Friday, February 11, 2011

Guest Post: Laura Kreitzer

Please welcome Ms. Kreitzer to Ashley's Bookshelf.

I’ve thought about what I wanted to write for this post. There are so many aspiring authors out there and I’m trying to think of what kind of advice could I give that would help. So, I’m going to make this as easy as a list. If you are an aspiring author

1. Decide what you want to write about and begin an outline. Make this basic because you won’t stay on point. At least, I’ve never heard of an author who has. :D
2. Make sure you develop your characters before you begin to write. You should know things about your characters that will never enter into your novel. What’s their favorite day of the week? Or how do they like their steak cooked? Who’s their hero and why? Sometimes it’s the little things that will make your characters more charming and real.
3. Write a novel. This will be the easiest thing you will do as an author—I’m just letting you know right now. So if you can’t handle this, then you won’t be able to move forward in the publishing industry unless you’re just made of luck.
4. Take a break from your manuscript. Author’s agonize over their work to the point they lose sight of what it’s all about. Sometimes they’ll even ruin their original work because they think they are such a failure. Don’t. It’s a waste of your time and you’ll only drive yourself insane. Take at least a month-long break before you pick up your manuscript again. You’ll see it with new, bright eyes.
5. Have a trust set of eyes look over your manuscript. I have sometimes 3-5 people, sometimes more, that read my manuscript multiple times before it’s ever published. There are many great writing communities (see below) that you might want to get involved with. This will give you an *honest* set of eyes on your manuscript. And no matter the thickness of your skin, you’ll one day realize constructive criticism on your novel is beyond valuable.
6. Decide your avenue of attack. This day in age you have many of choices. A. Go for the big $$, but don’t quit your day job. This could take years. B. Indie publisher. Time frames vary on this and I’d suggest if this is really the way you want to go, research the hell out of them and even contact authors who they’ve contracted. I’ve known many authors to be dissatisfied with their indie publishers. Or C. Self publish. Again, there are many options; you can go to a vanity press, check out createspace, or just go pure ebook and sell on kindle, pubit, and smashwords.
7. The rest is all up in the air depending on your choice above. If you query, be prepared for rejections. I hear it happens to everyone. If you go Indie, be prepared to get more hands on. If you decide to self publish, you are one tough cookie. Work hard and you’ll see results.

Though everything I’ve said is quite vague, starting later this month I will be doing Writing Classes on Fictionista Workshop’s website ( for writers starting at the beginning stages all the way to the end. I hope to extend this into a publishing classroom, too. So check them out at the end of February.

Thanks for stopping by and participating. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.


  1. I stopped by your post today. You are right, we're fortunate in that we have many choices these days. A "no" from an agent or publisher is not the end of the line. Createspace and Smashwords have given an opportunity to many great writers who may have ended up on the slush pile.

  2. Shared an award with you over at BNR!

  3. hey! new GFC follower! love the blog and i'm lookin forward to reading more!

    follow me?!


Thanks for stopping by and sharing some your thoughts!