WE SEEM TO BE PARTICULARLY ADDICTED TO ANSWERS BY THE NUMBERS—AS IN FIVE RULES EVERY NEW AUTHOR SHOULD FOLLOW
There is a great deal of advice available for new authors—or even old and battle-scarred writers like myself—but I suspect the only way a writer learns is by reading and writing. You study the work of the masters and then then you do the deed yourself again and again until your inner voice is satisfied.
Reading is so fundamental to understanding writing that I have to wonder why so many aspiring writers are so ill-read—and yet think that their innate talent will conquer all. Conceivably it does occasionally, but normally the road to writing success is best travelled with a book in one hand and a pen in the other – metaphorically speaking—and wear a comfortable paid of shoes, because it is likely to be a long road.
But back to the Five Rules. These are by Bobbi Linkemer and are targeted at the non-fiction writer.
Rule #1: You must be able to explain your book, and its main benefit. in a single sentence.
Rule #2: Before you write, you must have a plan; that plan is called a book proposal.
Rule #3: Every writer needs an editor—a professional editor.
Rule #4: It is important you understand your publishing options and which one is right for you.
Rule #5: Marketing starts at the beginning of the book-writing process, not at the end.
On the face of it, it is hard to argue with such ‘rules’—and there are thousands out there on the internet. However, they make me uncomfortable, because just about everyone who advances such ‘rules’ is out there trying to sell you something, and has their own agenda. In short, they are not really talking about writing. They are really making you a sales pitch.
“But everyone hustles—it is the American way,” I hear you cry.
Fortunately—even in this hyper-materialistic consumer culture—it is not. There are many people out there who are motivated by a love of writing, a genuine desire to help, or are just plain high-minded. It’s my experience that such people will set you on a truer path than the hustler.
But, it’s your call.