are you a Newbie Author? resources that might help!

are you a Newbie Author? resources that might help!

Hey are you a newbie writer? Every few months, I receive an email from someone who is just getting started in writing. I decided to share some of what I know to help with the process of getting started. 

So, there are tons of steps to getting started with your writing process.  And, without knowing you better, it’s hard to say which direction would be best for you for self-publishing or traditional publishing. 

Here’s a general article on the differences between traditional publishing versus self-publishing:

There are lots of business models for authors for self-publishing. One organization I follow is ALLI.  Here’s a link to the different types of models available.

The only advice I could offer is to dig deep within yourself to choose the direction and business model that resonates with you. I found these tests to be very helpful for me (Most of these are paid).  They gave me invaluable information:

KOLBE-Tells what you will or won’t do when faced with a task to accomplish. It let’s you know your “go-to” instincts and that’s very helpful when deciding the best course of action for your writing business. Are you a Fact Finder, Follow-Thru, Quickstart, or Implementor?  Figuring out your natural instinctual mode will help you determine how you’d best approach writing/business or what support system you might need (if you are a resistent in an area).

Clifton Strengths-Similar to the Kolbe index, I loved taking the Clifton Strengths. It helped me to understand what my true talents were.  I know some people have taken the test and received the Top 5 Strengths for free but to me, it was well worth paying for the test to find out what my CORE Strengths were and were not. Again, this test will help you to decide the best way for you to approach your writing platform. For example, your results might show that one of your strengths is collaboration so it could be to your advantage to co-write with another author or could be the opposite and cowriting might not work for you.

Fascinate-The final test that I’ve used was the Fascinate test. This test is all about what makes you unique and what potential customers (readers) will find fascinating about you. This is critical, in my opinion, because your brand is everything when trying to attract the right readership and repel the wrong readership.

None of what I suggested so far, sounds like it would be important to the writing process but in earnest, it’ll keep you focused on just what works for you, when you begin to learn more by reading books, signing up for courses, or attending conferences. You’ll immediately understand why some of those techniques don’t work for you and you’ll set your preferences early on what kinds of resources you should lean towards.  

As far as writing is concerned, there are an overwhelming onslaught of those in the world. Some are fantastic and others “not so much.” On the other hand, like I suggested, you might pick resources that fit your natural instinctual modes and talents/strengths. I would encourage you to do a gut check before you sign-up for anything to see if it makes you feel comfortable.  

What do I do? 

My natural instincts are FactFinder/QuickStart so I’m very attracted to the research first. I like to get to the bottom line of things. 

For me, I use Market Research Reports from K-Lytics to help me understand the genre that I find attractive. I purchase the report, listen to the videos and choose 40 of the top selling books to read.  Then I have a process of taking notes and breaking down the tropes that I find. This helps me a lot. Here's some of my favorite K-Lytics reports;

African American Romance Report

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Epic Fantasy

Urban Fantasy

SciFi Romance

K-lytics has lots of other reports and it would be worth purchasing others to learn or understand genre markets better. 

As far general “getting started” writing resources are concerned, I really love: 

Holly Lisle

Write Smarter Not Harder

And, if you are adventurous and want to try out my. SFA Course, The Brand Position Statement: Attract the Right Audience for your Brand. Here's the Course information

I know this is a lot of information to work through but if you’re going to be a writer, this is the life you will lead.  

I hope what I said is helpful and you’re able to get started.  

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Alicia McCalla photo credit Dr. Howard McCalla

I’m author Alicia McCalla. Sign-up for my newsletter to get updates, learn about my latest projects and purchase my badass, spunky and smart Black heroines on Merchandise!