Monday, August 5, 2013

Writing A Book & Getting It Published

Since finding a publisher for my first novel, for which I am very grateful, I have had several people ask me how I did it. How did I publish a book? Well, the first thing you have to do is write it. And writing a book does not involve just putting words down on paper or typing them on your computer . . . it's telling a story and telling it well. If it doesn't flow, it's got to go!

I have always had a desire to write, whether it be poetry, or just short stories for my mom when I was little. I even wrote about my first child birthing experience, which I will have to edit and share some day. So it's not like I just woke up one day and said, "I think I'll write a book." It was in me all along, it just took me a while to realize it. And when the idea for my first novel came to me, I toyed with different story lines, plots, and characters, but only in my head. Then one day it hit me—you have got to write this stuff down. And so my journey into authorhood begins.

First, I downloaded free writing software (yWriter) from Spacejock. Unlike Word, this allows you to take notes, do outlines, list characters and bios for each, and other important things that a writer needs to keep track of. This software also converts your work over to a Word document, so when you're ready to print or submit it to agencies, it's ready to go.

Next, I edited my work . . . twice. Then I passed it along to a few beta readers (Thank you Nova, Sharon and Beverly!) to make sure it flowed well, didn't have grammatical errors that I had missed, and to give me an overall review. After that, I edited yet again. At this point, I was satisfied enough to feel comfortable starting the submission process, which is, to me, the hardest part. This is where many authors give up.

The submission process consists mainly of three things:
1. Find an agent/publishing company that you feel would be a good match for your work. (I did this through Google searches and writers' blogs.)
2. Check their guidelines for submissions (Follow them exactly!) and submit your work. Most are online submissions, which makes it rather easy. (Get ready to write the dreaded query letter.)
3. And then you wait.

It takes some authors a very long time to get an offer on their book, if they even get an offer at all. It's even more difficult for first-time authors, but it is possible—I am proof. (Thank you Limitless Publishing!) And if all else fails, and writing is your passion, there is always self publishing. CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing appear to be great avenues to get your work out there to readers. So never give up!

Every writer's experience is different; this one happens to be mine. ☺
For more information about me and my
(soon to be) published series, click here.