In my twenty years of trying to get published and then finally doing so, I’ve met dozens of other writers who have had the ultimate goal of having a book published and have thought that’s the way to jump in with all fours into this fickle business.
However, I’ve often found that the vast majority of those folks who have had that worthy goal of being a published book author had never been published at all.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with striving to have your book published. I remember when I first started out, that was my goal, too. But, alas, in my file cabinet here next to me rest (in peace) three complete book manuscripts that never made it beyond the editor’s slush pile at numerous companies. I’ve allowed those three manuscripts to stay snuggled in their little file folders all these years to remind me of how stupid I was to think, “I’m going to write a book and get it published.” My heavens, is there a LOT to learn about writing before ever trying to write a book!
Now, twenty years later I realize that I “knew nuttin'” about the writing/publishing business when I launched those first three book projects. It was only after I started attending writers conference that I discovered that writing a book and having it published comes AFTER I learned how to write a good short story or article and had those subgenres published first.
So, writer friends, if you’re just launching out on the Good Ship Publish Me, then do your homework. Learn the craft; study a high school English textbook and then start with Letters to the Editor in your local newspaper, poetry, short stories, and some articles. After you’ve mastered those works, then you’ll be ready to sail off into the Ocean of Published Book Authors.