I get asked so often about HOW I do this, I thought I'd post a quick reference guide for those of you who are considering taking the plunge. I'll try to keep it brief.
1. The first thing you need is good writing skills. Period. These are the only books I endorse to acquire the skills you need to learn the craft.
I've said before that Stephen King is my Miyamoto Musashi. Here's what I mean. In 1645, Musashi was the penultimate swordsman of his era and retreated to a cave to write down all of his secrets and thoughts on the art of kenjutsu. Those scrolls (The Go Rin No Sho) were sent out into the world to instruct and inspire generations of swordsmen who would seek to be like the master.
Reading ON WRITING changed everything for me, and if you haven't read it, stop what you are doing now and do so. Strunk and White goes hand in hand with ON WRITING. You'll want it. As far as Elmore's book goes, it's pretty thin on content, but it is worth it for the discussion of "Not Writing About the Weather" alone.
2. Editing and Proofreading. In THAT order.
I see WAY too many reviews on Amazon from readers who yell at authors for selling a book that is poorly edited and filled with spelling errors.
If you are selling people a product that is of poor quality, whether it is because you are too egotistical or lazy to have someone edit it, then you are not a writer. Period. You are a huckster trying to hawk snake-oil on an unsuspecting public. Go make your fast buck somewhere else, because I will eventually find you and it's going to hurt.
There are services available for both editing and proofreading, but a word of caution. ANYONE who promises you some amazing result is lying. A good editor will promise you only one thing: To kick the living shit out of whatever you write. It is through that process that a writer improves.
I call my editor The Angry Hatchet. If you look in any of my books, she's listed as Karen The Angry Hatchet. She is the meanest, cruelest, most evil person on the planet when it comes to my writing, and I love her endlessly for it.
After the experience of editing the KINDLE ALL-STARS PRESENTS: RESISTANCE FRONT project, I have developed a love of helping authors achieve new heights in their work. If you are looking for an editor for your short story or novel, email me (ApiarySociety@gmail.com ) and we'll talk.
3. Formatting and Cover Art
Glendon at Streetlight Graphics.
I've used others. I don't anymore. Tell him I sent you.
4. Advertising in One Easy Word: Twitter
My twitter account is @ApiarySociety and I have over 5200 (That's as of today. There will be more by the time you read this) followers. Four months ago I had 250. How did I do this?
Simple. I paid $50 for an ingenius piece of software called TweetAdder.
They offer automatic follows, follow-backs, dm's, tweeting, and more. They are the single most useful program on my computer aside from MS Word.
Please either click the box above or follow this link twitter adder
5. What Now?
Once your book is out and you're scrambling every morning to check your sales rank just like the rest of us, you may find yourself wondering when the major bucks start rolling in. Quick answer: No clue.
It works for some people on their first book, for others, their tenth. For some, not at all. It really just depends on who you are, what you write, and how hard you are willing to work for it.
People ask me if I ever sleep. Sometimes. Just not well.
There are books on what to do after your book is out. Here are a few that I'm aware of, whether because I read them or I have a personal relationship with their authors and they know what they are talking about.
That's pretty much it in a nutshell.
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below or drop me a line. Take care, and good luck.
Access The Apiary Society (Bernard J. Schaffer's website)
For a list of books available on Amazon, click this link