As a writer I’ve read literally (that might not be the correct use of that word) thousands of articles on ‘how to get your book published’.
Then I noticed something strange about all of those articles, something they all had in common – they’d all been written by published authors.
What? This is a complete travesty! There are so many more of us, unpublished writers, looking for work and those authors are hogging the spotlight. They get books published, then they get articles published about how to get published. What a scam!
I’ve read enough self-help books to know what had to be done, those books (ironically, also written by published authors) clearly tell us that if you want something bad enough, you just have to imagine it, wish for it, and you’ll get it. Or was that a book about fairy tales?
Anyway…here’s my version of imagining it, wishing for it, my 12 easy steps to get your book published, I mean, how hard could it be, there are whole buildings full of books.
How To Get Your Book Published:
1. Write a book.
2. Books or manuscripts (as they say in the biz) are generally typed on typing thingies. Some famous writers in history seemed to prefer typewriters, who knows, maybe they didn’t know about computers back then, I don’t have all the answers. I suggest going for a more personalized approach – handwriting your book. Publishers will appreciate your dedication and they’ll understand you really want this book deal.
3. Go on a book tour. Don’t wait for your book to be published, the public is hungry for your words, bring them to the masses. Go to a book store and start telling customers all about your book. Sign books they’re holding or books on the store shelves – someday when you’re famous they’ll thank you for it.
4. Get an agent. As exciting as it might be, not a secret or special agent.
5. You need a literary-sounding name. If your name isn’t already literary-sounding, change it to something like: J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Dr. Seuss, Jane Austen, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, George R.R. Martin, Shakespeare, E.L. James, Suzanne Collins, Agatha Christie – something really authory.
6. Writing for children is different from writing for adults. For example, don’t use the name Stephen King or anything he writes about…ever.
7. Have family and friends write glowing book blurbs and reviews. If possible, have them use a well-known authory name, see #5 for examples.
8. People love pictures. You should totally get some of those.
9. Have characters in your book. Characters is just a fancy literary term for people you write about, either made-up people or those you know (I doubt anyone will sue you).
10. People like when characters do stuff in books. Have your characters stay busy. I don’t want to tell you what to write, but supernatural, scary, science, and sex (or a combination thereof) fly off the shelves. Have fictitious people who don’t even slightly resemble your siblings, parents, children, boss, ex, celebrities, anyone, living or dead or undead, doing fictitious (nudge nudge, wink wink) stuff.
11. Have your publisher help you promote your book. Sorry, did I skip that part? Get a publisher, preferably one who showers you with money, then get them to help promote your book (see #1).
12. Be prepared. Get ready, not only for fame and fortune, but to discuss and possibly explain your book, at length, on or in: TV, radio, podcasts, blogs, forums, bathroom stalls, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, planes, trains, automobiles, restaurants, conventions, parties, family gatherings, fan sites, stalker fan sites, book signings (see #3 and don’t forget to bring a pen) – yes, everywhere and mostly to people who haven’t actually read your book.
Now you’ve done all the hard work. Take some ‘me time’, relax in a bubble bath, have some tea or wine.
Let those royalties roll in and remember, show some love to those who helped you out. You’re welcome.
Numbers never seemed to make as much sense as letters. My brother’s a math guy. I actually had a math teacher ask which one of us was adopted.
I do love to learn. Love writing.
Learning isn’t just brick and mortar-centered; learning is everywhere, if you choose to find it, or let it find you.
“Weird Al” Yankovic’s latest release, Mandatory Fun (RCA Records) gives us 12 hilarious, unforgettable spoofs, altering Royals by Lorde to Foil for all you conspiracy lovers; Inactive instead of Radioactive by Imagine Dragons,and mixing-up Pharrell Williams’ Happy, oops, now it’s Tacky; and
adjusts those Robin Thicke infamous Blurred Lines to Word Crimes, becoming the supreme grammar Nazi.
Wow, “Weird Al” sure turned into a big dic, um, tionary.
I adore “Weird Al”, even now I’m singing Amish Paradise and know from there I’ll move on to Jurassic Park, then Angry White Boy Polka followed closely by eBay, Spam, Like A Surgeon, First World Problems, Canadian Idiot, and more.
Watching the video for Word Crimes by “Weird Al” reminded me of all the amazingly fun children’s literature out there, most of which teaches, even if it’s subtle, like adding veggies to mac’n’cheese or chicken nuggets.
If you’re trying to teach, make it fun. Authors like: Greg Tang, Lynne Truss, Cindy Neuschwander, Loreen Leedy, Amy Axelrod, Marilyn Burns, Ann McCallum, etc. explain math, grammar, and so much more in straightforward and amusing ways. For example, Don’t Dangle Your Participle by Vanita Oelschlager and Mike Desantis (Vanita Books; VanitaBooks.com) – turns out the title is a little misleading, but makes sense because it’s for children, it’s actually about grammar. A fun way to teach essential skills. If books like this had existed when I was in school I might have been tempted to pay more attention.
Maybe not, Charlie Brown’s teacher sounded exactly like mine, at least to me.