One of the questions I’m asked most often …

Here’s the Q:

Hi Brian! I’m yyy from California. I’m your biggest fan. I’m a novice writer. What is the most important advice you can give to someone who is beginning to write a book? And why? I hope you are having a great day. Thank you very much!

Here’s the R:
I wish I knew what to advise aspiring writers these days. It feels like we’re dancing on a moving floor … the rules are changing so radically. My publishing life began in the “old world” – before ebooks and self-publishing were such a thing, and when traditional publishers asked about your title before they asked “what’s your online platform?”

1. Go online and find advice for writing a book proposal. That’s your book’s “resume,” and it’s REALLY important. You have to give them a fast reason (in, like, 15 seconds) to notice your proposal in a pile of other proposals, and then you have to reel them in with a great topic, great writing, and great marketing ideas once you hook them.

2. Pick a few publishers that have published authors you like – some big names, and some lesser known names. Send your book proposal to the acquisition editor(s) at these publishers (you’ll find info online) – one at a time – and see what happens. You may need to send some polite and gentle (but persistent) nudges. Remember, their piles of proposals are very high (which is why #1 is so important).

3. You could also look for an agent. Sometimes that’s harder for a first time author than finding a publisher though … again, an online search to find the agents for authors you like would be a good start.

Here’s some advice I’ve given in the past:

and here (the link in the previous post is broken)

The good news: with a good blog, you have an instant world-wide reach for your writing.

The other news (not sure if it’s more good or bad): Because of blogs, people are reading more great material than ever, but don’t have to pay for it, which changes the game for traditional publishing.

Over on my Facebook page where this post will be available, maybe folks will want to offer additional suggestions for helpful links, resources, etc?

By the way, you might be interested in the Writers Workshops I’ll be doing – two this year (in February and June). Information here: