How to Write (and Sell) a Novel

© 2008 (revised 2012) Daniel Arenson

How to write (and sell) your novel? Here’s a quick, step-by-step guide.

Step 1) Realize that publishing is a tough business. There are millions of books out there; countless more are published every year. The vast majority of these novels never sell more than a handful of copies. The odds of your novel becoming a bestseller aren’t much better than winning the lottery.

Step 2) Accept Step 1 and decide that you’re crazy enough to go for it anyway. After all, some people have made it, so why not you? Odds are, if you’re still here, you will write your novel because you have to; to most writers, writing is as essential as eating or breathing.

Step 3) Find your inner voice. Find the story that inspires you. Find the characters you believe in. Find the book you must share with the world.

Step 4) Read more writing tips and study the craft.

Step 5) Find a good place to write. I have a small, quiet office upstairs with nothing but a desk, a plant, and a laptop.

Step 6) When your novel is written, revise it. Polish the writing, rethink characters, cut out boring scenes, write new ones, rewrite where necessary. I repeat this step several times. For me, Step 6 is much more work than Step 5. For an hour I spend writing, I can spend a day revising.

Step 7) Publish your novel. Some writers still submit their work to traditional publishers; most now upload their novels directly to the ebook stores.

Step 8) Start writing your second book!

Good luck!

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