Guest Post by Natasha Larry
You’ve written a manuscript and now you want to publish. The best place to start is to check with your doctor to see if your dosage needs adjusting. You’ll need a sense of humor if you want to be a published author, so I hope that made you grin. Now breathe, and remember that writing and publishing are two different things. To get published is in no way and an art. Here are five tips to help get you started down the publishing road.
1. Decide What Kind of Author You Want To Be.
I don’t mean romance novelist or science fiction author. Before publishing you need to decide if this is what you want as a career, or if you just want to be an author. If your answer is that you want to be a writer, get ready to go to work. Treat writing as a business. If you want to keep your day job, treat writing as a part time job. Learn the industry and which options are best for the author you want to be five years from now. Then, prepare.
This is actually still a debate in the writing community. Do you need an editor? Should you edit? It’s like asking Yoda if you should try to use the force, or just use it. A Jedi Master, you want to be? Yes, you need to have an editor. You also have to self-edit. You are a writer. There are a lot of artist writers who think grammar isn’t for them. I was one of them. Now I edit shopping lists. Books are more than great ideas. Books are crafted, so learn the tools and use them. Self-edit, then hire an editor.
3. Get A Writing Buddy.
Before you submit or query anyone or anything, you need a critique buddy. Get online, network, and find a writer to help you trudge through the crap that comes with writing. Be selective! A good writing buddy should care about your work as much as you do, and you better return the love. Don’t waste your time with nice writers that never have anything bad to say about your work. They are lying. At the same time, look for someone that can be critical and respectful. This is a partnership. My writing buddy is actually my wife now because we work that well together.
4. Start An Author Blog.
Don’t just create a website for your soon to be published book. You need a blog. Blogging is the best way to start an author platform, which you will need regardless of how you publish. Blog about your road to publishing, books, mutant kittens… Just make sure you focus on something related to your book. Blogs are better than websites because they are interactive, and the goal is to network with writers and book lovers.
5. Make Time To Read.
The best advice I can think of for an aspiring author is to love books. Writing can be time consuming. So, make time. If you don’t have time to read great books, why do you want to write them? A writer that doesn’t have a love for reading is sure to do one thing: write terrible books. Don’t do that; and enjoy the journey!
Deciding to publish your manuscript can be a scary and exciting time. Remember you’re sending a labor of love out into the world, and as such, needs nurturing. Be well informed and always remember to love every step of the journey.
Natasha Larry is a self-professed comic book nerd and urban fantasy junkie. She has an M.A. in American History, making her a professional cynic. She is the author of the YA paranormal series, Darwin’s Children. She resides in Alabama with her awesome daughter. For more information about her or her work visit: