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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

    Related Stories

    F1066948141500

    Who's Your Fave Spooky Author?

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

    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    bookwormlestrange
    I don't have ADHD, but I know plenty about it. One of my friends has ADHD and Tourette's, and the teachers were always turds about it. Anyway, i think that a good way to deal with ADHD acting up is either changing medication or trying to eat foods or drinks with caffeine. I'm not sure if it works for you, but a lot of people with ADHD have seen significant improvements after putting caffeine in their systems. If your friends are acting like turds, you need better friends. I hope my advice helps.
    reply about 15 hours
    SmartSunnyShadow
    I have one so annoying sister, that it feels like I have 200 of them, oh my god. She's pounding on the door right now, HELP! 
    reply 1 day
    SmartSunnyShadow
    Dad, obviously. I can't even explain what he does to me!
    reply 1 day
    SmartSunnyShadow
    Well, if they are your BFFs, they shouldn't be teasing you to make you feel bad. Me, and my BFFs tease each other all the time playfully, but I understand that this is different, and if it's making you feel bad it isn't playful at all.   Maybe your eldest friend is having some trouble with family issues, bad grades, body changes, etc. It's okay to be angry, so maybe you should leave her space for a few days, and see if it turns better. If it isn't, then try to first make her calm down. Then, make her talk to you about why she is so angry and ask if you can try to help. If nothing turns out better, tell her that you feel uncomfortable, and you want her to talk to you.  For your 3rd eldest friend, support her as much as possible, and stand up for her in this terrible situation. If you are all BFFs, then you should all be very close and comfortable around each other, and the fight shouldn't last long. If not, they are not your real friends, and you have to go on without them. I have tons of advice on how to make new friends, so just ask me if you want to know. Your 2nd eldest friend seems to be the main problem.  First of all, tell her to stop, and say how you don't like her bullying you. You must say what she is doing wrong, and how it makes you feel. If she doesn't care, tell her you're serious, and you hate what she is doing to you. If it continues, ignore what trash she is saying, and just simply walk away. Focus on other things that will help make you feel better. Remember, all she is is a person, and it's up to you to act appropriately.  Stay positive, and calm. Focus on other things, and if she continues, tell her that you can all be friends and you miss her. Go get another friend to stand up with you, and tell her that you will report to an adult if she won't stop. She may be your friend, but she deserves it. I told on my BFF when she was mean, so it's all okay now.  If all else fails, get a trusted adult, and hang out with nicer friends. Your other friends will learn from their mistakes. If not, warn them, and give them a sincere kindness note of how you miss being friends. Then, also give one to the bully.
    reply 1 day
    AnnaOfExquizurd
    Yeah, @CyclonicBass the best option really is to find a girl with a quirky personality. Become friends with her. Possibly, over time, she'll grow close to you and accept a request to be with you. Hope it goes well!
    reply 2 days