The rising authors of today tend to think that all it takes is putting words to paper and a book is published. There are many aspects to successful book writing and a few things that a large number authors don’t realize is part of writing. Here are seven things that many authors need to understand.
Size Isn’t Important
Way too many authors are focused on the number of words their book has. Because Harry Potter books sold like crazy at over a thousand pages, their book will be successful if they do the same or so they think. Rawling’s books didn’t sell because they were big. They sold because they were good. Quality books sell over genre and size. If she could have told the story in half the words, the books would still be a hit.
Think of some of the greatest stories you have read. How long were they? Many are extremely long, but think of ones like Edgar Allen Poe. He writes some of the greatest horror stories ever written in just a few thousand words. Think about it. In just a small fraction of what others write today he has made literary history.
Size isn’t important. Quality is.
Deleting is Okay
It is not a crime nor is it sacrilegious to delete your words after you have written them. In fact, you might find that deleting words makes you a better writer. Let me ask you this: are you perfect? When you write something, it is the best it can be the first time around? No. Nobody’s is. Even the best writers in the world write garbage the first time. They might not have been in the zone or were distracted. They have to delete and start over. It’s okay.
Think of deleting as cleaning up junk. We all collect junk so matter how neat and organized we are. Pruning and purging are a necessity to keep the order intact.
Tip: When you delete scenes, you can save them in another file so you can use them later if you want.
You Don’t Have to Start with Page 1
Too many new authors think they have to start with page one of their book. The truth is that you can start anywhere including the end of the story. My first published novel began with a scene that occurred in the middle of the book. Once I got that out of my system, I could focus on where the story was to start for the reader.
There is no one formula for writing much less starting your story. You don’t have to start at a specific spot and develop it a certain way.
Your First Draft Sucks
Yes, there are authors who think their words are the Holy Grail of writing. Sorry to break it to you. Every author, yes every one of them has the sucky first draft. Granted more experienced authors might have better looking first drafts than we do, but compared to their final work it sucks!
Many authors are just focused on getting the ideas down and the plot laid out. I know for me my first draft is very rough as I have to expand scenes and add more detailed descriptions. It sucks! But there is promise in it. I now have to go through and do a lot of self-editing before I do anything more.
Editing is Important
I cannot stress enough how important editing is for a book or any piece of writing. Several author friends of mine who self-publish have skipped this stage entirely. Many of her reviews reflected that.
The problem in today’s world is that many readers are focused on the story and don’t pay attention to the writing. This is bad all the way around as it doesn’t help writers improve the actual art of writing. A story is nothing but a story, but a well-written one is a piece of art.
True writing is not only telling the story but telling it in a way that is fluid and clear. Most books published today are not. That is sad and shows that while the world of books is growing larger due to self-publishing, it is also declining in quality. Have dreams of becoming the next Danielle Steele? Then get your work edited. She does.
You Have to Market Your Book
Despite what you might think, books don’t just sell because they are published. Even the most popular writers have to market their books or the number of sales would be much lower. Marketing is essential to selling your book.
Marketing is telling people about your book in a way that has them wanting to read it. People aren’t looking for your book. You have to get their attention. That means a lot of work on your part as an author.
Success is Not Easy
Nothing worth having comes easy. That includes finding success as an author. Yes, there are many writers out there who just wrote a story and published without caring if they sold one copy or not. They aren’t the ones I’m talking about. I’m talking about the ones who cry that they aren’t selling books but don’t do any marketing.
Marketing takes up as much time if not more than it does to write the book. That is why it is not easy. You’ll fail more than you succeed. Just keep trying to find the success you are looking for.