Can anyone be a published author?
The short answer: YES!!!!
I’m a published author and I started out knowing nothing about this career. Zip. Nada.
I’ve got oodles of friends who are successful published authors and most of them started out the same as me.
My philosophy is this:
If one can, anyone can.
If two can, you can, too!
My Key to Success
Many authors work on a manuscript that they love to write. Then they try to get it published and hope to earn income from it. This all adds up to years of few published credits, not enough income to help pay the bills, and piles of rejections.
At a time when the economy is growing steadily worse, we writers can’t afford to continue in this downhill spiral. It’s time to stop in our tracks, retrain our brains, and utilize a different strategy that will empower us to get published frequently, earn a decent income from writing, and still have fun honing our craft to perfection.
What’s the secret? My strategy is to always be working on three different projects for three different purposes, each with its own recipe for success.
How Do First time Writers Get Published?
I know it’s important as a writer to get published frequently and at a steady rate. So I do. Year after year after glorious year. I see my manuscripts in print, my name in bylines, and my published credits accumulating steadily. The upcoming year promises to be the same, in spite of the dismal economic forecast.
So how can you get published, even if you’re a first time writer? You can do what I do. Every year, I target three to five no-pay/low-pay publishers. Since my only goal for these projects it to get published, I look for publishers who are hungry for writers to submit their manuscripts to them. These same publishers are often overlooked because they don’t pay very much. You can find them in your market guides, on the Internet, or in your local community periodicals. They offer a goldmine of opportunities for publication, so I jump on board and write the kinds of manuscripts each different one needs.
How Much Money Can You Get From Being a Writer?
I also know it’s important as a writer to earn an income that helps pay the bills. So I do. Year after year after glorious year. I earn tens of thousands of dollars each year depending on my projected goals. The upcoming year promises to be the same, even though doomsday stories abound in the publishing world’s current economy.
If you want to earn income from your writing, you can do what I do. Every year, I line up deadlines and book contracts like ducks in a row. Some are work-for-hire assignments that provide cash up front. Others are royalty contracts that guarantee income spread out over future years. How do I achieve my goals? I target publishers who accept queries. I study market guides, attend conferences, read writer’s magazines, and look for editors who are open to receiving queries.
Then I study my target publisher’s website until I think of three to five brand new ideas that might fit into their unique product line. I write a little paragraph about each and ask them if they’d like to see a proposal for any of those potential ideas. Then I send off the query letter to that publisher.
As soon as I send out that query, I don’t wait around. I choose a different publisher to target. Oh sure, there are lots of publishers who require an agent, demand an exclusive submission, or say they only want the entire, finished manuscript. I skip over those.
There are plenty of publishing houses these days who accept queries as well. Those are the publishers I contact. I send each one a different query with unique ideas that fit into their one-of-a-kind product line. I keep sending out queries until I land a contract with one of them to write a book or article. Then I land more contracts until my year is filled with deadlines to write. It’s scary and it’s daring. The topics I write about might not be my passion. But it guarantees a reliable income in the upcoming year.
Can a Normal Person Write a Book?
Yes! As I said, I started out at square one. And I’m just a normal, stay-at-home mom. But now I have more than 100 published books to my credit. You can write your books, too!
You see, I also know it’s important as a writer to work on a manuscript I love. So I do. Year after year after glorious year. I write books I’m passionate about, pour out my heart on the printed page, and find personal fulfillment as a writer. The upcoming year promises to be the same, and I won’t stop even if we face the worst economic crisis in history.
If you want to write for personal fulfillment, you can do what I do. Every week, I carve out precious time from my other writing commitments to write what I want to write. I submit these to the publishers of my dreams. I just make sure I keep these projects separate from my projects I’m working on to earn income and get published.
My recipe for success works for me, and I’m confident it will work for you. Use three different approaches to meet three different goals. Make this year your best year yet—even in the midst of a tough economy!
In fact, there is a golden opportunity just waiting for you to take! This fall here at Write2Ignite, we’re hosting a Master Class for Kidlit writers taught by highly successful and award-winning Annette Whipple. Annette’s going to share all her secrets of the trade with us. Plus…exciting news! We’ll have a couple of guest editors popping in during the day to share how YOU can submit manuscripts to THEM! It’s a win-win opportunity! CLICK HERE to find out how you can sign up and jumpstart your career.
Are you going to join us in our next Master Class? Comment below so we can share your excitement!
-Nancy I. Sanders is the award-winning and best-selling author of over 100 books. She is also the author of Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career. Visit her website by clicking here.
Other images by Nancy I. Sanders.