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Is Writing the Easy Part?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by italian in japan, Oct 14, 2020 at 2:13 AM.

  1. italian in japan

    italian in japan Dreamer

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    I always found writing interesting, while challenging. At the same time that is the "easy" part for me.
    I am scared of and overwhelmed by what comes next. Say that I finish my book. I edit it, polish it. In short. let's assume it would potentially be ready to print.
    Let's also assume I know the websites to visit.
    Question is, how do I make an agent interested, a publisher, even more importantly, how do I make 10-50-100-1000 people want to read the book?
    Knowing ZERO people in the business how do I make it so that I crack the door slightly open? How does one get the ball rolling?

    I never dreaded creating something, however long or hard it was, but I am terrified by what comes next. Advertising, spreading the word, create a community.

    Thought? Experiences? Ideas?
     
  2. Darkfantasy

    Darkfantasy Inkling

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    For some people it's the easy part and for others it's the hardest part.
    I have never attempted to publish and book but for a long time a lady on another forum that is sadly closed down now was like my unofficial mentor and told me a few things about publishing but it was UK related so may not apply to you. But hopefully I'll say something of interest.

    Question is, how do I make an agent interested, a publisher, even more importantly, how do I make 10-50-100-1000 people want to read the book?
    By loving what you've written. If you're not interested in what you've written, chances are no one else will be. And this is the million dollar question that seems to have no answers. There really is no fool proof way. I've seen some books and thought how did this get written. Equally beta read of some and though how has this not been picked up. It's often luck. It's writing what is hot or could be the next trend. It's about your abilities. Agents can tell the different between a total amateur , someone quite good and a master, all with in the first page. Getting your work out there to as many people as possible.

    Knowing ZERO people in the business how do I make it so that I crack the door slightly open? How does one get the ball rolling?
    Connections, connections, connections. Doing the leg work. Going to book/writing festivals and panels and meeting the people in that world. My friend used to go to all the writing fests, including York writing fest. She watched a panel on writing and that's how she met her now agent. You obviously need to have the goods ready to go. But net-working it always good.

    That's really all I have for you. And it's not personal experience just stuff I've seen happen.
     
  3. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    Marketing your book to agents and editors with a good query letter, writing a synopsis and such is a bit different set of skills than novel writing. The same with attracting readers.

    But a key element to success in those endeavors is to have a compelling novel.
     
  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I don't know that writing is the "easy" part. Writing is hard. The marketing isn't harder, it's scarier. Despite what people say, the best marketing can only get you as far as your book will take it. And to get it there you have to speak to a lot of different people and put your book in front of them and wait for each and every one of them to judge you. The work involved is pretty simple. You just need nerves of steel.
     
  5. italian in japan

    italian in japan Dreamer

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    You definitely did say something of interest. In fact it does make me feel better, since a lot of your suggestions are in line with what I knew/have been doing. I am very passionate about what I wrote, I rebuilt my Twitch live channel around it, because I want to introduce the story to a different group of people that usually will not find discussion about books on that medium.
    I do agree also that we need luck. No matter how good something is, it does need to be seen by "the right people." I will try to get as many people as are willing, to read the book once it's properly edited.
    I appreciate your input!
     
  6. italian in japan

    italian in japan Dreamer

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    Definitely. I am learning to get out there (which is probably the hardest thing for me), I'm reading as much as I can about presentation, query letters and proper pitches. If nothing else I will definitely have learned something new by the end of all this :)
     
  7. italian in japan

    italian in japan Dreamer

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    oh yeah! I did not mean to imply that writing was easy. I find what comes next harder probably for those reasons you mentioned. It's scarier. I do believe I have the right personality to take that judgement (and more so to wait for it to arrive), but I'll know for sure only in a few months. There's still a lot I have to learn and get used to. I'm glad this is the first forum I joined.
     
  8. The Dark One

    The Dark One Archmage

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    In all honesty, I find writing to be the easy part, but that's probably because I've been doing it so long it's second nature to me. I understand my process so well now that it just happens and I really enjoy it.

    And yet, despite having a number of books out there - some very well reviewed and even a little bit popular in my country - I still struggle every time when it comes to getting the next book published. So much so that I've just self-published for the first time, and ironically, it's probably the best thing I've done.

    All the advice you've received above is good. You have to somehow elbow your way into the network, which takes a lot of persistence, but you also need to have a decent product.

    At my first book launch, someone asked me: was it hard getting published? And I thought, no...the first publisher I showed it to said yes.

    Thing was, I'd been trying for 15 years and had written four or five previous novels which went nowhere. But they taught me how to write and got my toe into the network enough to be taken seriously.

    What I also realised was this...if you have the right product, it's easy to get published. If you don't, it's impossible.
     
    italian in japan and Devor like this.
  9. First thing to decide is "do you want to self-publish or publish with a traditional publisher". Both are viable strategies, but both are very different. Going from your post, I'm assuming you want to publish traditionally.

