10 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming a Published Author
1. Your first book is the easiest to write. You have no pressure. You’re doing it because you love it, and you don’t have your editor in your head with a red pen scribbling out stuff before you even type it.
2. Editing is tough, editing a plot line on page 280 of a 300 page manuscript will create ripples all the way back to page 1. Be prepared to turn left when you were turning right to begin with.
3. Social Networking is more time consuming than writing. Striking a balance between the two is tough. I still struggle with it.
4. If you’re looking to make a quick buck, this business is not for you. Yes there are those authors and make a boot load of cash, but they are the exception. In general, advances are small and royalties are smaller.
5. Unfortunately, nasty reviews will rip your heart out. It’s inevitable. You pour your heart into a story, you work tirelessly on it for two years, writing, editing, marketing, and them BAM! The shredding begins. All you can do is stock up on ice cream and Kleenex, and take heart that they are few, and regardless of what they think of your book, most reviewers are of the awesome variety.
6. Being published doesn’t make you feel accomplished. You do get a rush of the OMGs, but with every completed book you’ll raise the bar. You want to do better, be bigger, and you will always doubt yourself. Writers in general are full of insecurities; this is why we need our writing buddies to bolster us.
7. Signing tours, book events, and conferences, are not a given. In fact, most authors don’t get even a whiff of these unless they go do it themselves. It’s a pricy but fun past time.
8. You have absolutely no control over your book cover. If you’re a lead title you might get consulted, but for most midlisters your cover is emailed to you when it’s more or less finished. Like it or lump it.
9. Most published authors, behind their confident exterior, suffer from the same nagging doubts, rejections, and failures as everyone else. I now rejoice in other authors successes because I know that each one means as much as the first to them. Each accomplishment should be celebrated, no matter how successful the author is.
10. Like with the book cover, we as the authors have no say in when our books come out, or even if they will come out. When an author turns in a book it’s in the hands of the publishing gods. It may hit the shelves in nine months, or you might have to wait a year or two. Patience is the number one skill required as an author.