Well dear people, as you can see, I´m still walking on the perilous road to becoming a writer. Yes, I am that stupid. But well, if you are in the same boat as me, grab yourself some of the stuff you will find underneath, you are going to need it if you want to make any progress in this line of business.
Imagination to create something. I know it sounds a bit redundant, but after reading tons of info on numerous blogs and articles, there are some shady characters out there that pay a pittance to other struggling writers (like the ones you will find in Fiverr), in order to publish several books a month. This way, they flood the market with rubbish, because let´s be honest, nobody is going to write a bestseller for a handful of dollars, pounds or euros for that matter. These vultures then skim off any money to be made at the same time as they screw lots of us over, ie: decent authors that want to make their work visible.
Patience. It is a long road to the top when you want to rock and roll, as the posthumous ACDC singer Bon Scott used to sing. If you are here to make a quick buck you are wasting your time, and mine, probably. This is a game of waiting and planning. Everything you do should have a reflection in the long term, hopefully. Take your time.
Money, yes money. You thought you were writing to make money, but no. I´m afraid you are writing to spend it. How much?. Well, I suppose that depends on how deep your pockets are. Initially not a lot, but enough to set up your blog or website in order to promote your creations. I will talk about this in another post at length but for the time being, I´m just trying to set the tone of cheerfulness that surrounds this way of life.
Time. By the bucketload. This is one time-consuming baby, Oh Yeah!!!!
I hope I haven´t depressed you too much. Someone might think that I am trying to discourage you from becoming a writer. Not at all. I am all for good, healthy competition, as far as you are not competing against me!
Now that you have all these things, you bust your ass for a few weeks, months or years (not everybody works at the same speed) and give birth to your project. Oh, Happy day!!. Staring at your lovely baby, all 400 pages of it. So first you have to find some victims, sorry, I meant readers, to look for typos, and to give you a sincere opinion about your work. Try to avoid girlfriends/boyfriends that you might want to carry on dating. On the other hand, you can always ask your wife/husband to do it if you are trying to get a divorce without them finding out about your lover. Just saying…
These neutral readers or zero readers, as we professionals writers like to call them, (Don´t you worry. I will be a professional writer one day, Mummy) should point you into the right direction, hopefully not the bin.
Then you will have to make the big decision about how to publish your book. After doing some extensive research, I came to these three options as seen in my previous post, blogging:
- The traditional way. Send your beloved manuscript to the antichrist, AKA, publishing house. If you are lucky they might be short of toilet paper and then they will keep your book, otherwise, it´s pretty likely that you will never hear from them again.
- The dead-end way. You can get in touch with one of these companies that for a small (?) price will print your book and they will tell you that they will do everything in their power to sell it all over the world and part of the galaxy. One year down the road the cardboard boxes will still be piling in your garage if you are lucky enough to have one. But, to look on the bright side, not everything that I write is going to be doom and gloom, it will be empty for you to store your work, as you probably had to sell your car a few months ago to pay your bills or mortgage as the sales from your book are not doing so well as the last email from your ¨agent¨ just told you. Every cloud…
- The cool way. You can use the services of the gentle giant called Amazon. In its love for mankind it offers us, poor unknown writers, the opportunity of publishing your work for free, yes, you heard it right brother (or sister), for free, and you will not have to give them your soul in exchange. Only a cut of every book you sell (and maybe your soul later on, who knows…).
So here we are. Already thinking about publishing the fruit of your literary efforts. Blimey, these are exciting times, indeed. But before you pull the trigger you have to do a whole bunch of other stuff. If you thought that writing the book was the difficult part, Oh brother!, you are in for a bit of a shock. That was the easy part!!!!!
Yes, unfortunately, it is now that things start to get quite complicated, especially if you are not very computer savvy. But do not despair. I am going to try to give you a few tips that might save you many hours of staring at a computer like an idiot. Buckle your seatbelt because this is going to be quite a ride.