Two Simple, But Not Easy, Steps to Becoming a Published Author

Becoming a published author is really quite simple; write a book and get it published. Of course, this is a huge oversimplification of the process. Within these two “simple” steps are several huge tasks. Any published author will confirm this, and tell you if they’re being candid, how monumental an undertaking it is, to get published. The two “simple” steps involve a lengthy, grueling process. So, if you are thinking about becoming an author and getting your book published, know that there are two simple, but not easy, steps that you will need to take.

First, you must write your book. This is much easier said than done. The key to the success of a book is originality. You undoubtedly have unique ideas, but formulating those ideas into something that reads well is a challenge. Tackle this challenge by writing an outline, or some type of basic plan that will list what you intend to discuss in the book. This plan will continue to morph and grow, as you move from ideas and thoughts, into a list of chapters and what each one will cover.

For non-fiction books, a table of contents is an ideal starting point. Write chapter headings and sub-headings. Subsequent chapters should build on the preceding ones and should follow logically. Try to purposely include more chapter possibilities than you know will use; this makes the process of drafting the book easier. For fiction, draft a storyboard and character sketches.

These are only the most basic of parameters you can consider using in creating a book. Again, the complete process will be much more involved. Even after you are finished with the bulk of the content, your goal to publish your book involves a lot more work.

The next “simple” step in becoming a published author is to decide how your book will be published. The Internet and your local library both have a wide variety of resources that can assist you in making your decision. You’ll find that your two basic options are to either have someone publish your book or to publish your book yourself.

If you decide to go with a publisher, you will need to find the one most ideal for you, who can publish your book. Will you attempt to be published through one of the large publishing houses? If you choose this route, you will need a literary agent. If you choose a smaller publisher, a literary agent may not be necessary. There will be a lot of correspondence back and forth with publishers, which will hopefully yield an invitation from one of them to submit your book proposal. Understand that a book editor may treat your writing harshly, even deleting portions of it, but that is a good sign, and means that they believe that your book has potential.

The other possibility is to publish your book yourself. Even if you desire to use a publisher, you might want to consider publishing your first book yourself. You won’t have to meet any minimums, your writing won’t get rejected, and you can begin to build credibility. Whichever route you choose, you can become a published author in two “simple” steps.

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