11. Most people think writing for publication is easy—until they try doing it. Writing books (especially novels) takes a lot of time. The process is slow and the results often frustrating. The rewards are few (and financially miniscule), considering the number of hours required to do it well. A tiny percentage of authors actually make a decent living at it, and that only happens after years of unrewarded toil. The only people who make it in this business are those who love it so much they can’t imagine doing anything else.
12. Writing professionally involves more than writing. Many people think that authors just sit at home in front of their computers all day and create manuscripts. Book publishers today expect authors to do as much marketing as they do—usually more. If they don’t believe the authors have specific ways to sell multiple copies of the book, many publishers won’t accept manuscripts, even if they think they’re good,
This entails their platform—their social network, the number of meetings they hold, and the people who attend. Also they want to know topics the authors are uniquely qualified to talk about at speaking engagements, book signings, and media interviews.
Publishers expect authors to have websites and to send out promotional materials to potential buyers. For those not comfortable with public speaking, becoming published book authors may not be right for them.
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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.