Becoming a Published Author – Part I

Many ways

There are many ways you can take if you want to become a published author. We will talk to people who support themselves by writing. We will of course do our best to get all the secrets from them as well.

Writing Factory

First up is an author who calls himself/herself a “Writing Factory.”

Hello “Writing Factory!” We are pleased that you want to share your experiences. First of all we have to ask why do you call yourself a factory?!

It’s a long story. I had never wanted to become an author, but I had always known that I wanted to do something creative. I got a job as a reporter at a movie magazine when I was really young more or less by coincidence. This in turn led to freelance jobs for other magazines and newspapers. After a few years I wanted to try to write something longer and before I knew it I had completed a book. The whole writing process was very similar to that of an assembly line in a factory.

You want to remain anonymous, why? Are you ashamed of the things you write?

No, of course I am proud that I have written several “complete books” (I have noticed that very many people sometime during their lives start writing a book, but there are very few who actually finish). I have on the other hand never viewed my books as my “children.” For me writing is a job.

At the same time I’m a very private person. I have no desire to see my name written in large letters on a book cover. To write using a pen name gives me an enormous freedom. I can switch genres as much as I want without being judged beforehand.

Can you make a living being a “Writing Factory?”

Yes you can, but you will never live a life of luxury and you must be prepared to work a lot and I’m not just talking about the writing.

If you’re able to write three books per year (and get these published) you can write for a living even if your books never become bestsellers.

I would never be able to do that though, if I wrote three books a year at least one of them would be complete garbage and another one really bad.

A lot of my time is spent on other things besides the writing, e.g. selling my stories to publishers around the world.

What steps do you take to sell your books in other countries?

There is no right or wrong, but it helps to be a bit like a car salesman. I search on Google to find interesting companies and then I contact them. It’s like selling any product. With time you learn important details. One thing I learned fairly quickly is that e.g. the U.S. is a very difficult market. There most publishers are afraid to talk directly to an author because of judicial reasons; they want you to go through an agent.

Another thing I’ve learned throughout the years is that it is much easier to sell a story if you are willing to change it a bit to make it fit. And if you are willing to sell your stories to other forms of media than books it becomes even easier (I have a friend who makes a good living by only writing stories for videogames).

If you could only give one piece of advice to someone who wants to write for a living, what would it be?

Write! To write for a living you have to write a lot! And you have to finish what you start!

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