Pixie and Punk/ Eric and Rufus Children's Books

from Longshot Ventures Ltd

Tips for First Time Authors

Tips, AuthorsRamoutar Tagore

Writing

  1. There is no time like the present! Do not try and block out whole weeks to write, just allocate one day a week. Do not get distracted by email and admin on that day.
  2. Plan out your chapters / contents at the start – it ensures a flow, helps you track progress and stops mission creep. It also allows you to write the chapters in any order you want.
  3. Do the introduction first as it creates tone and pace.
  4. Think of each chapter in terms of beginning, middle and end. I have a tendency to write an abstract for a chapter first as it helps to get my thinking straight.
  5. Don’t focus on spelling and/or sentence structure when writing the first draft – get your ideas down and keep the flow. At the end of the day or session of writing go back and re-read and do a quick first edit.
  6. Writing blocks: if you are struggling with a section or chapter – it is sometimes easier to go onto another and then come back to problem area later with a fresh eye.
  7. When re-starting writing after having some time off re-read the chapter from the start to get a feel of the tone.
  8. Get advice and input but remember to have the courage of your own convictions. You can’t write by committee.
  9. When starting set-up page dimensions and margins so that they correspond to the correct page size anticipated for the final book. It helps ensure pages look right and reduces work later.

Publishing: There are three options: get a publisher, self-publish or set up your own publisher.

  1. It generally takes time to secure a publisher and the easiest way is to get a literary agent. The easiest way to secure one is if you have one in your network. Even if you go this route having a finished book via self-publishing might help.
  2. Self-publishing is now the best way to quickly get your book published and can now be done cheaply, easily and high quality. Below are some topline tips:
  • If you can create a PDF you can self publish! All you need is to do write your book electronically.
  • Do not pay a lot for publishing support – you can do it yourself or do it cheaply.
  • Use CreateSpace, an Amazon company, that is very cost effective, easy to use and can get you an Amazon listing from which orders are automatically fulfilled. www.createspace.com.
  • Before starting check out the book sizes and margins and set up your document accordingly.
  • Buy books in a minimum quantity to get a unit cost that allows you to sell the books at standard prices. I generally recommend 100 books.
  1. Set up as publisher. This is relatively straight forward and is a good option if you want to publish multiple books. If you want support please contact me. tagore@longshotventures.com.
  2. The hardest bit is selling your book. Harness social media and get your book into as many hands as possible – go viral.