5 Things You Should Know About Becoming a Published Author by Shobhan Bantwal
5 Things You Should Know About Becoming a Published Author
by Shobhan Bantwal
1. The path that takes one from aspiring author to published author is a tough one to navigate. Until a writer actually steps on to it, she is not likely to know the challenging journey that she is about to undertake.
2. In the world of traditional publishing, unlike vanity publishing, an author generally needs to sign on with a reputable literary agent first. Most established publishing companies refuse to take on a new author without an agent. This is a fact that many new authors are not aware of.
3. While getting a publisher to notice one’s writing is tough enough, it is equally difficult to capture the attention of a good agent. Reputable agents are very busy individuals with multiple clients and are naturally reluctant to take on new ones. Their rejection rate is extremely high, some close to 99 percent. Therefore to be able to sign on with a well-known agent in itself is a serious challenge. An agent takes on a new client only if she is entirely convinced that the writer has a saleable manuscript and can sustain a long writing career.
4. Once an agent has successfully brought an author’s manuscript to the attention of an editor at a publishing house, the next step is contract negotiation. This is where a good agent is worth his/her weight in gold. The agent needs to carefully negotiate everything from advance money to copyright to royalties and long-term author rights.
5. Editors are in charge when it comes to getting the manuscript published. Meeting editor’s deadlines, making revisions, accommodating the editor’s suggestions, galley revisions, and final proofing are part of the long and arduous process of getting that book into the bookstores. Along the way, besides the various editors, there are dozens of people involved in designing the cover art, production, sales, shipping, promotion, public relations, marketing, and accounting. A single book, despite its simplicity, is a complicated multi-person, multi-step process. A new author is always in awe of how much is involved in getting her manuscript into the hands of readers. It is also a humbling experience.
Besides authoring five novels, Shobhan Bantwal is a freelance writer and award-winning fiction writer featured in publications such as The Writer, India Abroad, Little India, India Currents and New Woman India. She regularly donates a portion of her book earnings to women’s charities. For information on her books, contests, events, recipes, photos, contact, and favorite charities, visit her website at www.shobhanbantwal.com or her facebook page at www.facebook.com/ShobhanBantwal.author