My dream is to be able to write as my full-time job. Not only this blog, which I love, but the REAL joy of my heart is in writing fiction. So of course, I’m aiming to become a published writer. You can read about my first book here if you’re interested in learning more!
In a few weeks I will be publishing the full story of how I finally managed to write my first novel, when I was 23. It was the most magical, exciting process of my life and I cannot wait to tell you all about it! In the meantime, I get questions all the time about where I am in the process of publishing my first novel. Here are the steps I’ve taken so far!
Step One: I found an awesome editor.
Once I had a full manuscript, I had no idea what to do next other than that I knew there were plenty of problems with it. Since I didn’t have a degree that lent to this sort of thing, I knew I needed help from someone else. Not to mention, the word count at that point was a whopping 400,000 words! That’s where my editor, Callie, came in. We’ve been working together for over two years now, reworking, rewriting, and rethinking my manuscript! For me, this was the step I took that really made this feel real. If you are writing, I highly recommend that you hire an editor. Writing a book is a long journey, and a lonely one if you go at it alone.
Step Two: I started planning this blog.
I did enough research to know that a young and unknown author was going to have a hard enough time getting published. Over and over again I was told to try and build a readership by starting a blog, and since I had already wanted to blog for what seemed like forever, it felt like things were falling together perfectly! I started taking eCourses online and dreaming up what this site might look like, and spent a few years (eek!) getting over the learning curve and over my own insecurities about blogging.
Step Three: I decided what my publishing goals were.
This is a big one. Nowadays there’s self-publishing, online publishing, and traditional publishing. I did a ton of research and have decided to go for the traditional publishing route. This means I’m currently on the hunt for an agent that will take on my manuscript and help me to find a publisher!
Step Four: I started working on my marketing.
There are a couple of tools that any author needs when looking for representation; a query letter (pitch letter), a 1 page summary of your whole plot, and a ready to-go sales pitch for your book. Not to mention, your manuscript needs to be in GOOD shape. You need to have your marketing and your manuscript ready to go for networking, conferences, and anyone you meet that is interested in your work. Which brings me to Step Five!
Step Five: I attended my first writing conference.
I chose this one because it was only four hours away. Writing conferences are huge for us aspiring authors; you get to do a ton of networking, sit in on seminars and workshops, and at many conferences, you get to meet and pitch to agents. My experience at DFWCon was amazing and I am so excited to go back! It was a great “first” conference for me.
Where I am now:
Launching this blog was a huge thing to take on, especially since I also teach full-time! Starting this past fall I turned most of my energy toward getting PartyofSarah.com up and running. In the early spring, and once I feel more established, I will get back to writing seriously and prepare to attend several more writing conferences this summer. It took me forever to figure out that I couldn’t keep up with everything all at once while also working 40-50 hours a week at my school, so I’ll be shifting my focus back and forth a few times this year until I’m coasting!
Any questions? Whether you’re an aspiring or established writer, or just a lover of blogs, I would love to hear from you!! Leave me a comment or feel free to send me a message. I hope to connect with you!