Become an Author Today!

Maybe you’ve always thought about writing a book, or maybe you’ve even started a few chapters but you’re wondering what the next steps are. How exactly do you become an author? Well, the good news is that the second you start writing a book, you’re an author, you’re a writer. So congratulations! But how do you become a real author that people recognize? That takes some doing.

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Finish the Book

It might sound obvious, but you do need to actually finish a book in order to be a real author. Plenty of writers only have a partially finished manuscript, but very few of them ever actually finish it. So if you want to be an author, you have to have a book to show people. Then, you’re an author.

Get an Agent or Learn How to Self Publish

If you’re going to go the traditional publication route, want your hardback book on the counter at your local book shop, and want to be able to send physical copies to your family, you’ll want to get an agent. Most publication houses will not allow you to represent your house, so you need to send your books or manuscripts to agents to see which one of them will represent you. Once you get an agent, you can start pitching your book to publishers and see which ones will publish or pay you – or both!

If you don’t want to go that route, or if you don’t get accepted by an agent or publisher (it happens), then you can try to learn how to self publish. With platforms like Amazon Kindle, this is easier than ever before, but it still takes a little bit of work. You need to figure out how to create PDF files, a cover image, the correct copyright images, and then you need to figure out the Kindle fee structure. Many self published authors struggle to get the proper royalties from their books from these platforms, so beware.

Network with Other Authors

The important part of becoming an author, aside from obviously making and publishing a book, is to hone the craft. To learn how to write better, to create even better stories, you need to learn from others. This comes in the form of taking classes, going to writing workshops, and having other people critique your work who get the writing process and who have technical experience writing and even publishing books. Don’t just ask your mom to read your book and see what she thinks; of course your mom is going to be excited about it.

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Ask for advice, ask for other people to critique your work, and be willing to grow and change to better reflect what you’ve learned. Remember that you’re always an author, but you’re not going to be the best author you can be if you never learn more about what you can do. You will be able to publish better stories and become a well known author if you work hard enough.

How to Become an Award Winning Author in 5 Easy (Ha!) Steps

Pretty eye catching title, right? Well, we can’t promise those results for everyone, unfortunately, but we had to get your attention somehow, right? If you’re interested in becoming a published author, let alone an award winning one, there are a few things you need to do. Well, five to be exact.

  1. Come up with the best idea ever.

Pretty simple, right? Writers spend their entire careers trying to come up with one killer idea, and sometimes they manage to come up with a great idea that flops terribly once they write it. But if you want to make it to award winner status, that idea better rock. Better yet, make it an idea that is so unique that people will sit up and take notice. But that’s totally easy, right?

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  1. Get an agent who will get you published.

Aside from the ease of writing down the best idea ever, now you have to convince an agent that it’s the best idea ever and get him or her to vouch for you with huge publishers like Harper Collins. To do this, you have to send your great idea out to tons of agents and see which one of them wants to represent you. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a few to choose from. If nobody likes your idea or wants to represent you, keep pushing. Did you know that JK Rowling got turned down by 19 publishers before she finally landed her deal with Harry Potter? Don’t get discouraged, just keep plowing on.

  1. Market and Tour

To get to award winning book status you’re going to need to make sure that people actually read the book, and to do that, you’re going to have to market it properly. Whether that means creating an online presence, getting people to follow you on sites like Goodreads, or if it means actually going on a book tour to sign books and interview with your new fans, do whatever it takes.

  1. Apply for Awards and Contests

Very rarely do people just randomly win an award or contest without being submitted for the contest to begin with. This goes hand in hand with marketing and getting your name out there, so that other people might nominate you, but you also have to apply yourself for quite a few. Keep applying even when you don’t win, and use the ones you do win as fodder for applying for more awards and contests.

