The attitude to develop: The first steps to become a successful author is to understand that a career in writing is just that – a career. A career because for an author it involves commitment to investing time and effort over the long term. For success, a serious commitment to writing is a given. Writers and authors will realize that as they move forward on their journey, their effectiveness improves.
Writing is both an art and a skill, irrespective of the genre of book that the author is writing – fiction or non-fiction. Writing is a bit like painting a canvas. Unlike a painting, the author’s message is conveyed through words. How well these words conjure up life-like images in the reader’s mind. The better the visualisation, the better the story-telling!
Persistence at writing on a subject the author is passionate about increases the chances of success. With each successive book, the author develops himself or herself as a writer. He more effective at marketing the book and increases the chances of being discovered by readers at large.
The 4 steps that authors needs to take, to become a successful author:
1. They start each day with a sense of anticipation and are eager to put their thoughts and ideas into words. They earmark a certain number of hours only for writing. Try to have a fixed time of the day for writing, which they try to follow with discipline. Writing needs a lot of passion for recording one’s thoughts and ideas on paper and a lot of dedication. If one has the passion for writing and the commitment to spend time regularly on it, it is best to dive in and have a determined go at being an author. If the sole objective of becoming an author is to gain fame and fortune and the passion for writing is missing, then probably writing is not the right career choice!
2. They do not stop after their first book. Only by persisting with writing do they make a successful career as authors. With each successive book they improve their credentials. They become stronger in the community of authors. While writing they do not hanker for fame and recognition. They are concerned only about the quality of their writing and how well they are communicating with their target readers. Recognition follows naturally since their work speaks for itself.
3. Successful authors have immense faith in their first book and leave no stone unturned to market it. They create awareness amongst their target readers and gain a foothold in the world of books. The effort in creating awareness for the first book pays dividends since it helps them to market each of their successive books. There are no short-cuts in getting books noticed – a well-structured marketing plan using social media, online marketing and launch activities is a must. Even if the first book has not made waves, they use the experience to draw the right lessons and build their skills to make the launch of their next book more effective.
4. Behind the success of an author, lies the art of storytelling. The better an author is, at weaving a tale which catches the reader’s attention and strings him along with the narrative, the greater the chance of becoming a successful author. This is as true for fiction as it is for non-fiction.
The rewards of being an author can be huge but they will come through passion and dedication. There are many examples of successful authors, in India and abroad. One shining example is Chetan Bhagat. He has movies made on his books, has become a newspaper and magazine columnist, appears on TV and rubs shoulders with celebrities. When he began his journey as an author with his first book, he would not have imagined the heights that he would command! He had passion, commitment and self-belief and was willing to give his first book his best shot at marketing it. These are the most important steps an author needs to take become a successful author.