How do I become a professional writer/ publish a book? | INFJ Forum

How do I become a professional writer/ publish a book?


Regular Poster
Jul 15, 2023
Does anybody have experience in publishing a book?

I want to create a memoir- just not sure what route I should go down.
Is it worth it?

Any advice to become a writer (get noticed) or help with publishing a book would be very helpful.

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It's easier than ever to publish, especially if you go the self publishing route.

You should take an inventory of your true goals regarding publishing, sales, branding and notoriety. (is it worth it, to you?)
Once you have a good handle on where you want those things to land, you can determine a good path forward.

First step though, write something that is garbage but in some kind of complete form.
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Of course, it is worth it. If you want to write, write! Nothing should stop you!

My book was published by a small publishing house in 2005. I wrote about something with a large audience, following the "write what people want to read" rule. It sold well. I won't get into the rest of my writing experiences now. I'll just share current information that may be helpful.

Member @Ren is a published author (both fiction and non-fiction) and may offer some tips if he visits the forum. You could also visit his YT profile. He has a few videos about his books.

Memoirs don't typically sell well unless they're written (ghostwritten) by celebrities. So, while your story will be worth reading, it may be harder to find a publisher than it would be for some other genres. Several friends have self-published memoirs and have sold 200-500 copies of their work. Publishers picked up a few, but these people experienced significant moments in history or pop culture.

Keep self-publishing open as an option. It will give you the most freedom and may be the best option if publishers don't offer you a contract that works for you. The downside is that the literary world is an insider's club, and some options won't be open to you. For example, the NYT best-sellers list does not include self-published books.

Do not publish with a vanity publisher. Vanity publishers make you pay for everything up-front and then make it look like you were picked up and signed by a publisher. Vanity publishers are the same as self-publishing, except it seems like a publishing house signed you.

Traditional publishers will give you a contract. They pay for printing, editing, promo, etc. Pay attention to the contract, what they offer, how they will promote your work, and for how long. They will likely offer very little money (For example, $2500), but if they hire the editors, pay for the printing, promote your book, and get it onto the shelves at the bigger booksellers, it's worth it. Many publishers will promote your book for a short time, or expect you to do all your promo. Some publishers will expect you to buy the books that don't sell within their time limit.

Sometimes, small publishers will turn down an offer to publish your work and offer to advise or mentor you for a fee instead. That's shady.

You may need to hire several editors. They only do the job you hire them for. For example, developmental editors help with the story. Line editors comb your work for inconsistencies, flow, and (depending on the editor) plot. Copy editors correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The cheap ones aren't worth the money, and the experienced ones are expensive. Hopefully, you can find a hidden gem at a fair price. Ask for samples.

Do not sign exclusive deals with sellers.

Get beta readers! I recommend giving betas a questionnaire (so they know what kind of feedback you want), a deadline, and payment. Your beta readers must understand that it is a job, not a favor. Pick beta readers who will be interested in the content and will offer honest and constructive feedback.

You'll need an agent if you shop your manuscript to traditional publishers. Agents are strict about the work they'll consider, so read carefully and make sure you are marketing your memoir in the correct sub-genre.

This is exciting! Please write your memoir! I'll be rooting for you, and I will read it!
No professional help from me. I have a couple of copywrites, just so no one else will claim them. Sports magazine included one item in two different issues. That's it.

Spiritually, it is worth writing it down if you feel the desire. I was asked today if I had thought about writing a book before with all my stories from real life. After thinking about it awhile years ago, I talked myself right out of it. Why? I could not find anyone who understood what I was trying to write. It all made sense to me, but may have been sort of cryptic I guess. It was meant to be. I did not want to have to explain it.

While I've a lot of interesting stories to tell, I can't see people on their phones and playing their games getting a thrill out of nature well. Many will not put their phones and games down long enough to experience the things I would want them to experience. I'm so connected that I may become sad with where the world seems like it is going. How many people have fished most of the day, set up camp, then fried fish right on the sandbar next to the upland river? Heard whipporwill coming to talk with each other at dusk? Owls hooting close enough as dark approaches to think which tree they are in? Raccoons searching for food while you try to sleep? The splash of a large fish while eating today's catch under the Coleman lantern? The stars away from all the lights? Waking up the next early morning with two deer walking along the other side of the river? It's my heart, not theirs.

I will rejoice for my life experiences. That is enough. Maybe?
But also <3
Remind us, as I would like to read it.
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