By Lorena Bathey
Write. Seems simple, huh? But if you don't write then you don't have anything to work with. And while this may be the most obvious step it is one that can trip up a lot of authors.
When I say write I mean, sit down with paper and pen, or a computer, and an idea. Then let that idea percolate and start writing what comes to your mind, heart, or fingers. Don't second guess and don't over analyze. This is the beginning process of being a writer. So let the thoughts, ideas, and characters introduce themselves to you. Write. It's that simple.
Let someone you trust read your work. When I say, "someone you trust" I mean someone whose word you value. Not only that but a person that you can take criticism from. Whoever that is, you need to let them read your work and then come back with their honest input.
That means you have to put aside your pride and defenses for a bit. You need to really hear what they are telling you, because that is what makes you a better writer. There are millions of people out in the world and believe me there will be many who like your writing. But you have to listen to what people like. So do that...listen.
Read your work out loud. This is a step that helps you on many levels. It helps you hear the cadence and flow of the work and pinpoint where words or phrases don't work. It also gives you a real vision of your characters and if the plot lines work. As you read aloud, you become a reader rather than a writer and you can hear what others will hear.
It also is a great way to find mistakes in your work. Read slowly and don't allow yourself to skim, this will let you catch errors that will help with the cost when the book goes to editing.
Hire a professional editor. Notice I said "professional." That doesn't mean your Aunt Kitty or Cousin Tom. It means someone who has been trained to read a work with an eye for editing. This is a very different way than just reading a book. Professional editors not only find mistakes but they see the issues with characterization that doesn't work or plot lines that are flimsy.
The editing process of your work is what makes it better. Listen to your editors and trust them when they give you advice. Make sure that you find a couple of editors to work with.
Having an editor that doesn't know you can be a great way to get a completely unbiased view of your work.
Remember that this will probably be one of the biggest expenses you incur in your process of creating a book. But it is WORTH it. Did you see how I capitalized that word? Editing is integral to creating a work that you will be proud of forever.
Social media presence is one of the best ways to get your work known. Today most everyone is online and is hooked up through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. So being seen around those sites is important to get your book and your writing known.
Create a fan page on these sites to simply promote your writing and your work. Then reach out to first people you know, then those that are involved in the same work. There are groups on all these sites that pinpoint writing, editing, and all the other aspects of the writing/publishing world.
Now you have five important steps to finding your way in the Indie publishing and writing world. These are by no means the only steps but they are five of the top one. Start with these and then fine tune your process to create a strong foundation for your future writing. Building a platform takes work, patience, and perseverance but once you hit your target, it will be worth the effort you put in.
Lorena Bathey is an Indie author and publisher with three books out in the marketplace today. Growing up in the Bay Area of Northern California, Lorena Bathey attended St. Mary’s College in Moraga graduating with a degree in English. Then she traveled, learned about life, and developed great fodder for a book. Losing her mother to cancer and her own marriage’s demise brought her to find herself. She wrote Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother (www.amazon.com) and found speaking and empowering others was her passion.
Lorena Bathey found after writing her first book that characters were visiting her mind and wouldn't leave. She was introduced to Marissa, Andrea, Lily, Deidre and Beatrice and her first novel, Beatrice Munson, came to life. After finishing that book she was inspired to write more novels and she knew that pursuing her passion was the best way to live her life. So a writer she became.
After meeting the love of her life, they embarked on the thrilling life to follow their dreams bringing their families along for the ride. Today Lorena has nine novels in her writing queue all with screenplays in the works.
But writing isn't the only muse that inspires Lorena. She has become a passionate photographer and likes to push the envelope taking shots while learning how to navigate Photoshop. Travel, walking, enjoying new restaurants, and Italy are other loves and things she makes sure she has time for.