Zero to Finished eBook in 30 days – (part 1 of 6)
You read all the Fifty Shades books, watched every Hallmark movie made for television at Christmas, your kindle is filled with romance titles, and you have sat through enough romantic comedy(s) to quote lines in daily life. Through it all, you sit in awe, and disgust knowing you could do better with the storylines, development of characters, and you are determined your name will be in the author byline of a book one day. Quit dreaming about writing that book you tell every friend is rattling around in your head and resolve to do it.
The author of Fifty Shades, Romancing the Cowboy, and a million other titles took a spin on the publishing lottery wheel and won – why not you? Of course, you will need to act and follow a few simple steps because, just like a great education, writing takes effort. There is no magic fairy wand you can swing in the air, and the book in your grey matter magically appears in front of you. Resolve to taking all those dreams and putting them on paper in the next month. Awesome, now you have a deadline that even those procrastinators out there should be terrified by and set to action immediately to hit. You have thirty days after all and not a lifetime to accomplish this lofty task.
This blog series will take you through the following tried and true format to make this once unattainable goal of writing the next great American romance a reality. We will make this simple:
- Prepare for Uphill both Ways.
- Let the ideas flow.
- Roll Call
- Jot it down.
- Organically let the story flow
- Organize the chaos.
- Old Fashioned Highlighter theory of Editing
- Release the Hounds.
- Get the tissues and make some hard calls.
- Splash paint on a canvas
- Give it out to the world for the training wheels to run.
- Now the yucky part – marketing
- Pull it all together – and hit the button.
It seems like a doable list, right?
Great, let’s see how far we get before you give up and go back to simply dreaming of writing a great romance novel. For those special souls out there, you will be the ones that are determined to get to step 14; you never give up on a task when you set your mind to it. This book is for you – and the roadmap to fulfilling your bucket list of publishing a romance eBook.
STEP 1: PREPARE FOR UPHILL BOTH WAYS
Now you have images dancing in your head of writing this great romance, the money you will roll in, and the fame that will allow you to meet Brad Pitt someday. Slap yourself and wake up from that dream – this is going to be hard work, lots of tears, and at least 60 times before we hit day 30, you will think about giving up (go ahead, start a sheet to keep track). In the end, you will work tirelessly to market and promote, and when your first 100 copies are sold, you will wipe a hand across your brow in giddiness, forgetting everything we are about to go through and want to try again. First, though let’s get this excursion into writing started. You will need a bit of preparation before we start it off; here are some general first-time author ideas – this will evolve over time and to your style, but here is a good start.
Ensure you have access to a computer; the laptop is better if you wish to write someone other than your house. You will need extended access to a computer; even if you choose to write this long-hand, it must be typewritten for submission. Next, ensure you have a printer available. Everyone thinks currently that you can do everything on a computer, but many of those you will ask to edit, beta read, or provide feedback will want hard copies. Suppose you don’t have a printer but can do a store that makes prints fine but do a quick return on investment. Cheap starter printers are so inexpensive that by the time you copy the manuscript just a couple of times, it will pay for itself. Highlighters in bright, cheerful colors, red pens, and I like sticky notes, but some are good with just highlighters, and we will discuss the critical tool down the road. Ensure you have at least one if not upwards of ten friends willing to provide HONEST (critical) feedback. You will take criticism from these people better than that first horrific review, so be sure they are willing to provide you unfettered feedback and editing services on this first foray.
If you can or know someone that can professionally edit your manuscript, keep them on the back burner. This is a luxury that many first-time authors can’t afford and don’t know how to access. With the tools, we will give you, and if you have the friends willing to help, we will bring this first book to publish with your insight and their help. If you continue this crazy writing journey, you will make connections and seek out editors, or maybe not if someone in your circle ends up being a great resource. Also, Meetup or other apps where you can find writers, editors, and others in this industry that meet can be a great free resource of support. You read and provide feedback for their articles, books, etc., and in return, they do the same for you.
Lastly, ensure you can minimize distractions for the time you intend to write. A separate writing space again may not be a luxury that the first-time author can afford, but ensuring you have time when the kids won’t interrupt incessantly, dinner doesn’t need fixing, friends are due in from out of town, and the list goes on is critical. You can’t give your writing the attention it deserves if you are constantly being pulled away. Trust me; you will go back and read this choppy, horrific slop and get made at all the interruptions. For me, I get up god awful early at 4:45 a.m. every morning to ensure I have a solid hour and a half of writing under my belt before the day begins. This was a lesson I have acquired after years of experience writing and being interrupted without successfully meeting deadlines on my projects.
Finally, give yourself a pep talk and or have a solid friend give it to you. Quiet the voices of doubt, insecurity, and disbelief that you can do this before taking flight on this trip. I have a favorite saying, “what would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Failure will occur on this trip in some form or fashion, but not trying is the biggest failure of your lifetime. We are checking off bucket list items here, people, and you are about to be part of the small crowd that accomplished a goal few in the grand scheme of things can put on their resume of life. Being aware of the insecurities and bumps coming will not allow them to derail you when they invariably occur. So, prep yourself, get that favorite inspiration saying up on your screen, plastered to your wall, and square your shoulders for this uphill ride – both ways!
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