The Writing Process – What Next?

Jeff 1I’ve been tagged by my good mate Jeff Gardiner to pick up the baton on the topic of “ My Writing Process”. As I’ve already covered this in an earlier blog post, I’d like to take it a stage further and talk about “so you finished, huh?”

If you are a first-time author, having typed “The End” and done more editing than you ever thought possible, bribing, forcing and threatening your friends and family to proofread, you then look for a publisher.

Hint here – should your friends and family be completely dyslexic or illiterate, upload your m/s onto your e-book reader. I find it very much easier then to read as if it’s someone else’s work and the errors leap off the screen, shouting at you.

So you have a publisher? Wow! Great! Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. Now the really hard slog begins because

a) you will need to publicise your work – that is the same for all of us, self or traditionally published except the big 5 and if you’re with them – why are you reading my blog? Not that I’m ungrateful, just flattered.

b) your publisher will want more so that satisfied customers will continue to be satisfied. This makes good business sense. If you go to the supermarket and buy a brand of breakfast cereal, you’ll be disappointed if you can’t find it again.

More advice. If the book that was burning to be written was an off-the-wall, genre-defying bit of iconoclasm, you are in deep doo-doo. Not only are readers going to have to “take a punt” to buy the first book if they aren’t sure of the genre, doing it a second time is murder (believe me). Then when the third is required you can book yourself into the Priory because a nervous breakdown and/or substance abuse may become a real possibility.

Do me a favour. “Everyone has a book in them”. Well just make sure yours is the kind that can be replicated or you are a one-trick pony. There are plenty of examples of famous authors who wrote the same novel several (hundred) times over and made shed-loads doing it. Tolkein, if you remember, very nearly wasn’t published at all.

Final advice? You will be writing in a genre (it has to slot into some pigeon hole to be classified on the selling sites)…choose with care, you only get one go.  Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

4 thoughts on “The Writing Process – What Next?

  1. True in every respect, Ailsa, especially the bit about a genre-defying book landing you in deep doo-doo. I know all about that one!

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