By Sascha Illyvich
All authors get asked this question from time to time and it’s one most of us have to scratch our heads to answer. The reason being is that for many of us, that first publication step was so long ago. And so very important that we shoved it all in the back of our minds after the storm known as the whirlwind of being newly published.
We tell our friends and family (if we’re not blushing!) and everyone who would ask. Then we do what our mentors tell us, which is get your ass back in the chair and crank out another story.
Of course we don’t crank out stories; we craft them meticulously and polish them until they sparkle so some editor can shoot them back to us with revisions, comments, changes. But that isn’t the point. I’ll lay out the path to publication here because I’m getting an increasing number of followers in social media asking me for advice, tips, tricks, miracles and even the occasional bit of editing help. I can give the editing help but barely. I’m starting a new line for one of my e-book publishers in addition to my own writing. So this post is dedicated to one of the better paths to publishing and career writing.
The first question I ask any new writer is where do you see your writing in five years? Meaning, are you in this for the career and to make money? If not, all else means little to me and ultimately to you as well.
Once you know you’ll be making a career out of this, I suggest you continue writing. You know what you like, who you want to be like, and who your target market may be. The best way to figure out who your readers are, however, is to post short complete stories (or scenes, I’ll explain in a moment) to sites like Literotica.com and the like. By the way, this guide is geared towards erotic romance authors but it applies to authors of all genres in general. Find out who your audience is, as those readers will turn into buyers once you sell. You need to build your audience.
Target your publishing options. Are you avoiding E-books because you’re too stuck up and don’t realize they’re the wave of the future? I too like holding a print book, especially when it’s mine! But there is no reason to avoid what you can’t fight. E-books are here to stay and with many e-publishers delving into Print On Demand (known as POD) while traditional publishers such as Harlequin and Simon and Schuster are creating e-book lines, it would be egotistical to think you must go into print. That means researching the houses you’re targeting and emailing other authors, who are where you want to be. This is key. Get all the information you can about the house. E-publishers are in flux right now as are print and (this information is good until it’s not!) and finding a house that is reputable is NOT hard. But houses and writers are not always a perfect fit but once you find a house or three that works with you, for you, go with it!
I know the above information seems harsh but I’ve worked too hard as an e-book author.
Next week we’ll cover more tips and tricks for aspiring writers!