Tough love for authors
There are a lot of confused would-be writers out there—a fact that no one knows better than our own Author Enablers, Kathi Kamen Goldmark and Sam Barry. Both published authors in their own right, they've now compliled some of their best advice in Write That Book Already!, a compendium of tough love and savvy advice for writers of all stripes. We asked Sam & Kathi (hey, after 5 years we're on a first-name basis) to share a few of their #1 tips. Want more? Read their book already, or check their column in every issue of BookPage.
What is the #1 reason writers should buy your book?
Write That Book Already! provides an accessible, no-nonsense, complete overview of the publishing process from inspiration to backlist. We also include insight and personal stories from other authors and publishing professionals, a handy glossary of publishing terms, tips for getting through the rough spots, and a laugh or two.
What’s the #1 myth about getting a book published?
That becoming a published author will automatically make you rich and famous—or even just make it possible for you to quit your day job. The vast majority of published authors also do other work to make a living.
What’s the #1 thing that keeps someone from writing the book they’ve always dreamed of writing?
It’s tough to maintain the discipline and confidence required to go the distance. Some writers have trouble getting a manuscript completed; others have trouble with the business end, i.e. the hard work of finding a publisher.
What’s the #1 question you get from prospective authors?
“How do I find an agent?” The funniest question came from a middle-school student who wanted us to do his homework for him.
What's the #1 way to tell that you're meant to be an author?
You love reading, you can’t stop writing, and your lifelong fantasy involves a book cover that says by You, the Author.
What is the #1 skill prospective authors should have (besides, ahem, the ability to write)?
The discipline to keep at it day after day over time, no matter what distractions come your way.
What's the #1 way for an author to reach #1 on the bestseller list?
Oprah. Just call her up. And please, put in a good word for us.