To All You Published Authors...
I've always LOVED writing. I have a shelf full of little books and stories I've written throughout the years (starting at around 6 years), and it's always been a goal (or dream, at least) of mine to write and publish a book.
I'd just like to ask anyone who has published a book or books before: what kind of process do you go through? Basically, how many edits would I need to go through, how many times would I need to change the story, what kind of people I'd be dealing with...anything and everything that goes along with the writing/publication process.
Hmm. Back before I was published I would write a first draft, then re-read it (and edit), then have someone ELSE read it, then edit, then call it good.
These days I send in my first draft. Why? Because I've found that it's silly to edit out something that my editor might not have a problem with. After sending a book in, I receive a revision letter. At that point I make changes. Then I send the book back in. Usually I've done a good job with the revisions and it'll go to a copy editor from there. Sometimes, though, I have to revise one more time.
After I read and de-flag all suggested Copy Editor revisions, it GOES BACK to New York for one last read. So you can see now why I send in a first draft. There are times when I end up re-reading one of my books three to six times. Ugh!
Most editors are great, but I had one that DROVE ME NUTS. She would nit pick things, slash large portions of my text, fixate on certain words that she claimed I over used, but upon doing a word search would only use twice in the whole book. Crazy. But all-in-all I've loved my many editors.
My twenty-third book hits shelves this week. It's a little Harlequin Romance called MARK: SECRET COWBOY. I've written for just about every major publisher out there. Tough business; you must LOVE to write.
Pamela Britton Home
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Thanks for the info =) Not to pry, but do you make -decent- money at least? I've always wanted to get into this sort of thing, but I'm always worried I wouldn't make enough to live on.
I actually have some of your books. They are great!
Wow, ShutUpJoe. That's neat to hear. Thanks!
IlyTango, the trick to making good money is to write a lot of books a year. Most people start out with an advance in the $6-10,000 range per book. Multiply that times three, then add in royalties, and it's a decent income (if you don't live in California, LOL. Cost of living is high here.).
Here's the thing. Publishers are sloooooow to pay. That advance up above? It comes in pieces. 1/3 a signing, 1/3 for turning in an acceptable book idea (called a proposal), and a third when the book you write is accepted for publiction. The proposal and book acceptance is the cruddy part. On average it takes about two months for an editor to get around to reading your stuff--then another thirty days for the money to arrive. There are long stretches with zero income because the above is a best case senario. It can take four to six months.
Most authors work full-time while establishing their name. A steady paycheck helps during the leaner months. But once you're established, you can quit. AND you can move to Bangledash if you want. Your income goes with you.
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Ok, good to know. Sounds promising, if I work hard at it.
So how do you actually "break into" this business? What sorts of things would there be to consider for a "newbie"?
While you're writing, educate yourself. Attend writer conferences. Scout around for an agent. Hone your craft. It's not an easy process, but sometimes it can happen fast. It took me two years to sell a book from the time I first sat down to write from the time I got "the call". During that time I joined Romance Writers of America, entered writing contests and made friends with local authors who would read my stuff.
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