5 Tips for the new author…
First, congratulations! That is awesome! It is a huge accomplishment to have written a book. After jumping up and down and announcing it on your social media you may be asking the question, “What do I do next?” Or “How do I find an editor?” Or “How do I find an agent?”
Before you run from your first draft straight into a meeting take a step back. Take a breath. I have some ideas of what you should do. Each of these will clarify your book, it’s themes and how to approach the necessary but sometimes challenging, query letter. If you are a plotter these things may seem obvious but if you are a pantster this will help. My first drafts are pantster all the way! But after that…Well, all I can say is keep reading!
Here are my 5 Tips for new authors…
- Describe your book in one sentence? Try it…”It is about a fireman who discovers Santa Claus stuck in a chimney and after helping him is gifted with the ability to…
- Write the blurb. Write the back jacket copy for your book. Give it a shot and remember it is an enticement, a striptease, you want those paragraphs to make the person either open the book and begin to read or to march up to the front of the store or library and check out.
- Read the book–Read it like you don’t know what happens.
- Outline the book, —list the scenes, who is in them and what happens. It can be as easy as “Scene 1: Amy says I love you to Paul. Scene 2: paul goes to work and meets his new secretary. if you need more help with what really makes a scene check this out: https://angeliquelamour.com/writing-exercise-want/
- Map the help and the roadblocks in the book–put it on a chart so you can see if you have enough frustrations to keep the readers interest.
After you feel you have done everything you can, rewrites, editing, then you can begin on the almighty query letter. Get this ready-and then take a look at twitter and search out Pitchwars . It is a rather cool event run several times a year for different genres. There are terrific classes in how to self publish. Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing 101 is terrific. If you want to go the traditional route, querying agents is the next step.
A word of caution
If you ask a friend to read it make sure you ask for what you want. If you want a cheerleader that is fine, but if you are looking for criticism please be careful. Ask someone you trust who has no skin in the game such as jealousy and who actually has some knowledge about your genre. Don’t give a thriller to a romance reader unless they also read thrillers. If you want constructive criticism ask for it. Also check out Ink and inspiration. It is a critique/ contest run online each year. It does cost money but you get read by 4 people who give you constructive criticism. The year I did it I paid $40.00 and I found it helpful.
Don’t give up.
Keep writing and demand the best of yourself. If you want some further help try my newsletter —you will get dropped right into active exercises you can do with your WIP- you can click the orange “free download button below or go here: https://angeliquelamour.com/25-questions