My public library had a great talk about getting published. They got a good crowd of aspiring writers who want to write fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and poetry. The talk was led by an editor and a writer, who does both self-publishing and publishing through an established publisher.
I don’t think I should share all the secrets as their handout was copyrighted, but I’ll share some facts and tips:
- Know why you want to get published. Have a clear vision of what you consider success to be. (Getting published, wining an award, getting good reviews or what?)
- More non-fiction books are written by first time writers.
- Most self-published books sell less than 100 copies, and most of those copies are bought by the author. Ugh. ;-(
- Learn to “eat rejection for breakfast.” So develop a thick skin and remember that major writers often got dozens or hundreds of rejection letters.
- Adequately test your idea by seeing how people, not just loved ones, think about your idea.
- If you do self-publish get your books into different sorts of shops. In a book shop your books is one of many, but in a florist or hospital shop there’s only a handful of other books.
- The average new writer spends $3000-$5000 of their own money on preparing their books. Both speakers stressed that you should hire a professional editor. Someone who’s an English teacher or reads and edits professionally is required not just a pal.The cheapskate in me balks at spending so much money, but I’m mulling this over. I do have people whom I trust as good writers and grammarians read my work as a favor, but should I be paying someone? What do you think, readers?