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5 Steps on How to Become an Author

Have you always wondered how to be an author when you’re a kid? How about as a retiree? Do you know how to become an author of children’s books? What if you want to specialize in works of non-fiction? There are almost as many questions about writing and publishing as there are new books. This is not your ultimate guide, but to make it easier for you this we’ve narrowed down all the steps involved in how to become an author.

How to Become an Author

Write your manuscript.

If you’re browsing blog posts on the steps to becoming a published author, you must be writing in your personal capacity by now. You will have to double down on your efforts in writing a book, though. It will be more labor-intensive and time-consuming than anything you’ve ever written before. Do everything yourself for now, beginning with drafting the story and the first few revisions.

Study the publishing world.

As you may already know, there are different ways to get published. Traditional publishing has lasted the longest and carries the most prestige. However, it isn’t necessarily the best for every author. How hard is it to become an author in traditional publishing? The Big Five of publishing companies—Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group and Macmillan—are so selective they might as well be secret societies you couldn’t infiltrate even if you tried.

This is how self-publishing companies may be better for you. True, you won’t get the cash advance or have a team take care of everything for you, but you can always dream of becoming an author. In self-publishing, you have more control over how you want your book to turn out and you keep 100% of royalties.

Pick your preferred way to publish.

If you’re in the enviable position of having multiple agents from traditional publishing companies interested in your book, then scrutinize their offers inside-out! Make sure you understand everything in the contract and that the figures are amendable to you.

With self-publishing, you have the opportunity to customize your package, only paying for the services you want. How are your graphic design skills? What about copyediting and proofreading? Let the professionals handle what you cannot—or would rather not—do.

In both publishing models, you can release in print or online, often both.

steps to becoming a published author

Promote your book.

Both traditional and self-publishers will do some marketing for you, but there’s value in generating hype at the grassroots level. After letting family and friends read your book, branch out further into the community by attending literary events and conducting school tours. If you are writing for kids, you can do library visits. Then, contact popular book review bloggers and Youtubers and send an Advanced Reading Copy for these influencers. Maintain an active social media presence so you can connect with fans because this is how to become an author and make money.

Prep for your next literary adventure.

In becoming a successful writer, you develop techniques that drive you to be prolific. Upon finally tasting the feeling of being published, there’s no doubt you’re going to crave it again and again. How to become an author of a book? You don’t just do it once. As they say, you’re only as good as your last performance, or in this case, your last book. Now that you’ve tried it, you know what to do better next time. Your first book might be the start of a bestselling, award-winning series.