The world of writers, agents, and publishers is changing. What used to be the arena for the very select and elite few is morphing into a showground that is open to everyone. With the merger of Amazon.com and Smashwords.com http://www.smashwords.com/press/release/23 the two largest online distributors of e-books worldwide- it will soon be easier and easier for aspiring authors to get recognition.
One major publisher has already smelled the change in the air: Penguin, long-time honored and respected publisher of Roald Dahl and other authors, has moved into assisting writers in the self-publishing process http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/16/penguin-self-publishing.
What does this mean for aspiring writers like me? It means that now is the time to get on the ball. Self-publishers have long been considered the “castaway step-child” of traditional published works. But with more and more self-published authors hitting the million dollar mark, http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1628395&highlight=, the horizon is looking better for all aspiring writers in general.
What are some of the first steps to succeeding in the way these self-published authors have?
- Keep writing! No matter how discouraged you get, (and there will be those times believe me!) Don’t give up!
- Make certain you edit your work rigorously! Join writing workshops- if you can’t find the time to leave the house then try this beautiful workshop: http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/ where you can get peer critique on your work.
- Advertise! This means that first you have to make a name for yourself- send your work out to agents and publishers first. “What?!” You say, “I thought this was about self-publishing!” Don’t worry- it is. Remember, if you can get traditionally published, you will have a much wider range of readers if you want to self-publish later.
- Keep writing! “Wait!” You say, “You said that already!” But it’s important to remember that even if and/or when your first work is successful- you can’t stop there! The more books you have, the more chance you have of them being read. If you publish on Amazon, think of it as a raffle ticket- the more tickets you have, the higher the chance that your ticket will get picked.
But the most important thing to remember is to write what you want to write. Write about what makes you passionate.
If you keep these hard, fast rules in mind- you won’t go wrong.