In my first eighteen years as a writer I feel like I made almost every mistake an author can make. I’ve been ripped off by vanity publishers, have paid more than I should for sub-par editing, and spent many years working hard without making any real progress. This all changed for me in a pretty substantial way about a year and a half ago.
OPPORTUNITY #1: SELF-PUBLISHING A FIRST BOOK
The turning point was when I self-published my debut novel, Alarm Clock Dawn in the spring of 2013. As I was learning how to effectively promote my novel on social media, lightning struck. By chance I noticed a post on Facebook—it was an open call for submissions for a magazine for beginning writers called Authors Publish. I almost scrolled past the post but my intuition screamed stop!
OPPORTUNITY #2: PITCHING ARTICLES TO MAGAZINES
I listened and pitched a couple of article ideas to the magazine and, to my surprise, they accepted. These were paying freelance jobs and to a writer who had been struggling to build a career for so long this felt like nirvana. Those first two articles were completed and were very well received by the readership. When the articles were published my readership on social media increased two-fold, then shortly after tripled.
OPPORTUNITY #3: ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIPS
The relationship between the magazine and me proved a good fit and it grew exponentially. Those first two articles led to many more opportunities to write for the magazine. I noticed that the feedback the editor at Authors Publish was teaching me more about every aspect of the business. I was getting noticeably better with each piece I completed. The editor who is very knowledgeable about the business of writing, and also a poet herself, suggested that I submit my poetry to literary journals. I agreed and I was thrilled when my poems were accepted by several of them.
OPPORTUNITY #4: BRAINSTORMING BOOK IDEAS
About eight months after I wrote the first article on writing for Authors Publish, the idea was born (I can’t remember if they pitched the idea to me or vice versa) to expand on the articles and turn them into my first traditionally published book. I wasn’t aware of this but the magazine also owned a small press called Authors Publish Press that had only published eBooks previously. I was incredibly humbled and honored that they chose my manuscript to be their very first print book. The day I signed the contract was the day I had dreamed of since I was in my early twenties and it was every bit as exciting as I imagined!
OPPORTUNITY #5: WORKING WITH A PUBLISHER
I spent most of the spring and summer of 2014 working on the first draft of this book entitled, “One Word At A Time: Finding Your Way as an Indie Author.” I was no stranger to launching a book. I had self-published several books in the decade prior but working with a publisher was a much different experience than self-publishing. The publisher handled many of the non-writing aspects of the book (editing, marketing, etc.), and this allowed me to focus more on the writing itself. The feeling was wonderful.
ADVICE FOR WRITERS
If I could offer any advice to authors who are struggling to achieve their goals it would be to diversify your career. Every writing job not only builds your resume but can easily lead to bigger and better opportunities.
This book is not about publishing contracts and million dollar book deals. This book is about creating a life as a writer.
One Word At A Time: Finding Your Way as an Indie Author by Eric Vance Walton is a deeply personal guide to success as a writer. Eric shares his hard-won lessons about creating and sustaining the writer’s life. If you want a practical and personal guide to success as a writer, this book is for you. Buy your copy at Amazon in print or as an ebook.
If your focus is more on publishing your own books consider giving freelance writing a try. Many publications will be happy to print a short bio at the end of your article and will let you pitch your most current book or links to your social media accounts. Freelance work is not only a great chance to brush up on your writing skills but to also meet and manage deadlines, network, and also offers the potential get your work in front of a much larger audience.
About the author:
Eric Vance Walton is a novelist, poet, traveler, and tea junkie. He invites you to follow his unfolding story by “liking” his Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/EricVanceWaltonAuthor for updates and promotions on his current and upcoming projects. You can find Eric’s new book One Word At A Time: Finding Your Way as an Indie Author, on Amazon in print or as an ebook.