7 Ways to Become an Author
The idea of becoming an author is so appealing when you envision the amazing possibilities that come along with it. Besides earning royalties, you can impact lives, engage people, get published, and enjoy a flexible career. On the flip side, there is a lot of work that goes into writing. Yes, becoming an author is not easy. To succeed as an author, you need to do more than just put words together—anyone can do that. It takes plenty of time, hard work, and consistency to write a good book.
Whether you are just starting out, or have experience and are considering a career as a full-time author, you will need to take several steps. Prepare well, familiarize yourself with the industry, and polish your writing skills. Let’s look at the tips that will help you realize your dream to be a successful author.
Determine the Type of Book You Want to Write
Once you decide to become an author, you need to establish the kind of book you want to write. Your passion and interests may inspire your writing—like specific topics, the kind of books you read, or a desire to support and grow your business. If your focus is on fiction, you may need to research existing fiction work and add new perspectives to the topics.
For nonfiction, ensure you research the type of content that’s in demand. Take a look at the existing books on your area of interest. Consider the demographics of your target audience. With this information, you can understand your ideal reader and how to package your book to meet market demand.
Join a Community of Writers
Writing a book can be a long and lonely journey if you take it alone. You should find a community of writers who have walked the path before, preferably those who have published books. A writer’s group will give you a platform to connect, get ideas, and solicit invaluable feedback from successful authors. You can also air out your frustrations and challenges to community members who understand. There are many groups on social media platforms that can be helpful.
You can also enroll in writing courses, either in-person or online. Ensure you find as many resources and tools to help you start on the right foot. If you are seeking to successfully self-publish a book, invest in editing, designing the book layout, and proofreading. Also, find mentors and be open to criticism.
Create a Consistent Writing Schedule
Practice makes perfect. If you want to be a successful author, you have to be deliberate about it. Ensure you allocate at least an hour for writing each day. Block it off on your calendar. Although the time may vary each day, be sure to optimize your most productive hours.
Whether you choose to write from home or at a different location, make sure the environment is conducive to your work and free of disruptions. If you are struggling with procrastination, consider writing as employment which you must show up no matter what—it will help you build a solid writing routine.
Now that you have established what you want to write about, you need to do extensive research. You do not want to be in a situation where your characters wear snowboard jackets in 90-degree weather. Poor research results in embarrassing mistakes. Ensure your character habits, geographical locations, and events are logical and in tune with reality.
Plan Your Book
Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, creating a book outline is a crucial step. It helps you prevent writer’s block, capture and organize your ideas, develop your book structure, and create a sense of direction.
Planning your book before writing will save you time and the frustration of running short of ideas. If you are writing fiction and are a detailed planner, the snowflake method will help you outline the entire book.
Master the Art of Self-editing
Besides writing a great story, you need to edit your manuscript to capture the publishers’ eyes. When writing, pen your ideas as they flow without worrying about punctuation. You can now go through the complete manuscript and check things like:
- Passive voice
- Excess adjective use
- Inconsistent point of view
- Redundant words
- Unnecessary explaining
- Unnecessary adverbs
Getting published is the ultimate goal of every author. You can either use an agent, submit directly to publishers, or self-publish. Working with agents is valuable and easier because they are well-versed in the publishing industry. If you don’t intend to use an agent, you can make direct submissions to traditional publishers. With this option, you need to perfect your writing of query letters to increase your chances of success. If you choose to self-publish, you will need to hire a professional editor, invest in design and layout, and find a legitimate self-publishing company.
Start Your Authorship Journey
Although the journey to becoming an author is challenging, it has incredible rewards. Do not let it stop at publishing your first book. Write blogs, e-books, publish more books, and publicize your work through digital marketing.