Stuart Macbride's 5 tips for becoming an author

Crime writer Stuart Macbride gives his top tips on becoming an author.

Stuart MacBride2

1. I could be cliched and say every one of the five tips is the same – write, write, write. The only difference between people who are published authors and those who aren’t is those who have been published have taken the time to sit down to write, and kept on writing.

2. Don’t be put off by what you write. We were all fairly awful with our first book but we did it and things got better. You can’t do that without sitting down and writing. Your first book may be terrible but that’s okay, it’s a learning curve. For some people it will take one or two books, for others six or seven but the way you get there is just by writing.

3. Rejection letters – expect to get a lot of them. I received a massive amount of rejection letters before being published. This was in the days before self publishing and I’m glad of that.

4. You will get a sense of pride and achievement after having written your first book and will be keen to see it published. If it’s rejected don’t be tempted to self publish, just keep on writing. Your second book will be better than your first and your third better than your second. By the time you get to your fourth book it may well be good enough for a publisher to take on.

5. Be realistic. There is a reason that we have editors and it’s not just to deny people their dreams, but to keep the quality high. You wouldn’t expect to pick up a cello and walk straight into an orchestra, so why would people expect their very first go at writing would be a massive international success?

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