I get a lot of e-mail asking questions: how to write a book, finding an agent, what software or equipment do I use, how to publish a book, etc. I get them enough that instead of answering them over and over, that I’ve put together some advice, and a list of posts and sites new writers might find useful.
Writing is hard.
- Write. There’s only so much reading about writing you can do.
- Read. Read in the genre you want to write.
- Write. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if Sue uses a PC and John uses a Mac. It doesn’t matter if Mary writes at midnight and Tom writes first thing in the morning. Some things you’ll have to decide for yourself.
- Be selective and careful to how much research on writing you’re doing. Decide what is important right now. If you’re starting out, the craft is more important than finding an agent or figuring out how to market a book.
- Not all advice or research applies to every writer. Again, some things you’ll have to decide for yourself.
- Read a book from the author you’re taking advice from.
- Get used to rejection, writer’s block, nerves, bad reviews, fluctuating income. While it’s not an everyday occurrence, you WILL experience all of these throughout your career. If you can’t accept them, writing probably isn’t for you.
- Get used to doing research. You and Google should become well-acquainted. Oh, and get used to doing most of your own marketing, too—even if you are signed on with a big publishing house.
- Write. I can’t say this enough.
Still with me?
The questions I’ve answered most frequently are in my FAQs. Scroll to the end and read the section On Writing
I’ve also written quite a few posts on various subjects – software, books on writing, tools of the trade, editing, speculation on the biz, etc. From time to time, I add more. You’ll find them in the category On Writing, here.
Better off read: How to succeed in publishing
So you want to write a novel
Tools of the trade: Software for geeky writers
Where do I get my ideas from? Plus a few book recommendations
Who do you trust?
Now, for other places you might find helpful. Just be your own advocate…
Groups and organizations:
Horror Writers Association
International Thriller Writers
Mystery Writers of America
National Novel Writing Month
Science Fiction Writer’s Association
Romance Writer’s Association
Blogs and sites you may find useful:
A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing
Chris Fox Writes
Digital Book World
Kill Zone (thriller writers)
Let’s Get Digital
Nathan Bransford (former agent, now author)
The Passive Voice – a lawyer’s thoughts on authors, publishing…
The Book Designer
The Creative Penn
Posts you may find useful:
Amazon Sales Ranking Charts
How to win the self-publishing gauntlet – a massive cheat sheet and guided walkthrough
AgentQuery (a resource and guide to literary agents)
KindleBoards (a forum for writers)
Twitter chats on marketing, writing, agents… you name it.
Podcasts: Self publishing Formula, Grammar Girl, Self publishing podcast
Find any of this useful? Consider doing me a solid and checking out one of my books. Also, pay it forward. Do a random act of kindness for someone today.