Writing is one of the most difficult things to do. It takes a lot of time, effort, and patience that not everyone has. Studies show that less than 2 percent of people who start writing will finish it.
With so many distractions, habits, and responsibilities in life today, becoming an author seems like an impossible feat for some people. But no matter how tough this job may seem on the outside, here are ways around all these obstacles with enough determination and hard work.
Here’s how to become an author:
1. Determine What You Want to Write About
These days, you’ll never run out of genres. There are so many out there that you can’t help but be overwhelmed. Romance, mystery, sci-fi, horror – what do you write about? What genre appeals to you?
The best way to know is by reading a lot and writing a bit. Read books in the genres you want to write in until you get an idea. You can also research what is selling well and try to find a niche that you can fill. Check out the New York Times Best-Seller List, bookstores like Barnes & Noble, or even online marketplaces like Amazon.
Go to social media and ask your friends what they enjoy reading. Their recommendations are an excellent indicator of the types of stories people are looking for.
If you can’t find a niche in one genre, don’t worry, try several! Write several short pieces and release them under different pen names to see which ones pay off best.
2. Create a Schedule
Many authors suffer from writer’s block and find it hard to write anything at all let alone daily or weekly.
However, there is a way to get over this. All you need do is set up a schedule and stick to it. Decide how often and how much you can write and follow that routine.
Don’t have time in the morning? Set your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier, so you can start writing before going off to work. Do you write best after dark? Find some time after your kids go to bed.
It’s important not to give up on your writing routine no matter what. You may miss a day or two, but don’t let that throw you off for good. If you find yourself having writer’s block more than usual, take a break of several days before trying again.
Making an outline or using many online writers’ tools can also help in combating writer’s block.
3. Decide How You Want to Publish Your Book
Before, the only way to publish your book is to look for an agent and hope that a publishing company will accept it. Today, you already have many options. One of these is self-publishing.
In self-publishing, you’ll have to do almost everything yourself – or pay someone to do it for you. However, you’re in full control. You can hire editors, cover designers, and market your book directly to readers. Most of all, you can keep most of the royalties.
It’s only a matter of finding the best self-publishing companies out there. Do your research. Don’t just settle for the first one you stumble upon. If you can, get recommendations from other authors or go to social media and ask.
Learn more about their process as well. It’s always a good idea to know what you’re going into. What services do they offer? How much does it cost? How long will the process take? Does their contract have any clauses that may be detrimental to your book in the future?
4. Set a Budget
Some people are lucky enough to have all the cash they need to publish their books. But most don’t even come close. It’s important to know how much you have to spend. If you don’t, you may find yourself with a book that doesn’t look professional.
There are many expenses when it comes to self-publishing: editing, cover design, marketing, etc. You’ll want your book to be the best it can be, so set aside some money for these services.
If you don’t have the budget to pay for editing, try doing it yourself or get a friend who is an editor. If your book is not edited well, readers are more likely to return it, which takes away from potential royalties.
Try selling your book before spending money on it if you can. Sell what you already have to see what you can make. If your book sells, expand on it. If it doesn’t, try another storyline or genre until one does.
Consider on-demand publishing. It’s a cheaper alternative to offset printing. On-demand publishers print books by order only. They don’t store any inventory of your book.
5. Market Your Book Effectively
If you want your book to be successful, you must market it well. The more people who know about your book, the better chances of making money from it.
Some great ways to get the word out there are reviews, social media, and a website. Start a blog or a Facebook page for your book if you can. Let your friends and family know about it too. They’ll spread the word for you.
Collect email addresses from people interested in reading more works by you. If your book is self-published, usually, marketing is up to you entirely. You’re responsible for making readers aware of what you have to offer. If you have a little more cash, you can hire a marketing person or look for companies that offer book promotion services.
You’re almost ready to start writing your book. These are just some things you’ll need to know for self-publishing to succeed. You can always ask help from experts if needed.
Meta title: 5 Steps to Becoming an Author
meta desc: How do you become an author? Although the process doesn’t happen overnight, you can make it smoother and faster with these five steps.
Jeff Morgan is currently associated with NetworksGrid as a technical content writer. Through his long years of experience in the IT industry, he has mastered the art of writing quality, engaging and unique content related to IT solutions used by businesses.