Tuesday, March 15, 2016

From dreams to print: a writer's tale.

Ahoy everybody! 

I want to thank you all again for making last week a fantastic book release week! Reverie started off stronger than Lucid did, spreading the love far and wide! I hope those of you who are reading it are enjoying the second installment of Devon's story. 

And if you haven't bought it, get to it! As a reminder, it's sitting pretty on Amazon waiting to be bought ;) http://www.amazon.com/Reverie-L-E-Fred-ebook/dp/B01CRRS168/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458097820&sr=8-1&keywords=reverie+l.e.+fred 

I've gotten to do a lot of neat things with my writing lately, one of them being participating at my high school's career day. Truthfully, if you would've told me a few years ago that I would be asked to speak about being an author at my alma mater, I would have laughed. It was a nice little reminder that acting on your dreams, even the wildest ones, is never a bad thing. 

me after talking to my fellow UA girls 

And I also got to provide a service to the youngsters that I would have greatly benefited from in high school, when I realized I wanted to do the whole author thing. I gave them the low-down on the writing to publishing process. 

Now, I've done a few blog posts about editing, reviews, etc. but I'd like to condense the steps on how to publish into one, nice little post. 

SO, if YOU wanna be a writer, you've come to the...write place! 

and I wonder why I'm not a famous author

Step 1: WRITE!

Back to business. 

Of course, this step is a given for all aspiring authors. But it's a hard one to follow. Think of how many people you've heard say that they wanna write a book one day. I bet it's a lot. That, acting, and opening a restaurant are the top three aspirations most people have (I think that's a stat. Idk, go Google it yourself.) Actually writing a story already puts you a cut above the rest. 

So, if you're writing, you're off to a great start. Yeah! 

Step 2: Revise and beta test! 

This part is equally as important as the first one. 

So you finally got your novel? That's great! But that draft is probably gonna read like crap. 

Think about it. Writing is exciting. You have this great story and all these wonderful characters and you rush to get everything that's going on in your head out into written form. Think about the thoughts that go through your head on an average day. If they're anything like mine, they will make sense to no one other than yourself. 

And that's how most first draft novels read. So, as painful as it sometimes is, revision is just as important as writing the damn thing. Get in there and constantly ask yourself the question, "Will others get it?" It'll help you sort through your story and make the best version it can be. 

Beta testing your novel is also crucial. I'm gonna assume you'll have some degree of love for your pride and joy that is your novel. It's human nature to be proud of our own work. It's also human nature to overlook our own flawed products and have this idealized impression of our own stuff. You gotta get some feedback to make sure your novel is as great as you think it is. 

There are a few rules regarding beta readers. First, get someone you trust. The Internet is a shady place with quite a few plagiarizers running a muck. Keep away from strangers, and go with a close friend or relative who will give you constructive criticism. Make sure they enjoy reading your genre, too. Grandma might  not be the best person to read over your erotic Western. 

Or maybe she is, I don't know your grandmother's life. 

Step 3: Find your agent or publisher!

You've written your story, you've revised it a bajillion times, and you made sure to include your grandmother's feedback to make it a swell novel. 

Great! On to the next process: finding an agent or a publisher! 

While you're querying for someone to take on your book, you're gonna want to submit your stuff to both agents and publishers. There are pros and cons to both, but it's best to read up on the individual agents/publishers you want to see what they can offer for your book. 

The best way to find all of these people in the book business is by purchasing The Writer's Market. A new edition comes out every year, so it's best to replenish your copy every so often. 

Speaking of, I need to get a new one to replace my outdated 2013...

But, anyway, you're gonna want your own copy of this thing to mark and highlight while you're going through the list. Not every agent/publisher will want to review your YA sci-fi manuscript. (In fact, a lot of the people listed in my version of the Market explicitly stated that they won't consider YA sci-fi, as it had been exhausted in the early 2010s.) The Market also includes tips on how to write a query letter, synopsis, and other neat things to really make your submissions emails stand out. 

Gandalf used the Market to find the perfect publisher for his erotic Western. 

It will take some time, but once you've marked out all the ones accepting stuff from your genre, you'll have a smoother time for your next go-around, I promise! 

Step 4: Don't give up! 

This is, by far, the most important step. I don't know about my fellow authors, but I thought once I got a publisher that it was only a matter of time before I became the next J.K. Rowling. 

Boy oh boy was I naive. 

Not that it doesn't happen! Your story might be great, and you'll snag the perfect agent/publisher to help your book take off like a rocket to the moon. I honestly hope that happens if your story can bring about some goodness in this world. But you also have to have a reality check. 

Like all creative businesses, the writing one is tough to crack into. Chances are that you'll start off small and build your reader base and reputation to eventually make a mark in the writing world. 

So many famous authors have books from their past that no one's heard of. If your first book is rejected a million times or your first published book is somewhat of a flop, do not let it discourage you! You'll be stronger and wiser for it, and it'll make your autobiography that much more interesting ;) 

a message from your future novels

And that's what I told a bunch of high schoolers today! Was I too real? Too optimistic? Too boring? 

Let me know in the comments section below! 

And don't forget to enter my Lucid giveaway if you haven't already! You can enter to win a free copy of my first e-book here: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/ffc734ba77724d5b?ref_=pe_1771210_134854370#ln-fo 

Stay tuned for more fun stuff! 

And keep readin' and dreamin'! 


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