for you to think about:
- Put the cart before the horse. You need to start first with a marketing plan before you write your story. That’s like putting the cart before the horse, but there is wisdom to this idea. The marketing plan will tell you who your audience will be. If you know your audience, it provides you with a better perspective on who to write it for. The marketing plan allows you to look at trends. Is the market ripe for a crime-mystery novel? Or are cheesy romance novels still a thing?
- Just write. No other tagline could perhaps be better appropriated for writers than Nike’s “Just Do It!”. Experts advise that you should find time to write even if it’s just for a few minutes in a day. Write down ideas as it flows through your head, from plots to mere character descriptions. Build on these initial ideas. Before you know it, you will have an initial draft ready for review by your editor.
- Set and meet targets. Imagine the number of words you would require to finish a book. 100,000 words is the length of Steve Job’s biography, while Malcolm Gladwell’s book is about 80,000 words. Find your range and use that as your reference point.
- Find an excellent editor. Writing is one thing. Editing is another. Editors serve to not only polish your work; they also provide a different perspective on how you can get your message across to your audience more effectively.
“Publish or perish” is an aphorism that pressures writers to become a highly successful and published author. But one writer tells aspiring ones to remember that the stakes aren’t always that high. You won’t always get the best review, and that’s fine. Take pleasure in the fact that you will be able to finish a book.