By: Dennis Bates
So you think you want to be a writer? Good for you. I know how you feel. I’ve had the same feeling most of my life, and as they say on the Red Green Show, I’m here for you.
But, there are few things you ought to know before you move to the cabin in the north woods with your laptop, a head full of characters screaming to get out, and a heart full of good intentions. First and foremost is this: writing is hard work, and that’s the easy part. There is so much more to it than stringing beautiful phrases together and putting the periods in the right places. And I won’t even talk about the commas.
I am coming down the home stretch on my second book entitled “Sharon’s Song.” Hopefully, it will be available within a month. Thank you for asking. Anyway, what that means is interminable editing, rewriting, revising and rereading. I don’t want to even think about how many times I have read that story by now and there are at least two more complete read throughs before I’m done.
I decided fairly early in this second career of mine that I was going to self publish, at least partially. Fortunately, I met up with Staci so it is only partially. I went this way for a lot of reasons that may not apply to everyone, but they work for me, and Spirit Light Publishing has been an answer to prayer. That doesn’t mean that it has been easy. There are endorsements to obtain, a cover to design, a copyright to file for, mysterious numbers called ISBN’s to apply for, back cover copy to write, and other necessary details to deal with.
And even though cover design and so many other details are handled by trained professionals (which leaves me out), I’m still involved and it still takes time, and as I’m learning, it also takes patience.
There are always refinements. Always.
Now we come to the really hard part. It’s called marketing. You know the old adage, “If a tree falls in the forest but there’s nobody there, does it make a sound?” Writing is like that. If an author writes a book, but nobody buys it, there is no sound, and more importantly, no sales.
Oh how I wish I could just put up a sign on my front door that says, “My new book is in; please stay off the grass as you line up to buy it. Hurry, I only ordered 200,000 copies.” Sadly, it just doesn’t work like that unless your name is Janet Evanovich or John Grisham. Most of us have to convince book stores to sell our books; we have to hold book signings and bug friends and neighbors.
I’m not saying I’m in this just for the money because quite honestly, I’m not, but I do want to make expenses if at all possible. A profit? What’s that? Maybe the next time when I sell the movie rights. Until then, I do this because I love it and there is nothing else I can or would rather do. And oh, yeah, I firmly believe it’s what God is calling me to do.
So if you are hearing the same Godly whisper in your heart, good for you! I’m here for you, even if it’s only to commiserate. We will just both have to realize that God knows what He’s doing. He always does.