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Breaking Into Print

Updated on March 26, 2016
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Pondering the Publication of My First Book

The past week has been one of the most exciting weeks of my life. Last Monday it became official: I was a published author. And this time it wasn’t just a short story in an obscure magazine that most people have never heard of. No, this time it was the real thing. My book was published by a company that has printed hundreds of regional history books across the United States.

It’s been such an exciting week… I was even interviewed by the local newspaper, and the story made the front page! (Yeah, yeah, small towns are great when it comes to stuff like that). Since then my phone has been ringing off the hook. I’ve had numerous invitations to do book signings and speaking engagements. Me! (chuckle)

The publication of my book marks the 1st real milestone in my fledgling writing career. It has made me reflect on my literary journey so far. I’ve been pondering what I’ve learned so far and the advice that I would offer to other writers (should they ask me).

1. Perseverance: Just keep trying. You’ll get there eventually!

2. Take the Plunge: You’ll never get published if you don’t overcome your fears and submit your article/story/book proposal/whatever to a publisher. The worst thing that they can do is say “no” (and if they do, see #1).

3. Write Every Day: It’s true that practice makes perfect. It’ll also keep your writing skills from getting rusty.

4. Read: Inspiration can come from anywhere . Learn from other writers—both good and bad. Read the classics, the tabloids, and everything in between. Then, ask yourself “What works?” and “What doesn’t?” Given the chance, how would you improve the article you just read?

5. Revise and Re-Read: After you finish the “final” draft, walk away. Let some time pass then re-read it with fresh eyes. You’ll catch more mistakes, typos, discrepancies, and unclear statements.

6. Warm Up: The best cure for writer’s block is to work on something else. Try something new or fun to get the creative juices flowing. Then, go back to your major project.

7. Try New Things: I prefer writing fiction; but, my first published book is non-fiction. You’ll never know if you’re any good at something if you don’t try it first.

8. Re-Define Expert: I avoided writing non-fiction for years because I never felt like I was knowledgeable enough about any topics to write about them. I’ve since learned that you don’t have to be an expert. You just need to have a general knowledge about the topic and be willing to dedicate a lot of time researching the topic further.

9. Write about topics that interest you. If the topic bores you, your reader will pick up on it. It’s much more advisable to write about a topic that you feel passionate about. Your enthusiasm can be contagious. I once read a book about the evolution of silverware! The author did a great job presenting the information and keeping the reader engaged and entertained by what could’ve been a very dull topic! It’s not what you write—it’s how you write it that really matters.

Which do you prefer to write?

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It's here!

Holding a copy of my completed book in my hand for the first time. What an amazing feeling! :)
Holding a copy of my completed book in my hand for the first time. What an amazing feeling! :) | Source

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    • Reprieve26 profile image
      Author

      Reprieve26 19 months ago from Oregon Coast

      Thank you! :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I know this is an old hub, but congratulations on getting your book published and hope you have had continuing success. Good hub.

    • profile image

      Francyelle 2 years ago

      Greetings,My name is Ken Rabin, and I am currently lvinig in Finland. But back in Southern California, my sister has been working on our family's 80+year old wine business (www.morrys.com), and expanded into the realms of organic wines. (www.organicwineexchange.com). In addition, there has also been an expansion into creating a portal for those striving for a more organic and natural lifestyle (www.naturalorganicweb.com). She is looking for Blogger associates. If there is an interest, or would like to discuss options, do let me know. Thanks, Ken

    • Reprieve26 profile image
      Author

      Reprieve26 4 years ago from Oregon Coast

      My book is called "Shipwrecks of Coos County." It's a photographic history of shipwrecks along the southern Oregon coast. It was published by Arcadia:

      http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/9780738581576/Shi...

      Thanks for your interest! :)

    • vissitor profile image

      vissitor 4 years ago from Sonoma Valley, California

      Wow, so cool. Please tell us the title of your book and the publisher. I want to buy it! I'm SO jealous..LOL

    • Reprieve26 profile image
      Author

      Reprieve26 6 years ago from Oregon Coast

      Thank you! :)

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Congratulations on getting published!! This is an excellent hub - not only great information but inspiring as well - can't ask for much more. Many thanks for sharing. Voted up!

    • Reprieve26 profile image
      Author

      Reprieve26 6 years ago from Oregon Coast

      Thanks, Marlin 55! :) My avatar is actually a clip art from the Microsoft gallery. I found it several years ago and I've loved it ever since. I think it's the perfect "book nut"-- the wise old owl. You know what I mean? ;)

    • Marlin 55 profile image

      Marlin 55 6 years ago from USA

      Cool Hub! And I am jealous, BUT the kind of jealous. Everything you list the truth of a successful writer. Congratulations! By the way, I love your avatar.

    • Reprieve26 profile image
      Author

      Reprieve26 6 years ago from Oregon Coast

      Thank you for the supportive comments. As proud as I am of publishing my first book, I know that I still need to apply all of the advice that I offer in this hub to my own writing. I find that writing is addictive-- but to be successful at it, you need to keep writing, keep pushing, keep practicing... When it comes to writing, it seems like you're never really "done." There are always more ideas percolating and waiting for their turn to be formulated into thoughts and placed on paper.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Congratulations! WOW! I am so pleased and happy for you...every writers' dream and aspiration,. And...you're THERE!!! YES! Very happy for you. Love the suggestions! Once I asked a friend of mine about his Doctorate...and I was and am very impressed w/this achievement...he said...(in his case) "It's mostly perserverence! you just have to keep at it." Well, you, too, have mentioned perserverence as well as "write a little every day," which is something my friend Liz said about publishing her first (and last! she swears) novel...a true life experience story. Love this hub...very useful and great advice and, again, YES!!! CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!!!

    • Reprieve26 profile image
      Author

      Reprieve26 6 years ago from Oregon Coast

      Thank you! I hope the story you submitted is accepted and published. Good luck with your continued writing projects! :)

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Thanks for the inspiration. I have submitted a story for national publication and am committed to finishing my book within 3 months. Success stories like yours make the dream a reality. Congratulations to you.

    • Reprieve26 profile image
      Author

      Reprieve26 6 years ago from Oregon Coast

      Thanks, Marcoujor! :)

      Yes, writing (and attempting to get published) is most definately an adventure! ;)

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      YEAH... I am really proud of you and truly appreciate your fine suggestions. I wish you every success and look forward to hearing more of your adventures with this exciting endeavor... it is in my dreams but I have a ways to go so you will be my role model!!

      Voted UP & USEFUL & AWESOME & BEAUTIFUL...!!

      YOU GO GIRL...!!

    • Reprieve26 profile image
      Author

      Reprieve26 6 years ago from Oregon Coast

      Thank you! :)

    • mquee profile image

      mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

      This is a very encouraging article on how to succeed at reaching one's writing goals with a good step by step outline on how to proceed. Nicely done and congratulations on having your book published.