You have a great idea and know it will sell. What do you do next? Sit down at the computer and pound the keys, or learn to write?
The majority of authors started without any training in writing at all. None. They had a story they wanted to tell and they began telling it. A lot of the proposals we receive have had no critiques, no editing, just a raw book. I’m sure you can imagine the editing and teaching that would take.
Many of the writers know nothing about writing. They have never attended a conference or a writing class. They’ve never picked up a book on writing, but their intentions are good. The story they want to tell is a good story, but they need work before it is published.
There are rules to writing. Each author should study the art of writing before they submit their book to an agent or publisher. If you want to be a successful writer, you need to study the craft. No famous brain surgeon decided one day to open a head and start operating. He/she had to study the art of surgery before they began their first surgery. The same is true in writing.
“It takes so much time,” you may say. Yes, it does. Anything you do well takes time. Like brain surgery, you can’t hurry it. You have to be patient and study and write and then study and write more. No author can whip out a manuscript with no critiquing and editing and be successful. The more you write, read other author’s books, and study books on writing, the more successful you will be. As I’ve always told my children, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” neither is writing.
Why am I telling you all this? Because there are a lot of sloppy books on the market. Many authors think they know it all, but those are the ones who won’t listen to advice and improve their writing. We, at Mantle Rock Publishing, want to contract good, well-written books. We want our writers to be successful. Although I’m not an expert on writing, I am considering teaching some writing classes. Haven’t gotten it all worked out, but I’m mulling it over in my mind. There is so much to learn about writing and so little time to do it.
Even if your book is flawless, you still have to promote your book. If you are not promoting your book and yourself, you’ll never be a successful. That’s a subject for later.