NEW YORK (MainStreet) — After writing my women’s commercial fiction novel more than 10 years ago, I got multiple rejection letters from agents who didn’t have the time to read the entire manuscript – or the desire to invest in a first-time author.
Over time, self-publishing was igniting fires in the publishing industry, while e-books were chipping slowly away at the sales of “real” books. Much like the shift in the music industry in the ’90s, the publishing world was changing, and writers everywhere finally had an opportunity to call themselves authors. I chose to self-publish, but I had no delusions of grandeur. I just wanted a tangible piece of lasting evidence to share with my friends and family.
When a book club of women I didn’t know asked to read my novel and invited me to meet them, I was astounded. They talked passionately about my novel, and several cried openly. I achieved my goal for this story: to touch someone’s life with my words.
If you decide you’ve got a story to tell, here are the big lessons I learned along the way that might make your path easier …
Having an extra set of expert eyes is critical. Good editing makes for better books. Go over your work as many times as you can, then get a professional to do it. If you don’t know anyone, find them. Any good publishing company can perform this service or help you find someone. You can also do an Internet search for “book editors.” But don’t leave out this crucial step: Edit. Edit. Edit.