Maybe they've written a book. Maybe they haven't. But questions like "How do I get a book published?" can be complicated to answer. I often feel that they're looking for the magic fairy dust.
I started writing in 1995. I landed my agent in 2009. I got my first book deal in 2012. So...yeah...that magic fairy dust was this:
So, I've decided to write this blog post, which I'll save as a link to send to anyone who asks. This is the most important thing I'd tell anyone who wants to be a novelist:
So if you pass that test, I'd point you to the next piece of advice almost every working author today lives by:
Long before I typed "Chapter One" on my first book, I was reading everything I could. Including Stephen King's entire collection. Once I started writing, I kept finding time to read, including listening to audiobooks and riding the bus to work so I could get my reading time in.
There are supplies you can gather for your journey, including a support group. I highly recommend it. For the first half of my journey, I relied heavily on the support of Romance Writers of America (RWA), a 100-percent awesome organization.
If you're a children's writer, this is your group. Another 100-percent awesome organization.
If you're looking for a group that meets in person regularly, Meetup can help you find a critique/support group:
You should also set up a Twitter account and start following agents who represent the type of books you plan to write. They'll often post calls for specific types of manuscripts. You may also want to sign up for this:
If you want to self-publish, I'm not the person to ask. That's a whole other complicated blog that I'm sure one of my mega-talented blogger friends has posted about before.
(If you have, please post the link in the comments!)
Hope this guide has been at least a little helpful. Also, once you're published, be careful reading an unpublished author's work. It can put you into some serious legal hot water if that author decides you "stole" his or her idea later.
What advice do you have for new authors?
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