Learn How To Get Started As An Author

by Marjorie J ~

There are insider secrets to getting started with writing if you expect to get your work published. You will want to pick the genre (category) you want to write in and select the age group. Decide if your writing will be fiction or non-fiction. Explore the articles on this site for extra guidance on getting started.

Writing Resolution

by Marjorie J ~

Ok, now you have had a bit of a break for the holidays and it is time to think about your resolutions for next year.

There are certain items in your writing toolbox that are the basics you need to have to build on so you can communicate to your reader and be believable. What to keep, what to subtract and what to add.

The first thing you want to do is write out a contract for yourself about your desire to begin writing.

Write out a contract on nice paper – not scrap paper. Why a contract? Because it acknowledges the difficult times to come and it puts your intentions in concrete terms. Every time you’re tempted to stray, quit and/or encounter a difficulty, it’s easy to refocus by pulling out that contract and recommitting yourself.  I’d suggest handwriting it out on nice paper and framing it to put someplace where you can view it every day.

It takes this type of intense focus to achieve your dreams.  Call it “My Creative Writing Commitment Contract”

You can do it, you have been talking about it for years, so why not make this the year you actually get started?

How To Make Freelance Writing A Full-time Career

by Marjorie J ~

Assess Your Desire: No-one can give you the desire. You either have it or not.

Create A Niche: It is easier to sell yourself as a specialist than a generalist.

Create Revenue Streams: Where might you make money with your writing? Here are a few ideas. Speaking engagements, Book Sales, Seminar Presentations, Website Sales.  Start thinking concretely now about how much you want to make as a freelance writer — and where that income is going to come from.

System to maximize your writing ability  Here

Becoming A Creative Writer

by Marjorie J ~

Creative writing is considered to be any writing, fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, and technical forms of literature. Works which fall into this category include novels, epics, short stories, and poems. Writing for the screen and stage, screenwriting and playwriting respectively, typically have their own programs of study, but fit under the creative writing category as well.

Forms of creative writing
* Autobiography/Memoir
* Collaborative writing
* Creative non-fiction (Personal & Journalistic Essays)
* Epic
* Flash fiction
* Novel
* Novella
* Playwriting/Dramatic writing
* Poetry
* Screenwriting
* Short story
* Songwriting
* Bibliography
* Stream of consciousness (narrative mode)
* Asemic writing
* Book report
* Creativity
* Expository writing
* Fiction writing
Not sure what you like or what area you want to write in? You can sign up for a series of writing exercises to help you learn which area by going Here

If you would like a workbook for all of the exercises so you can work at a faster pace, you can go Here

Step 12 To Becoming An Author

by Marjorie J ~

12. Giving up on their book too soon.

Like anything, book marketing takes time. I see authors all the time who start to grow impatient after a few months, wondering where their success is. How long will it take?

That depends. But you might not be the best person to determine that. If you’ve been marketing your book for a while and can’t figure out why nothing has taken off, spend an hour with a professional who can tell you if you’re on the right track.  The people at the print on demand publishing companies in your area have great insight into the marketing and steps that you need to take to see success so make an appointment and speak to them about what you could do to improve your results. It may be that you are right on track and do not need to do anything.

Do this before you decide to throw in the towel. You might be inches away from success; don’t give up before you do your research.

Making headway in marketing is as much about the good decisions, as it is avoiding the bad. Best success in your publishing  journey!

Now that you have all of the steps that might cause a problem and know what to do to correct them you can rinse and repeat the process on your next book. It will go so much faster when you have a straight line to your goal.

Remember that applied knowledge is power so now it is time to put these steps into action.

Step 11 To Becoming An Author

by Marjorie J ~

11. Not having a website.

When someone asks me if all authors should have a website, I respond: does your book need a cover?

Every author should have a website and when possible get a domain name of your title so it can be a direct match to the content you are delivering in hard copy or online. It is the best way to build credibility online and it is a 24/7 sales tool for you.

In addition to building your credibility, you can have an ebook of your manuscript that can be delivered after you receive payment for the book. The person making the purchase can have access to your book immediately which many readers like.

You can also allow them to order a hard copy for those readers who prefer to hold a real book while they are reading it. Set up a way for the shipping to be added to the price and send the book to their address when the payment is completed or have a fulfillment house do the shipping for you.

Stop back by tomorrow for the next step.

Step 10 To Becoming An Author

by Marjorie J ~

10. Expecting immediate book sales.

Often nothing happens immediately in book sales. The sales process for books can be lengthy, especially when you’re dealing with multiple reporting agencies. Most authors don’t know that places like Amazon, Baker & Taylor, and Ingram don’t all pay on the same timeframe. They all have particular cycles to how they pay.

For example, Amazon might pay 90 days after the sale, whereas some folks have said that Baker & Taylor sometimes lags five months behind. What this means is that if you are pushing your book in December and hope to see the fruits of your labor in January, that timeline isn’t realistic. Be sure you clarify with each avenue you are selling your book what the time is for their payout so you can stay on top of your sales and revenue.

One of my friends had a best selling book and never received a penny from the company that published the book and was distributing it for her. Just be aware that all of these details need to be clear to you if someone else is publishing the book and distributing it. Get a report of sales and profit and when you can expect to be paid.

Don’t end up disappointed if your royalty statements aren’t reflecting the promotion you’ve done. It could be that the agencies just haven’t caught up with your sales.

You can self publish and sell the book yourself and have a much faster payout for your effort so just be aware of that as an additional option.

Stop back by tomorrow and get the next step.

Step 9 To Becoming An Author

by Marjorie J ~

9. Not having their work professionally edited.

What kind of experience do you want to give your reader? If the answer is a great one (and it likely is) make sure the work you do on your book mirrors that. Your book is like your resume; not only that but it’s your reader’s experience of you as a writer as well.

Your work should always be professionally edited, no excuse. But, before you turn it over to an editor, you can learn from an editor about the things to address and do a preliminary self editing yourself of the draft before you give your manuscript to the experienced professional editor.

If you don’t have enough money to get the self-editing ebook or have your writing edited by a professional, then ask yourself if publishing this book is really a good idea. Perhaps waiting until you have the funds to get the book released the right way is a better idea.

Stop back by tomorrow for the next step.

Step 8 To Becoming An Author

by Marjorie J ~

8. Not hiring a professional to do their book cover.

One corner you shouldn’t cut is on your book cover.

Your cover is important because it’s the first impression your audience has of your book. Don’t shortcut your success by creating a cover that doesn’t sell. Find a graphic designer that works in the publishing field and have them help you with ideas, colors and images that have sold so you have a place to start your design idea.

Often a print on demand company has the software for you to see your cover design on an actual book so you can evaluate the image and adjust as needed. The software gives you the image on the front, back and spine to help you decide the final look that is a match for your content.

In the long run, the money you save not getting a cover design could cost you in book sales.

Stop back by tomorrow for the next step.

Step 7 To Becoming An Author

by Marjorie J ~

7. Not spending enough time researching their market.

If you were going to open up a store in a mall, let’s say a bead shop, would you ever consider opening a store without doing the proper research? Probably not. Yet every day authors publish books and haven’t done market research.

This research, while it can be tedious, could save you hundreds of dollars in promotion and/or cover design.

It is so easy to do with your online tools, the search engines, keyword tools, and traffic for your topic that you can check in the search engines. Visit forums online and get an idea of interest in your topic.

Do an ask campaign and get information from potential readers about their area of interest in the topic you are writing about. Take a poll locally and get feedback about what kind of questions people have about your topic and then in your writing answer those questions.

See what is on the best seller list for your area of writing and topic.

Stop back by tomorrow for the next step.