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Becoming an Author

They say getting a book published on your first try is as likely as winning the lottery. This is true. The book industry is one of the most competitive industries out there. Publishers are flooded with thousands of manuscripts and query letters each month, so if you’re serious about publishing, you really have to set yourself apart. Like the lottery, there is some luck involved in publishing. But it also requires education, research and natural ability.


Education

Take as many writing courses in high school and college as you can. Choose a college or university that offers a great creative writing program. The education and advice from your teachers and peers is invaluable.


Research

You can't just get an idea and write a story. You have to research the market. Before you even begin writing, you must READ a ton of books in the genre you plan to write. Reading is the ultimate research. You also need to know what types of manuscripts each agent and publisher is looking for because not all publishers accept every genre. Your best bet is to read The Writer’s Market—an annual publication that lists publisher guidelines, agents, industry trends and so much more. The Writer’s Market is like the bible for writers.


A Finished Manuscript

Once your book is finished, get feedback from your friends and family. And most of all, take their criticism. The only way to improve your book is to find the negatives and turn them into positives. That’s what editing is all about.


Paycheck

An author’s income is unpredictable. Some authors will get royalties (a percentage of every book sold), and others will get an advance against royalties (a sum on money up front). Typically, first-time authors make between $0.00 to $40,000 for their first novel, most averaging around $6,000.


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  • 29 Comments

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    F1066948141500

    Who's Your Fave Spooky Author?

    • R.L. Stine.
    • Stephen King.
    • Christopher Pike.
    • Vivian Vande Velde.

    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    Clarkguild
    Dear Dish-it, Sorry to be a burden, but I need some advice. About a year ago, I decided I didn't want to live with my mom and decided to move in with my dad. After my mom found out, she told me "You are no longer my child, go drop dead and rot in hell for all I care." My siblings, especially my twin, began to threaten me and my father's lives if we were to ever step foot near them again. A year later, my dad and I get in massive fights about everything I do wrong and he never seems to try and see my point of view. He often gets ##### and compares me to my mother and his previous exes. I feel lost on what to do. I feel so alone and so...hurt. Do you have any advice? I know it's pathetic of me to rant on here, but I'm clueless and on the verge of snapping.
    reply 2 days
    heckinmemes
    have you tried punching her and your dad
    reply 2 days
    LUCYQWERTY123
    hey there!! well i suggest u to answer back cause i think he missed u cause he hasnt see u for a year and i know he is estranged but if u answer back maybe he wont be strange so yeah :D :D :D
    reply 8 days
    MysticalC
    My dad and I are kind of estranged, we haven't spoken in a year. So my mom decides it would be a good idea to let him message me. He texted me while I was at school and now I have no idea what to do. All he said was 'Hi _, how is school?'. Do I reply? Do I not? If I do, what do I say? My mom and grandparents are no help, they just cracked jokes about it. KidzWorld has helped me with a hell lot of things, I better not be let down this time.
    reply 8 days
    jordand08
    Just act like you were introducing him as one of your friends. Be yourself, wear stuff that’s comfortable. It’s okay to be nervous because everyone will be. Just hang out and have fun.
    reply 9 days