How to Jump Start Your Career as an Author

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Many people dream of becoming an author. However, not every one of them actually gets published. Some may be intimidated by the process of starting a writing career and publishing their works. However, the process isn’t as difficult as it’s made out to be – check out these tips to get started.

Write!

People would usually talk about writing but never actually commit to doing it. Most of the reasons for not actually writing stems from the notion that it is just the process of jotting down words, but it is so much more.

Writing is a commitment. While many authors do this in their spare time, you just have to sit down and force yourself to fill a few pages sometimes. You need to make writing a routine, and stick with it, if you want to write for a living.

If you need an extra push, try forming an accountability group comprised of people who are on the same page as you. They may be fellow writers with their own projects or people from different industries with a big goal to achieve. Check in with each other at least once a week to keep every person on target. Communicating your commitment with people who hold you accountable for it will make the writing process easier.

Research thoroughly

To be a writer, you have to be a reader and researcher. Go to a bookstore and envision the shelf where your book will sit. Pick up other titles that surround it and read a handful of them. Think about what they bring to the genre that makes them stand out. Finally, ask yourself what your book has to bring to the table.

Editors and agents use lots of criteria to make sure that your book will sell, and the uniqueness of your work is one of them. Your stories, advice, or ideas should be unique and not already out there. If they are, yours should at least be packaged in a more accessible and interesting way.

Build and nurture a platform

A platform is an assurance to editors and agents that there are people who will actually buy your book. It proves to them that you are a potential bestseller, with an established audience that is constantly growing. Identify your target market or niche if you have not, and how they like to receive information and updates. There are many ways to build a platform, and the Internet is an excellent channel for it. Get busy online and interact with your audience. Most importantly, constantly work on your platform throughout the process.

woman working on her laptop

Edit passionately

The editing stage is where your book goes from good to great. Edit it as close to perfect as you can get before pitching the project to agents and editors. Editors at publishing houses have their hands full and may not be able to scrutinize your work as well as you could.

Joining a writers’ group or having beta readers helps with the editing. They can give you honest and constructive feedback that’s invaluable when sending your book out into the world.

Learn the process

Fiction authors need to pitch to agents and editors with a full manuscript, while nonfiction authors need to send out a book proposal. Once you complete all the previous steps, you need to pitch the project to literary agents who will introduce you to publishing houses. Make sure that you only contact agents who are interested in projects like yours, and that you thoroughly understand the agency’s submission guidelines.

Self-publishing will let you skip much of the work that comes with traditional publishing, and get straight to publishing your project. There are also on demand book publishing companies that offer all the services of traditional publishers but will accept your project right away.

Do not be intimidated by the entire process of getting your book published. Follow these steps to become an author, so you can let your stories and ideas be a lasting mark you make in the world.