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  • Anyone an Author?
  • Premier Icon hammy7272
    Free Member

    Ever since I have known my partner she has always said she would like to be an Author. Specifically writing children’s books. Currently she is an English teacher and has been for ten years. This is grinding her down.

    I would like her to have a go and take a year out from teaching as she does not have time to sleep let alone write a book currently.

    She realises it is a long shot with a high failure rate.

    Naturally she is nervous about giving up work and taking the plunge. Im looking for any words of advice, tips, pitfalls and dare I say any useful connections.

    Thanks in advance

    Premier Icon mrwhyte
    Full Member

    I have a couple of friends who are published, however their main jobs are not writing books. They both started writing the odd column and articles for magazines, getting their names out there first. It was tough. One writes books on Arsenal the other about life as a small holder. Its unbelievably competitive out there. Another mate has been trying to get his kids book published for the last 10 years. In the end he self-published, but took a fair bit of cash.

    Is there a way for her to find a part time job and write?

    Premier Icon hammy7272
    Free Member

    Thanks. Yes, I think a part time job and as a side is a good plan. 10 years! Wow. Fair play for perseverance.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Full Member

    My sister is a published children’s author. It’s pretty brutal by all accounts. PM me and I can ask her.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    Don’t expect to make any money from it and you’ll be ok. My wife follows Tad Williams, pretty famous and well respected in the fantasy genre, he posted recently telling his fans that he makes minimum wage.

    That’s not to say don’t somit. By all means do it for reasons of life satisfaction and wellbeing, I’m all in favour there.

    Premier Icon corroded
    Free Member

    Happy to email you detailed advice but I can sum it up with ‘don’t give up the day job’.

    Premier Icon BillMC
    Full Member

    Mate is an editor of an annual academic reference book and he is currently writing his third novel. He reckons each takes about 2 years. None, I think, has made him any money. My Mrs wrote a section of a textbook (whilst in ft employment), she got royalties and money from photocopying rights (christ knows how they work that out) for years. It’s well worth having a go but I’d be wary of giving up on your teachers’ pension, the longer you can hang it out the better the escape route.
    On the other hand, the well known teenage fiction writers make an absolute killing but it’s brutally competitive plus you have to do the rounds of promotions and school visits as well as have a good agent.

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    My mate has a couple of published books, but his main job is a journalist for a local free paper. He’s not well paid.

    Premier Icon fatbikeandcoffee
    Free Member

    Have been in many books but chosen to not write my own.

    Interestingly relevant – when I was approached by a publisher to write a book they said very early on in the conversation that publishing a book doesn’t make the author money but helps them to raise there profile, get more speaking gigs and potentially (interesting they said potentially) clients.

    So I had to ask – ok then how do you make money? From the serialisation, press, elearning, licencing etc.

    If you want to have a book with your name on maybe self publish one – cheaper / less stressful but I know quite a few people who have written their own books and it hasn’t got them the outcome they wanted (mostly cash) but equally sometimes it is not about the money and just sharing your knowledge.

    Horses for courses but if it is a commercial driven thing I think (I have) chosen to back away as I don’t have the time, need the exposure, need help to get clients or want a book on a shelf (happy in a few other peoples but then don’t ever tell anyone I’m an author, in fact now I think about this is the first time) but we’re all different :/

    James

    Premier Icon noshki
    Full Member

    My wife has written four young adult/childrens fiction books and is currently most of the way through writing her fifth. She has written all of these on her commute to and from work with some spare time and holiday work.

    Despite being in my somewhat biased opinion an excellent writer and storyteller she was unable to generate any interest from agents, although only tried a dozen or so. Subsequently she decided to self publish these first four books, a trilogy and a standalone book.
    These have all been excellently received but have not sold in any great numbers. For her next book she is again thinking about a more sustained attack on literary agents.
    This understandably is not a task she is relishing. With self publishing you also have to arrange editing, beta readers, art work for covers (something she is revisiting at the moment on her existing books) and then time to try and promote your book.
    The above is of course whilst holding down a fulltime job. The writing bit she enjoys, the rest…
    I think on the whole it is a very positive experience for her and allows us the dream that one day she’ll be discovered and the movie rights will sell for millions! Allowing her to give up her job and write fulltime.
    What does your wife have to lose? If you can afford for her to not work for a while and have a go, better to have tried in vain than not have tried at all.

    I’m sure she’d be happy to answer any questions your wife may have, she already is fairly active following fellow writers on twitter and has helped with beta reading and such.
    Below is a link to a topic I wrote when I was first trying to do some promotion for her.

    https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/help-for-my-wife/

    Premier Icon salad_dodger
    Full Member

    Hi noshki – tell her to crack on a bit will you please. My lad asks constantly about when the next book is due.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    My former business partner quit to become an author, and her first book was picked up by the Young adult imprint of one of the biggest publishing houses.

    It got a fair marketing push, but I think she’s still struggled to get near what we used to earn as journalists. Which was hardly Megabucks anyway.

    It’s bloody hard graft as well by all accounts. And having a knack for self publicity and networking are pretty important

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    One thing she told me she’s learned from more experienced novelists is that you have to be prolific if you hope to make a living from it.

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