Great Advice for New Authors

Georgia, USA

As a new author who published her first book in 2012, I have learned so much. Often, the process was stressful, perplexing, and even painful at times. Being a novice in the publishing world, I decided to self-publish which is the trend for most new writers. Waiting for a traditional publisher could have taken many years due to the thousands of books sent to these companies each year, and then the publisher could have requested rewrites which also would have slowed down the process or the worst case scenario would have resulted in the rejection of my book completely. 
Once I completed the writing of my book, I began the tedious search for the perfect publishing company that could provide me with the services that would fit the needs of my book and enable me to share my story and my new insights.  Initially, five publishers were selected, and an on-going communication occurred with them for several weeks until I narrowed it down to the final two. For the next few weeks, a competition between these two companies transpired much to my delight I must admit.  The negotiation process was quite exhilarating but also really bewildering at times, too.  It required me to do my own personal research to become familiar with new terms and new publishing techniques I did not know. I even attended a local author group to acquire information.  This was extremely helpful, and I highly recommend this for new authors. After hours of contemplation, a decision was made.

Both packages were great, but I decided to sign a contract with Author House, the larger company after checking with the Better Business Bureau and doing additional research on the overall reputation of this company. The relationship with this prestigious publisher for the most part was exceptional, and I was very pleased with my selection.  
During the publishing process, however, these are the things I discovered and experienced and now recommend for first time authors. Publishing a book can be very costly so examine your budget and then decide how much or how little you can afford to invest in your book.  Secondly, you should decide from the beginning how much work you are willing to do and how much time you have to devote to your book—both for the publishing process and later for the publicity and marketing which will follow once the book is in print.  This could become a full-time job.  As I mentioned earlier, learn the terms used in the publishing business and do not be afraid to ask many questions if needed. NO QUESTION IS STUPID.  This is your money so be sure you understand everything.  Third, make sure you examine every document and every book proof that is sent to you….. Check for errors as carefully as you can.   I chose to edit my own book because I am an English teacher.  Remember even if you pay for an editor with the company, mistakes can still be made.  Your name will be on this book.  Thus, you want to be proud of the final product. 

Finally, learn as much as you can from the experts.  You may choose to become your own self-publisher for a future book.   My frustrations during these months became so intense that I felt it necessary to write a poem.  Some of you may actually identify with this if you have ever published before.
By Randi D. Ward
The writing of my first book was an easy thing to do.
My passion for my subject was obviously evident and true.
But the tedious process of getting this book in print
And the huge amount of money that I had already spent
Often brought much stress and restless nights for me
Because being a book publisher is not an easy thing to be.
I felt I had an interesting story and an important message to share
So therefore, I worked so very hard because of how deeply I cared.
But there were a few bad days when things did not go well,
And I felt so confused and upset and thus really did not feel so swell.
I needed to be in control of all aspects of this publishing process,
But at times because of ignorance, things were just a mess.
I longed for the day when I could hold my book in my hands.
Nine months later it was available to purchase all over many lands.
It has now been over three years since I published my memoir Because I Believed in Me (My Egyptian Fantasy Came True). I am now ready to publish a recently finished novel Random Wanderings, a book of adult reading level short stories, a book of children’s fable short stories and original nursery rhymes, and one to two books of poems. This time I have decided to send these books to traditional publishers and wait to see if my books are accepted. This will take time I have no doubt. While I wait, I will continue to write and to find ways to promote myself in economical ways.  One method I have used to do this is blogging.  Blogging has enabled me to express my ideas and share my writing for free on my website and on social media and business websites. Secondly, I have my own YouTube channel where I post videos with my poems and motivational words and my beloved projects. My personally created book trailer is also featured there.  I hope to have my own podcast by the end of 2016.  I also obviously post articles in Morocco Pens.  I continuously search for new ways to promote myself and because of this have been blessed to have received over eleven USA and international awards and have been featured in radio interviews, newspapers, magazines, and press releases.  I belong to several prestigious professional organizations and have joined webinars and teleseminars given for free by experts who promote people and have chatted with a few famous authors. I have learned much valuable information from people who have found ways to overcome issues I have faced and are still facing. I know I cannot do everything alone. I seek assistance and advice from the experts whenever and wherever I can.
I love to write, but finding ways and places to share my ideas and work can be challenging but not impossible to do.  With the popularity of books online–the e-books, publishing this way can be more affordable if you choose to self-publish and do not want to submit your book to a publisher. Online courses exist that teach you how to do this. I, too, have considered this option.  If you feel you have valuable information to share, be creative and find ways to share your writing.  

Dr. Randi D. Ward

is a retired, 37-year veteran English teacher from Georgia, USA, and a published author. She was named “Entrepreneur of the Year 2014” in the Education Industry by Worldwide Who’s Who and was profiled in its 2015 calendar. Her other awards include being the 2014-15 VIP Woman of the Year by National Association of Professional Women, a 2015 Delegate of the International Leadership Women’s Association, a 2015 Top Female Executive, a 2014 Pinnacle Professional Member of Continental Who’s Who, and an elite member of Strathmore Worldwide Who’s Who. Her current projects in Africa are World Peace Forest (Africa) in Egypt and Africa Nomads Conservation in Kenya. She is an honorary president of World Peace Forest (Africa) and the USA Regional Director for Africa Nomads Conservation. Her book is entitled Because I Believed in Me (My Egyptian Fantasy Came True).

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