New to self-publishing? The process can seem overwhelming, but it’s a lot easier than you think. Today, you have many tools available.
Take it step by step. Important: remember that everything starts (and ends) with your writing. If you don’t write, you have nothing to publish, so carve out a little time to write every day, even if it’s only ten minutes in your car during your lunch hour.
A new author, who’s trying to get an agent without success, recently contacted me. She believes that self-publishing means that she’s not “a real writer”. She’s terrified of self-publishing.
Self-publishing: creative freedom
Dispelling the “self-publishers aren’t real writers” myth is easy. Fact: a person who writes is a “real writer”. You don’t need anyone’s validation.
Of course you can go the traditional publishing route if you wish. The primary reason to self-publish is complete creative freedom. No one stands between you and your readers. You can write what you like, within the bounds of reason.
Speak to enough authors, and you’ll soon discover many authors who took an agent’s advice, and almost killed their career.
Let’s look at some writing tips for new authors.
1. Write a lot. Keep writing, and avoid judging what you write
No word you write is ever wasted.
You’re a writer, so — write.
Write first, and edit later.
2. Trust your writing and yourself
You’ll always find people who’ll give you advice about your writing. Ignore unsolicited advice, like: “why don’t you write… (whatever is on the current bestseller list…)”
Busybodies used to ask Stephen King why he wrote trash like horror novels, and didn’t write literary fiction. His reply was something along the lines of: “what makes you think that I can write anything other than what I’m writing?”
Write what you want to write — and read. When you’re starting out, there’s a HUGE gap between what you’d like to write, and what you’re currently producing. Keep writing, and that gap will narrow.
3. Forget the words, and write. Fiction is lies and emotion
We talked about writing exercises to enhance your imagination:
Images are powerful. Great art arouses emotions, so you can use images to trigger your imaginative mind state.
Let’s say you’re writing a thriller. Look through Google Images or Pinterest for an image which speaks to you, and symbolizes your project. You might find the image of a gun, or a setting, or a person.
New authors tend to focus on words. Every writer does, when they’re starting out, that’s natural. However, your goal is to arouse emotion in readers; your words should be transparent.
You can learn writing tricks to arouse emotion, but that takes time, and writing.
Here’s a good habit to develop: when you ask readers for feedback on a scene, or a complete novel, ask them to tell you what your writing made them feel.
4. Publish often, and keep writing
Whether a book sells, or doesn’t, nothing changes about your writing. You’ll write every day, as you do now.
Your writing will improve, it’s inevitable.
Try to compartmentalize your creative self from your business self. The easiest way to do that is to be excited about what you’re writing now.
5. “Good” or “bad”: chances are you’re wrong
Avoid judging what you wrote on any specific day, because it’s not helpful.
Whenever you catch yourself thinking: “this is absolute trash…” or “this is the best thing I ever wrote!” focus on the scene you wrote, instead.
Did you achieve your goal for the scene? Does the scene drive the plot forward? What do your characters feel in the scene? How can you show that?
Train yourself to focus strictly on the nitty-gritty of writing, and let everything else go.
And — have fun. 🙂
Why write serial fiction?
Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.
It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.More info →
In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams.More info →