It’s World Book Day 2017 so what better time to talk about this. Has the book that you really want to read not been written yet? If it hasn’t, do you dream of writing it? Would your dream career be that of a novelist?
What kind of writer would you like to be?
A novelist, short story writer, poet, script writer, newspaper or magazine features writer? You might dream of being the next JK Rowling but in reality, there aren’t many authors who can claim to have this level of success – according to creative pool, most writers earn less that £5,000 a year from their writing.
This might not put you off of course, commercial success may not be the most important thing to you – you might be happy to hold down a day job and work on your writing in the evenings and at weekends – or maybe dreamily work away, inspired by your holiday scenario.
How much would you have to write?
The average short novel is around 60,000 words, so if you struggle with your homework essays you might want to think hard about how you would cope with writing this many words. Novels can be as long as 120,000 words (I find these hard to hold when reading).
How long would it take?
How long is a piece of string? – It could be your life work or you might knock out a best-seller in six months – who knows. A lot depends on how inspired you are I suppose.
How do you get a novel published?
You could try going straight to a publisher or you could get yourself a literary agent who can represent you – you can find lists of these sort of contacts in the writers’ and artists’ yearbook which surprise, surprise comes out every year – add it to your Christmas list.
You can of course publish yourself. This means doing all of the following yourself:
- Securing an ISBN for your book
- Running the supply chain
- Invoicing and accounting
So, if writing novels is your dream career – be it full time or as an aside to your day job – why not? Go for it, but don’t expect to earn millions.