Guest Post by Heather Frost, author of the Seers Trilogy
A love of reading led me to a love of writing. That’s how it is for many authors, I suppose. I can’t pinpoint an exact moment in my life where I said to myself, “Self, become an author!” Writing became such an integral part of me that becoming an author was the only choice that made sense. Becoming a published author, however, took a lot more time, research, and determination.
I was twelve when I finished my first novel, and though I daydreamed about seeing my book on a library shelf, I wasn’t seriously considering publication at that time. Writing was a hobby—ok, a lifestyle—but it wasn’t a viable career choice, and I definitely wasn’t “good enough”. When I was fourteen and I’d finished my fourth novel, (and started on my sixth, seventh, and eighth,) I can clearly remember sitting down at the family computer and turning to Google for sage advice on publishing. I quickly became so daunted by what I was learning, I decided to rethink my growing ambition to get a book published. At eighteen, I’d finished thirteen novels, and decided I owed it to myself—and my characters—to try.
I researched, and researched, and researched publishing methods, and I revised, and revised, and revised my fantasy novel, and eventually I send out a manuscript for the first time. This was in 2009. I waited—expecting the worst but hoping for the best. And I waited, and kept writing. I started college. And I waited some more, still writing.
Eventually, I received a slim envelope in the mail, which held my first rejection letter. I still have that letter in a sheet protector in my desk, and I keep it proudly. Why proudly? #1-Even the cool authors get them. #2-It was tangible proof that I tried, despite my fears. And #3-I didn’t let that one rejection crush me. I went on to get other rejection letters, until eventually—in 2010—one of my novels was accepted.
Many people have asked me how to get published. I break it down into 5 steps:
1-Finish your book. You can’t get published if you don’t have a manuscript.
2-Revise your book. This is one of those “and repeat” deals. Just remember, Writing is Revising—you’ll always find something to tweak. The trick is learning when to call a manuscript “done”. The good news in, you can start on step 3 while still working on step 2.
3-While you’re in the revising stage, research the many publishing methods and houses, and decide what will work best for you and your goals as an author. (Three popular methods are: seeking an agent; approaching a publishing house on your own; or self-publication.) Research is the key!
4-Send your book out. It can be painful, but no publisher will ever come knocking at your door, curious if you’ve got a potential best-seller stashed in the corner of your bedroom. If you want your book to get “out there”, you have to send it “out there.”
5-Don’t let rejection stop you. Rejection letters are to be expected. Decide to view them as a success—that you’ve taken steps many timid writers never have—and then go find a few more publishers to pester.
And remember, determination and persistence—these are the things that transform an aspiring author into a published author. Publication isn’t easy, but it’s possible as long as you keep trying. The popular saying goes, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” I’d like to revise that to read, “You publish 0% of the novels you never send out.”
Author Website: http://www.heatherfrost.com/
Link to the prologue of “Seers”: http://www.heatherfrost.com/seers.html
Link to the prologue of “Demons”: http://heatherfrost.com/demons.html
Official Facebook Fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seers-The-Official-Fan-Page/158893460846605
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/HeatherFrostGood Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4983261.Heather_Frost