If you have ever thought of becoming an author, be prepared to work, and hard. While it won’t be easy, the reward for once you finish your first book will be amazing. The possibilities are endless if you think about it. You can potentially:
- Be published
- Start enjoying a career that you love
- Be able to impact others with your writing
- Get media attention
- Start collecting royalty income every time your book is purchased
So if your goal is to become an author, here are some tips and advice that will get you going in the right direction. Now, the chances are that you are already writing for a blog (you’re a blogger) and you more than likely have a following that loves the content you create. This is great news as you already have a loyal following that more than likely wants you to become an author and put out even more content for them.
However, it is still going to be a challenge making the jump form a blogger to author. But when you follow the tips mentioned below, you will be well on your way to one of the most rewarding careers you can possibly be in. So here is what you need to do…
Don’t Do Anything Until You’ve Done This
You’re ready to jump in with both feet and get started on writing your first book, right? Well, pump the brakes right there. Before you can become an author, there is one thing that you must do first, to study the craft. More than likely whatever you plan on writing about has already been written about. This means that your best bet is to follow the methods that have been proven to work.
The best authors are also the best readers. This is especially true, as the competition to become an author has become so fierce. Do yourself a favor and learn from the authors that have already had success before you. Take some time and determine what it is you are doing before you try to become an author. And since you are already a blogger, you have the perfect platform to practice. Yes, practice through your blogging platform.
By practicing through your blog, you should be writing things that are shorter than a book. For example, maybe a blog post. You see, you shouldn’t start out by writing a book. That would be like enrolling in grad school after graduating from kindergarten. The book is where you want to arrive at eventually.
What you need to do is to start small, learn the craft of writing, and then try and hone your skills with your blog. Use this to perfect what your writing and then try to get some articles or blog posts published in some magazines, an ezine or even a newspaper. Try to get some guest blog post opportunities with larger blogs that have a ton of followers. You can even take an online course or go to night school for creative writing or journalism.
It’s a lot easier to get published when you already have a community of loyal followers who want to read whatever you write. So what better time to start building it than right now? Start with smaller writings and try to build up some steam and get your name recognized as a writer. Build a fan base and your transition from blogger to author will be much, much smoother.
Essentially, what you need to do is work out as many clichés out of your system, find out what it feels like to be criticized and edited, learn to be an expert at something, build a loyal following and then you should start thinking about writing the book that you want to write.
Get Involved With Other Writers
Is there anything easier than writing a book by yourself with no help? How about doing it with a community of other publishers to help you out? When you surround yourself with a community of helpful people, they will be able to help get you through wanting to quit, discouragement, frustration and even procrastination.
There are going to be times when you get writer’s block, get frustrated and want to quit, but with a supportive community of people behind you to pick you back up and re-motivate you, you will be more likely to not just finish your book, but make it even better.
If you are just starting out, having some extra eyes on what you produce is priceless. The more eyes that you can have on your work, the better. This is why being a blogger first is such a great opportunity. It gives you plenty of opportunities to share your work with others and get feedback from them. Plus, with a blog, you have the potential to reach hundreds, thousands and even hundreds of thousands of people.
With that kind of reach, you should be able to get some feedback on how you’re doing. And just in case nobody is telling you anything on their own, you can always do it the old-fashioned way and ask them for feedback.
Other things you can do are to join writers groups or try to find an established author to mentor you. No matter which direction you decide to go, be sure that you stay open to criticism and embrace it with open arms. Remember, you’re not writing stuff so that you can read it; you are writing stuff so other people can read it. This means that you have to appeal to them. There is no better way of doing that than accepting their criticism and moving forward from there.
And if you do decide to join a writing group, just be sure that at least one person, ideally the leader, has been published and can teach you about what the publishing landscape is all about. If nobody in your group has ever been published before, it’s almost like the blind are leading the blind.
Time To Write Your Book
More often than not, a lot of people plan to become an author and write a book, but never actually get started writing their book. Whether it’s due to procrastination, fear or anything else, most would-be authors never even make it to the first page of their book.
But don’t worry; you can easily avoid becoming one of these people by putting a simple plan into place. Now depending upon how much time you spend blogging will dictate how long the schedule is, how much time you can dedicate to writing your book, etc., but with a plan in place, you have the blueprint for success at your fingertips. When you are coming up with your plan, be sure that you create a schedule that you can stick to.
Create A Schedule You Can Stick Too
If you want to make the jump from a blogger to an author, writing is no longer a hobby; it’s your full-time job. So for you to be successful, you need to treat it as such. Whether you feel like it or not, you need to show up and be sure to do the work. There needs to be no excuses here: not writer’s block, not that you are ‘busy’ that day.
Think about this for a second, in what other profession are you able to leave early because you have worker’s block that day? Do that and chances are that you will be posting your resume online looking for a new job.
Your best plan of action to get started would be to set aside a minimum of at least six hours to write your book per week. Be sure that you lock these in like it’s an actual work schedule because if you really want to make the jump from blogger to author, you pretty much have to. When you think about it that breaks down to one hour per day, six days per week.
If you have no ideas what to write during your six hours per week, then you can edit. If you are unable to edit, then you can spend that time planning. The whole idea here is to simply set some time aside and just get started. Once you get started, everything will get flowing, and you will have no problem getting stuff done.
Research And Plan
While you do have the option to skip this step and just kind of start writing, preparation is going to be the one thing that will either make or break your book. With that being said, there are two different ways that you can prepare.
- Create An Outline – whether you outline your blog posts or not, you have to have some kind of idea of what you are trying to do from start to finish. This outline doesn’t have to be super detailed but should be something for you to fall back on in case you hit a wall and get hit with writer’s block.
- Do Some Research – there is a saying that all exceptional stories have been rooted in some type of solid research. This means that if your research isn’t very good, your story won’t be very good. So what you want to do is to immerse yourself in all of the details of your setting. Most characters would prefer not to be wearing ski jackets when it’s 100 degrees outside with 85 percent humidity.
Keep Your Day Job
While you may have plans on writing a book and having it go straight to being a National Best Seller overnight, that isn’t really how it works. While there is always the chance that you will get lucky like that, most authors need to write several books prior to really ‘making it.’ That is exactly why you need to keep your day job. If you make a living from blogging, keep blogging and write your book on the side.
As a general rule of thumb, you should be making at least 3x’s more from writing than your day job before you quit it. Why so much more you ask? When you are self-employed, you have many more bills. You will no longer have any type of insurance provided by your job, any retirement going into savings or even any medical or dental benefits provided for you. This is not to scare you, but just to let you know that your expenses are going to go up a lot.
But at the same time, don’t let your day job prevent you from writing and finishing your book. Simply keep your day job, and you can always do your writing after you get off work. This is the best way to get started on making the jump from a blogger to an author for two reasons.
- You will still have an income
- You will have to be more productive with fewer hours of ‘work’ time
Time To Get Published
Once you have an outline set up, you still have your job, so you can continue to live, and you know what you’re writing about; you can now write your book and try to get it published. Once your book is complete, pass it around the writing group you’re part of and get some feedback. Once you feel that it’s as good as it’s going to get, start sending it off to the publisher to see if they are interested in running with it.
Just remember, to be picked up after your first book submission, or even after your first book, is extremely rare. Just be sure that you try to get as much feedback as you can and no matter what, keep moving forward.
Remember, every time you fail, all you’re doing is finding out a way that didn’t work. You didn’t really fail at all, but more of learned what not to do.
Call to Action
If you’d like to talk to someone at our team about making the jump from blogger to author. We are ready to set-up a call. You just have to watch this video first (and make a decision on whether you want to make this jump).