5. Writing is personal. Before authors send their manuscript to publishers, they need to show it to other people—including friends and family, a critique group, or a professional editor—all of whom will have different suggestions for how it can be improved.
Seriously considering the suggestions people give helps writers look at their work more objectively.
The manuscript will eventually be sent to an acquisitions editor, who either accepts or rejects it. Far more often than not, authors receive a form rejection letter. That’s the nature of the business.
Starting off with shorter pieces helps writers learn how to deal with rejection. Revising those pieces and resubmitting them enables them to develop persistence. Eventually getting pieces accepted helps them to build confidence in themselves as authors. This, in turn, improves the quality of their work.
6. Writing is a profession. Like any other profession, it requires skill, even if only doing it part time or freelance. Learning any new profession requires time, training, determination, persistence, and discipline. This is true of any kind of writing, but more so with books than with shorter pieces, and probably more so with novels than with nonfiction.
7. Writing is a career. Book publishers are not looking for one-shot wonders. They want authors who are serious about their craft and can prove they have the potential to write several successful books. They can’t afford to put their time and marketing efforts into someone who writes one book and then quits.
First-time book authors can gain credibility with a publisher by showing a long list of shorter pieces they have had accepted. For those who plan to write a nonfiction book, writing articles about that topic will increase their marketability as book authors in a publisher’s eyes. It can also prove the marketability of the topics.
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—Kathy Ide, author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors and the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series, is a full-time freelance editor/writing mentor and teacher. She is the founder and director of the Christian Editor Connection and The Christian PEN.