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  1. Don’t Get Discouraged

No matter what happens, you’ve managed to write a book, which is pretty amazing in and of itself. Even if you never win the Pulitzer, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have fans and it doesn’t mean that you’re not an author. You are, so enjoy it! Keep writing, as well. You never know if it’s your first idea of your seventeenth idea that will finally get you that award.

Picking the Right Agent and Publisher

When you decide to write a book, you’re probably super excited and full of hopeful ideas. Then, you start writing the book and you realize this is a masochistic hobby that hurts you more than helps you. Then you get closer to finishing the book and you realize you’re almost to the finish line. And then you’re finished with the book! Then you edit the book and think, “Someone might actually buy this!” But how do you get it out there, and how do you make it a best seller on the New York Times list? First, you have to find an agent.

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Here’s a list of things you should ask any agents you are considering to represent you:

1. Have you ever represented someone with a story like mine? What was the end result and do you still represent that person?

2. Do you have a specific style of book you like to promote? Does my book match that?

3. What are your rates and terms?

4. Which publishers do you prefer to work with and do you have contacts at those houses that could possibly help us get my book published?

5. How do you do contracts, and when are things renegotiable?

6. What happens if my book is an absolute best selling smash? What are you royalties?

7. What happens if no one takes the book and it flops? What are your fees?

From there, you should get some pretty good insights into the agents you want to work with, and figure out if they have your book and your best interests at heart. After you find the right agent, they’re going to pitch your book to dozens of publishing houses to see if someone will pick it up. Once you find a publisher who accepts your book, it may be an easy acceptance, but be smart and ask the right questions. Here are a few you need to ask to make sure you get the right representation and don’t get screwed.

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1. What are your terms for royalties? What percent of total sales do I see?

2. Who owns the rights to characters and story? Can I sell those to you for more money?

3. How do we know this book is going to hit your projected sales mark? What do I have to do to make that happen (i.e. book tours, etc.)?

4. When do we renegotiate terms?

5. What if my book flops? Do I have to give back my advance?

6. What if my book is a total success; do your rates or my percentage change at all after we hit a certain sales mark?

Of course, these are just a few questions to ask. Ask your agent (once you trust him or her) to help you in negotiations with the publisher to make sure you’re getting a fair shake. After that, sit back and enjoy your advance and start working on your next money making novel!

The Pulitzer Prize – “A Milestone for Writers”

The Hungarian born American, Joseph Pulitzer, was a fierce character in the journalism world in the latter years of the 19th century. His skilfulness and prowess in newspaper publishing pretty much distinguished him from the rest of his peers in the same profession. He was also considered a visionary. He was among the first people who saw a need for journalists to obtain training at the university level; and this he put into action. During his years, Pulitzer managed to amass a fortune from newspaper publishing which led him to start off a fund.

In 1904, Pulitzer drafted his will to set aside $2 million for the creation of a graduate school for Journalism in Columbia University and to allow for prizes to be given out to extraordinary individuals in the journalism industry. The Journalism school was established in 1912, a year after his maxresdefaultdeath and the famous Pulitzer Prize followed suit in 1917, to be administered by the Columbia University.

Today the Pulitzer Prize awards writers and journalists alike in twenty one categories –and choices made by the Pulitzer board are announced by the President of Columbia University yearly during April. This year marked a century of the Pulitzer Prize with 100 years in awards since inception. Over the years the awards have been celebrated and marred with controversy equally as well. This is probably because the Pulitzer board usually debates amongst themselves on whom to award the prizes and they neither engage in publicly debating their decisions or defending them; a trait that they adopted with a policy of secrecy, which they’ve stood by over the years.

Notable controversies that have hit the Pulitzer Prize over the years old-man-and-the-sea-free-ebookinclude the awarding of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” in 1953, a lesser work than “For Whom the Bell Tolls” that was denied an award in 1941. Critics saw this as a nod to Ernest Hemingway’s work in the profession rather than a direct award on his work. In 1980, Janet Cooke wrote an article in the Washington post about an 8 year old boy addicted to cocaine from the tender age of 5. It was an interesting and thought provoking article that gained acclaim from all corners and even a Pulitzer award, except for one small detail; the entire story was a fabrication. Janet Cooke resigned from the Post and had her prize taken away.

