‘Publishing a book is like stuffing a note into a bottle and hurling it into the sea.’ Margaret Atwood
1. If you want to make your living as a writer, you have to get used the idea of asking people to pay for your writing. If you don’t want to do that, then you will never make your living as a writer. But of course that doesn’t mean you have to stop writing.
2. Many educational publishers are actively looking for new writers, with fresh ideas. Go to their websites and follow the instructions for submitting a proposal. There’s not much that beats the moment when you hold your first ‘published’ book in your hands.
3. Publishers do a lot of jobs for a writer: copy editing, proofing, typesetting, cover design, marketing, wholesale, advertising. Being traditionally published gives you credibility but it takes time (about 7 months from manuscript submission to publication).
4. Anyone can self publish these days, but you need to be confident that you can handle all these aspects of the job. Buy in expertise, so you can spend your time writing instead. If you don’t have a ‘name’ it can be hard to make your books visible.
5. One mistake in a book of 50,000 words is one mistake too many.
6. Those 50,000 words take a long time to write.
7. Deadlines are a writer’s best friend, and also their worst enemy.
8. It doesn’t matter how great your book is if no one knows it is there. Marketing and publicity are a large part of the job of a working writer.
9. People like to call you an ‘expert’ when you write a book that gets published. But you’re not. There are people out there with far more expertise than you, they just didn’t write it down in a book. ‘Don’t get too up yourself‘ is a very useful maxim to bear in mind.
10. If you do get published, don’t read your own reviews. And if you really have to read them, definitely don’t respond to them.
‘Publish and be damned.‘ Duke of Wellington