The really exciting thing is that there are really SO MANY options and ways to get published in this day and age. The two most common ways are traditional publishing and self-publishing so I want to unpack how both of these work - as this is one of the most common questions I get asked.
Do you have a burning desire to publish a book? Cape Town-based writing coach and literary agent Sarah Bullen offers simple and practical steps to getting those words onto paper
What do you want to write about? Well my life of course (writers say). And I nod because of course that is right. But it has to be about something more and bigger than just your life.
The hard thing about writing about yourself / life / job / expertise/ trauma / journey is that you have to step away from writing to please or express yourself. You have to shift into writing for a reader.
So many of us have this deep heart desire to write, but don’t know how to act on it. So you want to write – but you don’t do it. And all the time a quiet voice whispers in your head... you have a story to tell.
I make no secret of being a romance addict. I love the genre and consider myself a bit of an expert. Of course the best expert is one that reads and reads and reads. So I scoured my laden shelves, I paged through my extensive Kindle library. These were the ones that stand out as the hottest, sexiest books out there. They vary from Level 2 heat factor to erotica, BDSM and all sorts of deliciously naughty stuff. Here is my top list of seriously sexy books that any self-respecting romance author must read.
Carina Press is taking submissions. Hurry hurry. Closing date: December 3, 2018 (all submissions due by 11:59pm Eastern on this date)
You've experienced or done things that can interest others. These don't have to be earth shattering -- just incidents that others can relate to or may find meaningful. Of course, if the experience changed your life in a profound way, all the better for this type of article.
Do you actually have a clear goal? And if you do have a goal, then are you any closer to it?
Because I don’t want you to hang about too long before taking some action. You may be hanging around for years. So you need to mix the dream with some really practical steps to get your book down on paper and to start the journey to getting published.
What is an advance, royalties, a platform, self-publishing? Some concepts explained.
You all know I am a bit fan of lists and rules. So here are some of my own from years of working on books and placing books to be published. You may see this as a bit of a rant... probably true. But you know I love you all and just want you to end up with your BEST book.
Rule 1: Write with intent
So let me clarify something here... these Rules are for writers who want to get published. I have nothing against journaling and diary work. But I am talking to writers who want to end up with a book or a talk or a blog. That means you need to write with your end goal in mind. All pieces of writing need to have a view to be used in your book. I am not a personal fan of morning pages for serious writers. Morning pages are for therapeutic stuff. Write with intent and you end up with a book.
Intent also means you need to know WHAT you are writing.
The gap between having an idea (or a dream) and becoming a published author is a BIG one. I want to help you NOT to get stuck in this gap.
Got a manuscript that you are sitting on? Here is an updated list of all the publishing houses actively looking for books. Romance! Children's books! Recovery and addiction! There is a publishing house for every flavour. Ready? This is a long list so digest it. Check your genre. If submissions are closed but it's your genre then start a list of publishers to target.
The first draft of your book is not something you are going to want to show anyone. Sorry! As much as you have sweated and toiled over it… it is most likely a crude assembly of scenes with a bit of a mishmash plot at best. Totally normal. The good news is you have done most of the legwork.
You absolutely have to put your entire story through a rewrite to get to a 'vaguely passable first draft'. This requires you to step out of writer mode and think like an editor. You need to find structure, pace and plot. Out of the trenches and start to see your book as a construction. Now how do you make it better.....
Writing coach Sarah Bullen and her children were on the verge of returning home to South Africa to start another exciting chapter in their life after a wonderful two-year sojourn on a Greek island. Then she felt a lump in her left breast. This is her story…
Self-publishing allows you to get your material printed and out into the world and spread your message. But before you launch yourself off into the world, take a note of the costs. There are production costs and printing costs.
I am going to give you the costs of some of the books I worked on recently.
Why isn't it selling? Who should be making it sell? Why isn't the publisher doing more? Why are there only three copies at the bookshop and no front of house display?
Very few publishing houses are going to constantly promote you and your book. But the good news is, this is where you can make the critical difference. That means that you have to build an audience for your book.
Publishers and designers can make some real mistakes!
Here's a good list of questions to ask your hero
This word 'expert' comes up a lot when working with memoir or non-fiction books. It comes from the question … am I actually qualified to tell people how to do this? It could be ….. make money, control diabetes, train a dog, lose weight, make money, cope with grief. But am I qualified....
Good questions ... do you have to be an expert to write a book?
A year ago I had a full and busy life. I was the group editor of a publishing company, mom to two young kids (eight and ten) and busy training for a 10km run. My husband of 10 years was also dying of brain cancer. I was emotionally exhausted and I simply had no reserves. On Wednesday I went for a 5km run during my lunch hour. That is the last thing I remember for over a month.
* This article was published in Women's Health SA under the title A Year On
'Write your Book' the post read. 'Join us on a writing retreat on the beautiful Greek Island of Lesvos’.
I had in fact written a book, which had been percolating in the bottom drawer of my night table for a few years. Here was the opportunity to expose it to the light, not any light, but the warm sun of Lesvos with beautiful beaches and the gin-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Top lawyer Nicholas Lambrianos is the author of It Shouldn’t Happen to a Lawyer. He joined us on a writing retreat in Greece and decided to join the women-only swim to The Rock.....
A book themes asks of you to find what the book is about. See how many of these words seem to apply to your NON FICTION book. This can be a memoir or non-fiction in general.
Structure is the architecture of your book. It is the way you are going to organise your information in a way that is entertaining and logical for the reader. What kind of structure you are going to hang your story on? Here are some of the larger ones for non-fiction books.
Where will your book sit? Remember your first step in non-fiction writing is to be clear on your genre. Find your main genre and subgenre from the list below.
Sarah Bullen is a writing coach, agent and book editor. She is a structure fanatic and coaches writers on how to write and get published.