Disclaimer: I am a natural storyteller, not an English teacher.
Go get a fan base before anyone has even read your book.
I know what you are thinking. That is crazy! You're right, it doesn't really make sense. How can you build a fan base without a product to sell?
Well this is what might be expected of you if you want to land a contract with any of the big publishers.
Blog, tweet, Facebook, WattPad, fan pages, website, juggle life, my kids, (not literally of course for all you mad people who now have a picture in your head of me throwing around my three small children!) relationship with my husband, supporting him at work, cleaning the house, bills/school stuff etc etc and oh yeah, don't forget to write the book! Then re-write, edit and polish it. Phew! I feel tired just writing that.
Writers are having to be sales people, personalities, admins on fan pages, marketing experts and the list goes on. This seems to be because the industry is in a bit of a mess for lack of a better word. People are self-publishing some really great books but many are publishing poorly executed, badly edited and just plain boring stories. With this wide range to choose from and a lot of it free you can see why agents and publishers are finding it difficult to take a chance on any new author. A couple of underperforming titles and that could be the end of their business!
When asked by a major publisher to put my work up on Wattpad I politely declined. After almost three years of practise, (mostly teaching myself what I did not learn at school) I was reluctant to put work up that wasn't edited, even though I knew readers would understand. I love WattPad, it's a great place for young writers to get feedback on their work and I would have loved to share a few chapters but at this stage, I want to try and do things traditionally. I haven't given up hope.
Writing was never and will never be about money, for me. I need money so I can feed my family. I've never had much of it and I don't mind if I never do. When people enjoy reading and are excited about a book that you have written and they love your writing, it is the most magical feeling in the world. I live to make people happy, including myself and I really hope my novels will give people joy as they have done for me.
Thank you to all those that have already supported me. You are amazing. I support new authors wherever I can. There are so many wonderful writers out there just waiting for their chance to fly and take their readers soaring through the clouds with them.
Emma Pullar is a bestselling and award-winning writer of dark fiction and children's books.
She supports Bang2write, The London Screenwriters' Festival, and Into the Script.
Follow Emma on Twitter @EmmaStoryteller or Instagram @emmapullar_storyteller or fb Emma Pullar.
You also find her on Linkedin.