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How to become an author in 20 easy lessons

I'm very grateful to Val Portelli for allowing me to post her - slightly tongue in cheek - missives on writing. Here is the first.

Previously published on May 28th 2017 by VOINKS IN BOOKS, PUBLISHING

How to become an author in 20 easy lessons.

It’s done. My first attempt at self-publishing is complete and ‘Spirit of Technology’ is entered into the Amazon storyteller competition. All I need now are the reviews and I can start arranging the party on my new yacht. Meanwhile here’s a little tutorial in case anyone thinks being an author is easy.

Part 1 1. Read a lot. Anything and everything, even the back of cereal packets is good. 2. (Not recommended.) Have a freak accident which leaves you bed-bound and staring at the ceiling. 3. To save your sanity start writing the book you’ve never had time to complete, as incidental things like earning a living got in the way. 4. Submit to a publisher. 5. Get a rejection letter. 6. Cry. 7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 innumerable times but now with chocolate, tissues and coffee on automatically replenished shopping order. 8. Receive ‘We want to see more’ communication from publishers. 9. Do crazy, skippy, happy dance (totally forgetting about useless leg). 10. Discover this is just the beginning and learn to love the editor’s big red pen.

Part 2 1. Sit back and assume your beautiful book will immediately hit the best sellers list. 2. Realise that’s not quite how it works. 3. Double the chocolate, tissues and coffee order. 4. Accept you are now totally hooked and start writing your second book. 5. Repeat steps 4 to 10 as above.

Part 3 1. Assume you now know everything about publishing a book. 2. Decide to self-publish your third novel. 3. Realise there’s a big time gap between ‘ABC Destiny’ and your latest, ‘Spirit of Technology’ and have another little cry while you battle to overcome the gremlins. 4. Triple the tissues, chocolate and coffee order while you try to learn the difference between metatarsals and meta tags. 5. Thank readers for their support and ask them to leave a review.

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