Regarding advice about being an author; Authors new or long-standing, everyone discovers that publishing and getting published is a very fickle industry. Without authors, mega millions both professionally and recreationally would have to find something else to make money from and entertain themselves.
Authors, true authors, are creative inspirational individuals. People who produce avenues into worlds fictional and true that transport the page turner on a journey of discovery. Fictional works have driven real industry inventions forever. An author’s work is more often than not solitary and for a protracted time, that takes discipline, and self-belief often amidst a flak storm of powers-that-be telling you “NO, you’re wrong, you must conform to our method or find another career buddy”. If it’s fiction, there are worlds to build, characters to evolve, unfolding circumstance and the critical events to pull the reader into the world to be constructed.
Authors come in all shapes sizes and thought methodology. We are the lifeblood of the publishing industry from the extraordinary “how the hell did they think that up” scribes, to the clones who pretend originality off the back of someone else’s hard work. No matter what, Stories are why we are here.
So with that in mind;
Middlemen; and there is an ocean of them. All the “how to” guys, the ones who offer leverage supposedly in your advantage. They are the ones who will invite you in often after assessing their bottom line of your work. “What’s in it for me from this guy’s product?” Your book is also your best asset be careful how/what you trade for it. Middlemen, are only interested in you for what you bring. They care for you not in their wake after the inevitable parting of ways. Keep as much control of your product as you can with cards dealt.
- Be a realist ask yourself; Am I writing just for pure enjoyment? Most of us start that way. Am I looking to build an audience? Most of us crave such a thing, it’s why books and media are popular. Set up your platform to get your work to your audience accordingly. My true audience is time travel paranormal high-octane fiction. It’s in an original alternate reality Superverse evolving since 2008. My books and crew, publisher, the merchandising to come etc., all have sun-hot focus on that. Be prepared to listen, and a team player if your aiming high, but don’t be a doormat either and stand for what you believe in, you won’t always be endearing.
- Believe in your story! Write with discipline, in your own voice (even if it’s fan fiction). Don’t be afraid to break new ground. Remember, as an author, no one ever stood out to write a stellar work by being a sheep.
- You are as important as your product/book or series. Writing to be taken seriously is hard work. You get knocked down. Get back up, X1000 if you have to, you can do it. Stay the course. Expect a five to ten-year evolution as an author to be taken seriously and have longevity.
- The industry will tell you constantly “No”, if you try to be different! That is because they are totally risk averse. It’s money through you they want, and if you can’t/ don’t deliver, you’re toast. So believe in yourself, and a way can be found to get your book in eager readers hands that will leave you with something to show for it at the end. The industry is ever evolving. The powers-that-be show often they won’t pick eyeballs from their elbow to give a straight answer, because it’s not in their best interest to have you clearly understand and be independent.
- Without your arse in seat, the quality of your work will never be supreme no matter how much raw talent you have. As my editor told very early on; Yuan Jur, write on a white hot line.
Finally; A good Editor is key. Find an editor who understands your genre other than a family member. The love-hate relationship that can evolve in the later during a draft’s evolution is fraught with relationship minefields.