Becoming a published author is not an easy task. Don’t be fooled by the illusion of “click-to-publish”. As I take this journey, I’m learning (the hard way) that nothing is as straightforward as it appears. First off, there is a plethora of advice and resources out there for aspiring authors….half of which contradicts the other.
- Don’t bother with a newsletter, social media is where it’s at.
- No, newsletter is an absolute must.
- Don’t put questions in your blurb or query letter.
- Totally put in evocative questions to entice agents.
- Have a blog.
- Don’t have a blog
…..the list goes on and on.
Long story short, it’s confusing and overwhelming. As much as I would love a basic formula to accomplish my dream of being a published author, there doesn’t seem to be one, or at least not a one size fits all. Kind of like diet plans every book, every writer is different and will need a customized approach to pitch their work.
Still, there are a few things consistent across the board. For example, you do actually have to write something. Let’s go ahead and put a big ol’ check mark on that one (current count is now nine complete manuscripts). Also, social media is not going anywhere and author presence is a must. While the effectiveness of different platforms is debatable, their necessity, or maybe unavoidability is more appropriate, is not.
Then there is the whole battle of indie vs traditional publishing and the gauntlet that requires. My current stage in this adventure has me searching for a literary agent. And for that, you need a query letter (and a synopsis, and a this, and a that). Fortunately, I am part of an organization that is able to offer resources in the form a real, living, successful authors to help. Now why it hasn’t occurred to me before to reach for guidance, I’m not really sure. Intimidation? Impostor syndrome? Whatever it is, I’m ready to be over it, because while there are days that I doubt my writing is worth reading, there are so many more that I know I need to share this passion with the world. I’m damn good and it’s about time everyone else got to see that too.
Sorry if that got a bit soap-boxy, but maintaining confidence in a hyper-critical world is not easy. If I don’t believe, who will? All this is to say I’ll be working on my query letter with a published romance author who very generously volunteered her time this Saturday. I’m both excited and anxious. Finally, I’ll be getting hands on feedback and guidance, but what if I’m not as all that as I think I am (yeah that impostor syndrome again. It’s a real b****). But at least I’m doing something to further my career as a writer, something my friends, family, and wonderful husband have been pushing me to do for ages.
So look out world, you’re next literary obsession is coming.
Welcome to the Adventure