To be a happy, successful author, you have to be passionate. To be a selling, successful author, you have to be organized.
There was a time long ago … okay, not so long ago … when writers could sit in their office or coffee shop and write. Then after months of writing, they would compose a query letter and send it to their top pick of agents, then another agent and another until someone agreed to take them on.
Today, hooking an agent is getting quite difficult. More writers are turning to independent presses or going it on their own - self-pubbing their own print books or e-pubbing. They’re also figuring out that taking this route is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because they can make as much if not more by going solo on the e-pub route. A curse because to be successful you have to do all the promoting on your own while you write the next book. Plus, you may have to pay people to edit your book, design the book cover, and help with formatting before it’s uploaded and each platform has different requirements.
No matter which route you take, you have to work on the next book. Agents and big publishers don’t want a one-hit wonder. And you, if you’re your own publisher and agent, don’t want a one-hit wonder. You want many hits. You also have to spend a huge chunk of each day promoting the book that’s out or coming out. You have to do blog tours, be your own bookkeeper, lawyer and publicist. You have to research the next book, outline and plot, gather cover blurbs, tweet, track reviews, arrange speaking engagements and workshops at conferences. It’s enough to drive a writer mad.
Or perhaps to adapt, to say, times have changed, therefore I must change. Can you change? Can you adapt? Will you go the traditional route, hand-in-hand with an agent and big or mid-list publisher? Will you e-publish your own book? Are you teetering on the edge of querying? Or the edge of going it alone? What path are you on?
author, blogger, freelance editor and writing coach. She teaches public speaking as well as writing and marketing workshops. In addition, her free ezine, Doing It Write, which goes out to subscribers around the globe, is now in its twelfth year of publication. You can follow Helen on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn – or catch her April 30, 2011 at Books 'n Authors 'n All That Jazz in Weatherford, Texas, where she and Sylvia Dickey Smith will be talking about “Jazzing Up Your Characters.”