    In that case, consider these things:
    - get your book in the best shape possible. Re-write, edit, edit some more.
    - find publishers and agents you would want to publish with.
    - find the specific editors within that publisher or specific agent within an agency who would potentially like your kind of book. Do this by either finding them on social media, on the publishers website or speaking with them in person, or by checking the acknowledgements of books similar to yours.
    - once you have a list of editors, send your query letter to them directly. A letter starting with "Dear mr/ms Jones" will work better than one starting with "To whom it may concern"
    - Find their submission guidelines, follow them exactly. This is not the place to be creative. They are looking for ways to reject your manuscript as fast as possible. Printing it on pink paper, in comic sans font will get you rejected out of hand.
    - Once you receive your rejection, try again somewhere else (or if they say why they rejected it, fix that and try the same place).
    - Accept that they are slow. As in, it can take half a year to a year before you get an answer.
    - above all, write the next book. First novels which get picked up are rare. Brandon Sanderson wrote 6 books before getting a deal (well, he wrote 12 I think, but it was number 6 which was picked up). Also, if you do get a deal, they may ask: "what are you working on next?" And it's great if you can say "I've got a whole trilogy finished" or "here's the next book".

    Brandon Sanderson actually talks a fair bit about how he got a deal. For instance, here:
    but also check out his lecture series. It has a few episodes on the business side of writing.

    The main thing you need is a great book and patience, and a bit of luck. I think Harry Potter famously was rejected 12 times and it only got a publishing deal because with the 13th submission, the kid of the editor got hold of part of it and demanded to read the rest of it. Of course, if you have an audience of hundreds or thousands of people it helps. Because this reduces the risk for the publisher. But I would also question why you would go with a traditional publisher in the first place. They take a (large) cut in part because they find the readers for you (at least partially). You still need to do marketing, but less of it.
     
    A. E. Lowan and italian in japan like this.
  10. italian in japan

    italian in japan Dreamer

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    Thank you for the insight.
    It was partly reassuring (a lot of the things you listed, are also things I have thought of) and partly thought inducing. I had actually thought I should stop writing for a while and focus only on THIS book, which is incidentally hoping to be part of a longer series. The idea never sit completely right with me but I thought it to be the best course of action.
    I had not considered the unlikely scenario where I do get lucky and someone likes what I did and wants more, sooner rather than later.

    It's soon to actually contact publishers and agents (I am still editing my first decent draft, and then there will be more work to do), but I am making a long list of names in both fields.
    You're right, I would like to go with traditional publishing, but I am preparing to self-publish as well. In fact, once the book is ready to go, I will try a kickstarter page and see if I can make it happen (a lot of my free time now goes into building a small base of people who might be interested in reading/supporting).

    Thank you again for your notes and the video. it was helpful and it opened the path to a bunch of others, as YT usually does :)
     
  11. italian in japan

    italian in japan Dreamer

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    I like what I wrote, and I am making it better. I truly hope others will like it too, but in the end, like in your experience, I feel that whatever the outcome, the process of having written and finished my first novel is in itself, if not an accomplishment, the first stepping stone to doing what i want. it was exhilarating and liberating to write the last word on the last page (although i knew that would not really be the last - edits, rewrites and whatnot).
    I'm in no rush and i'm loving the process.
    Thank you for sharing your experience. it's nice to hear from someone who has been successful but who went through a long process of improving to do so.
     
  12. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    Writing the first draft of a book is the easy part.

    Writing a draft that's ready to go to editing? That's misery. Me, I do 3-4 full drafts after my bullshit first draft, starting from a blank page each time and writing the book all the way through. (I lost a book to a hard drive crash probably 20 years ago, and when I rewrote it by re-typing it from a printed hardcopy, I found myself fixing something every page on the fly, and it turned out much better. So much so, in fact, that blank-page rewrites are now my process. Individual mileage may vary.)

    Developmental and line editing are the hardest part, I think. This is where someone who knows much more about your genre than you do tells you exactly where, when, and how far your head is up your ass. I loathe dev and line editing.
     
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  13. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    To me the first version is the hard part. That't when you've got a blank papper before you and wonder what you should fill it and how.

    After the pappers have been filled, its much easier as you have a material to work with.
     
    italian in japan likes this.
  14. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Everybody has their process. For me, the first draft is the hardest. I love editing and revising, because most of the work, for me, anyway, is done. Now it's just a matter of catching all the balls I have in the air and plugging them in where they go.

    Then I turn it over to my writing partners and I'm not allowed to touch it again. Maybe that's the hardest part?
     
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  15. italian in japan

    italian in japan Dreamer

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    I'm kinda excited to "let the story go" and see how we fare, but i always thought when the time comes it might actually be harder than i expect.
     
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