Do any of you guys plan on writing for a living. I know it’s hard, but that’s what my goal is. If you do write for a living, what are some tips you have?
Nope. I just want to publish one book(which is acting like a colossal bitch, by the way) and that’s about it.
I would love to keep writing as much as possible even in the future, who knows I might be one of those authors who publish books back to back. Writing is my escape from multiple hospital trips due to my health and it keeps me busy too.
Hi there. I moved your thread to the Industry Insider club as it’s best suited there. Thank you for understanding.
yeah I guess it is my goal eventually, I did go to college for it. So far it feels like being stuck in a hamster wheel, like I’m moving but I’m not really going anywhere. But I’m trying to remain patient. Patience is key.
Yes and no. I would love to perhaps get a series out there but my real idea of being successful is being a pathologist which might be a little bit more – longer than being an author.
Writing has been my full time gig for a couple of years now. It’s no different to running any other small business - you need to invest time, money and effort. You need to put in the work every single day and stay up to date with what is happening in the industry and be aware of how it might impact your business.
I would love to continue writing for a living. Like others, its my escape and also my way of playing god. If not writing, I don’t know what I’d do.
I’ve always wanted to be a professional author and write for a living. I wish it actually was my job.
But I’m not… at least, not yet anyway.
The advice you may be looking for may depend on which route you’re wanting to take. If you interested in self-publishing, I recommend watching Jenna Moreci. Her YouTube channel is all about the self-publishing industry as she is a self-published writer herself. She has two books: her debut novel Eve: the Awakening and her latest book the Savior’s Champion.
If you’re interested in traditionally publishing, I recommend watching Alexa Donne. Her YouTube channel is all about the traditional publishing industry as she is also a published writer. She is the debut author of Brightly Burning, and her second novel the Stars We Steal is coming out next year (2020).
I’ve learned a lot while watching their content because they do give a lot of amazing information.
For example, if you’re looking into traditional publishing, it’s best to get an agent instead of directly going to publishers. Publishers are going to straight up ignore you, so your best bet is having an agent. The good thing is that agents are free, so it’s not like you have to spend money on getting one. Now, when you do look for an agent, it’s best to avoid giving them an early draft. You want to make it the best it can be without a professional editor, so the story should have a good two or three, maybe four drafts.
Once you do have an agent, though, it doesn’t guarantee a simple publishing deal. The agent will talk with as many publishers as they can and try to sell your work to them, but there will be a massive amount of rejections. It’s normal to receive a dozen, two dozen, or more rejections from publishers (even agents as well). So don’t let that get to you.
If you do eventually get a publisher interested, just know that everything will be free. The editing, the covers, everything. If anyone is asking you for money (agents, publishers, editors) then it’s a scam (or if the publisher is asking for money, then it’s a Vanity Press which isn’t worth it at all). In traditional publishing, they’re supposed to pay you—not the other way around. The only way they get paid is through revenue on your book, because they get a percentage of the money that is made. Otherwise, everything is pretty much covered. Just know that you won’t have a lot of creative control over the way the story is designed (the cover and summary on the back of the book).
Your advance is also going to be low as well. Most authors get a small advance (like 2,000 dollars for example), so don’t expect something high like a six-figure deal. The other problem is that your advance isn’t like a paycheck you get right up front. It’s something that is split up between 3-4 years. And, it’s also a smart idea to set aside a good portion of that advance for marketing.
No matter what publishing route you take, you’re going to market the story yourself. About 90% of published writers don’t get marketing teams, so you’re stuck with advertising the story yourself.
As for self-publishing, on the other hand, it’s a more difficult because you’re everything. While you get more creative control, you have to be really good on the business side of things for being self-published. As the publisher, you have to make sure you get the ISBN thing, copyrights, and all that stuff. You also have to get professional editors as well, and format your story, and find a cover designer among other things. And, the hardest part about it? You have to pay for everything out of your own pocket. So not only do you have to pay for the marketing, but also the editing and cover designers as well. The editing is the hardest one to tackle down though because it will cost thousands of dollars. Some editors will charge a few cents per word, but this adds up quick. For example, if you have a 70,000 word manuscript, and a developmental editor charges $0.08 (cents), then you’re looking at 5,600 dollars.
The bad thing about this (you know, besides spending so much money) is the fact that you need multiple types of editing done. Because editing is more than fixing typos and silly grammar mistakes. Jenna Moreci explains this in one of her previous videos. The good thing? Many editors come with “bundles” so the cost can be more bearable… a little.
My personal advice would be to learn as much as you can about the industry (particularly which side you want to do, but it’s best to learn about both because you can compare and contrast and see what’s best for you) before you start trying to push yourself into it. c:
Your response is really excellent, Alicia, but I’m just going to quickly interject on a few small points. First, many self-published books don’t bother with buying ISBNs from Bowker. You can, but it’s not necessary for many books. For example, if you are exclusive with Amazon (which a large percentage of self-published books are), you do not need to have an ISBN. Likewise, copyright is not something writers need to concern themselves with overmuch. Just the act of writing imparts copyright to your work - no need to file with a government office or mail a copy of your book to yourself. And then on the issue of editing, very, very few self published authors pay out of pocket for developmental editing, for several reasons, not least because it is extremely expensive. Most pay for some sort of copy editing, which for a 100k word book shouldn’t come to much more than 700 USD, and could be a lot less. The cost of putting together a very professional looking self-published book - something that is virtually indistinguishable from one that is trad pubbed - shouldn’t amount to more than 1500-2k USD, and many have done it for far less.
Oh, and just for reference I am a self-published author, and do it for a living.
Haha, and that’s why I’m not published yet. I still have a lot to learn about the industry!
Thank you so much for the extra (and correct ) information!
I plan on writing a lot in the future, but it probably won’t be the only thing I’ll do.
Good tips. Thank you - are you published traditionally or did you go the selfpublishing route?
I never even thought to look on YouTube for advice. Your reply was really thorough. Thank you
In general, I wouldn’t recommend paying for developmental editing. The reasons being (a) it’s very expensive (b) it’s highly subjective © most good developmental editors are too busy to take on a newbie writer © a bad developmental editor can do more harm than good.
I DO think you should pay for copyediting…and as @AlecHutson pointed out, it’s not too expensive. I concur with his pricing. Personally, I pay the same editors as my traditional publisher, and their bills generally run around $1,200 for 135,000 words. But that’s paying the top in the profession. There are plenty of fine editors that are charging less.
Kudos to you for having a dream and pursuing it! I wish you the best of luck and think it’s awesome that you want to be a professional writer. There’s a lot of great advice that’s been given here, especially about learning about the industry — I’ve certainly learned a lot from this thread! One other tip you might consider is to read “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. I think it’s a helpful read for anyone looking to pursue a creative career, writing included.
Thank you so much, I’ll be sure to check out that book.
I would like to. I’m thinking about publishing shorts on Amazon under a pen name since they would be Romance stories, which seem to do fairly well based on my research.
I plan to continue publishing my more serious writing to WP while hoping to one day be traditionally published.
Completing one story has boosted my confidence as a writer. As for tips, focus on only one story at a time. That way, you won’t get confused between multiple projects.
Thanks for the advice