The Key To Making It As A Writer

The key to making it as a writer is to write a lot, write great stories, publish them yourself, spend more time writing, study the industry, act like a pro, network, be nice, invest in yourself and your craft, and be patient.

My Advice to Aspiring Authors – Hugh Howey. (2020). Retrieved 23 June 2020, from https://hughhowey.com/my-advice-to-aspiring-authors/

The Stigma Is Gone

The stigma is gone. Self-publishing is the beginning. For many, it will be the end. The moment the stigma disappeared among traditional publishers (i.e. they began signing already-published books to major deals) it meant the top-down approach to publishing flipped upside down.

My Advice to Aspiring Authors – Hugh Howey. (2020). Retrieved 23 June 2020, from https://hughhowey.com/my-advice-to-aspiring-authors/

Publishers Aren’t The Enemy

Publishers aren’t the enemy; their contracts are. I don’t want publishers to go away. I don’t see them as the enemy. They do some wonderful things, and I love the people I’ve met in the industry. Love them. But their contracts suck because there has never been a reason for them not to suck.

My Advice to Aspiring Authors – Hugh Howey. (2020). Retrieved 23 June 2020, from https://hughhowey.com/my-advice-to-aspiring-authors/

Network And Be Nice

Network and be nice. I can’t stress this enough. Just being around other writers will inspire you to be a better writer. Join a writing group (in person is better. online if you must). Go to writing conferences. Go to writing camps.. And be nice to your fellow writer. Making it as an author isn’t easy. The last thing we need to do is make it harder on each other.

My Advice to Aspiring Authors – Hugh Howey. (2020). Retrieved 23 June 2020, from https://hughhowey.com/my-advice-to-aspiring-authors/

Self-Publishing Leaves All Options Open

The vast majority of books traditionally published never earn out their advance. They go out of print. They are now dead. This never happens to a self-published work. It can only go up, either in sales or by being picked up in a deal that you choose. The top-down approach is one where you leave options open. Self-publishing leaves all options open (it didn’t used to). Traditional publishing leaves almost no options open (this hasn’t changed).

My Advice to Aspiring Authors – Hugh Howey. (2020). Retrieved 23 June 2020, from https://hughhowey.com/my-advice-to-aspiring-authors/

Pros Read Up And Set Goals

Pros read up on grammar. They read books with an eye to what works and what doesn’t.. They set goals for how much they’ll publish in a year. Five years from now, these pros will have 10-20 works available. They only need to sell 250 – 500 books a month to earn a supplemental income. Ten books a day across twenty titles. That’s the longterm goal.

My Advice to Aspiring Authors – Hugh Howey. (2020). Retrieved 23 June 2020, from https://hughhowey.com/my-advice-to-aspiring-authors/

If You Self-Publish You Will Have The Rest Of Your Life To Make It

If you self-publish, you will have the rest of your life (and your heirs’ lives) to make it. Your print-on-demand books will always be available. Your e-books will always be available. You can keep writing and promote later. You are building your backlist.

My Advice to Aspiring Authors – Hugh Howey. (2020). Retrieved 23 June 2020, from https://hughhowey.com/my-advice-to-aspiring-authors/

Learn To Write Rough

Secondly, learn to write rough. Stop caring about spelling and sentence fragments and plot holes and grammar. Get the story down. Listen to the dialog and try to keep up with your fingers. Get to the end of your manuscript and THEN worry about the quality. If you can master the art of powering through to the end of your story, you are on your way.

My Advice to Aspiring Authors – Hugh Howey. (2020). Retrieved 23 June 2020, from https://hughhowey.com/my-advice-to-aspiring-authors/