Fast forward to today, the award is still held up high among the journalism profession. The 2016 awards culminated with an award on the AP for publishing an investigative piece on slaves which allowed for the rescue of more than 2000 slaves. It also recognized the work of the Washington Post in creating the Fatal Force in their enterprise segment. This refers to a database detailing the number of people killed by police in the United States in 2015. Other outstanding awards were by the New A1vM4BoD4tLYork magazine which had never received an award before but went on to win two, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work on the musical “Hamilton” and Joby Warrick’s book, “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS”.

100 years of the Pulitzer awards has been a great show of writers’ milestones and their achievements in the public sector. The award is more than just a prize but a show of the immense contribution writers give to the society while telling their stories.

Success Story Of First Pulitzer Prize Winners

The Pulitzer Prize is an award given in the United States for achievements in magazines, newspapers, musical compositions and literature. The first Pulitzer award was presented in 1917 by the trustees of Columbia University in New York City. Prizes are in the form of certificates, cash award and a gold medal. French Ambassador Jean Jules Jusserand was the first Pulitzer Prize winner who won $2,000 for his book on American history and Herbert Bayard Swope won the $ 1,000 prize for reporting in 1917.

The administration of Pulitzer Prize awards prizes in Journalism and Arts across 21 categories every year in April, and $ 250,000 cash prizes and scholarships are allocated for this purpose. Joseph Pulitzer himself being an accomplished newspaper publisher was the first to suggest training for journalists at the University level in the school of journalism. It was his farsightedness and visionary acumen that led to the Pulitzer prizes for literature, music, drama and journalism. Each year 2,000 submissions are considered for 21 awards by the Pulitzer Prize Board with 100 judges on the board.

Here we will discuss the success stories of some of the Pulitzer Prize winners. One such award winner was Julia Keller the cultural critic and reporter of “Tribune” who won the award for feature writing.  She had given a meticulous and vivid description of the 2004 tornado in Utica. Her story was published consecutively for three days reconstructing the beyond-the-battlefield-by-angela-jackson-1362-pdisaster that killed eight people. Another award winner was David wood the senior military correspondent of “Huffington Post” who literally spent years covering war. His extensive reports about wounded veterans and their families in a ten part series “Beyond the Battlefield ”won him the Pulitzer award in National Reporting. This was a great honor for David’s exceptional journalism as well as HuffPost’s commitment in giving original reports.

Margaret Michelle’s novel “Gone with the Wind” a romantic book set during the civil war earned her the Pulitzer’s award making her an instant celebrity. Though this was her only novel later made into a movie, it sold 30 million copies all over the world and translated into 27 languages. Michelle was earlier working with Atlanta Journal Sunday magazine writing articles, but became an overnight celebrity with her novel.

The first female Fortune 500 CEO Katherine Graham won the Pulitzer award in 1997 for her best- selling autobiography   “Personal History”. She was the publisher of  “The Washington Post” getting the paper to the forefront nationally in the second half of the twentieth century. She was running a successful publishing empire and in no time became a role model for women in male dominated fields. After the death of her husband, she took over and made The Post, one of the most reputed newspapers in the US.

017-marilyn-monroe-and-arthur-miller-theredlistArthur Miller one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century won the Pulitzer Award for his play “Death of a Salesman”. His other well known plays are ‘The Crucible”, “All my Sons” and “A View from the Bridge”. He studied from the University of Michigan before he started writing dramas for the stage that are still being re-staged internationally.

Winning a Pulitzer award is thus a thing of repute making the winner an instant celebrity. In2016 the New Yorker became the first magazine to win the Pulitzer award for journalism in both criticism category as well as feature writing.