It seems that everywhere we go online nowadays, we’re continually confronted by articles shouting about ‘20 things you didn’t know about that…’ or ‘the 10 best things for doing this…’ or ‘the 5 top articles that contain useless lists…’
And so, in celebration of this internet phenomenon (no I didn’t spell that right at the first attempt), I am going to write my very own post that has a list. Mine is the five stages you need to get through before your book is published (that’s in the traditional way, not self-pubbing, in which case the list stops after number 4).
Oh, and I’m going in reverse order because it’s more dramatic that way.
At Stage Five, we have the most obvious (and some would argue the most easy) of all the stages: writing the book. That’s right folks, without actually writing the book, not much else can happen. We are the sole masters of our destiny here, which doesn’t really happen again during the process, so enjoy this bit.
For Stage Four we must put the manuscript out there for others to rip apart… erm, I mean offer their views on and provide constructive feedback. This – plus maybe sending the book to an editor – is vitally important, and in all but exceptional cases you can forget success at the next stage if you don’t do either – or ideally both – of these.
Stage Three consists of the joyous process of submissions: finding agents, querying agents, getting rejected by agents. And whether or not you are successful in this stage, it’s still a whole lot of hard, and often monotonous work. It will, however, also teach you a fair amount too. And, of course, if you are successful here, you move onto the penultimate stage…
At Stage Two things get exciting as you send your entire manuscript to an agent because they’ve shown an interest and think you may be onto something. This stage is much like the semi finals of the World Cup. A huge aspiration that is almost… within… your… grasp, but also so close that if comes to nothing, the feeling of dejection will be acute. Additionally, you then have to lose a turn, do not pass Go, return to stage three and start all over again. If you get through this stage, however…
Well here you are. Stage One. You have an agent. You have a book that may actually sell a copy or two. You have a real shot at achieving your dream. All you need now is a publisher (groan). This stage echoes much of the sentiment from the previous one, but if you pass. Oh boy. If you get though this stage, you’ll eventually end up with a book that is published (hooray!). You are a published author and no one can take that away from you. Ever.
Of course there is an additional stage, but that’s easy and involves copious amounts of champagne and constant refreshes on Amazon’s bestsellers page, but we’ll get to that another day, eh?
So there you have it. I have joined the masses and managed to put out my own “the 5 best somethings of something…” article. I also did it because I feel it’s helpful to break this process down into bite-sized chunks… and if the completion of each stage provides an excuse for a little celebration, then so be it.
All I need to do now is add the image of a yellow Minion standing next to my list saying something profound, and my journey to the dark side will be complete.
Thanks for reading.