So now I’m a published author I must have all the answers, right? Right! I’ve been given the secret code to the secret door to the Super Dooper Secret Club Of Super-Evil Published Authors, or SDSCOSEPA for short, but as no one could agree how to pronounce SDSCOSEPA everyone calls it MWAHAHAHAH!
When you’re initiated into MWAHAHAHAH! you must swear never – NEVER! – to reveal its secrets. The initiation ceremony is long, painful, and involves sticks, jelly and branding. Oh, it’s cruel, designed to make sure that no one ever tells the outside world how to get IN. It’s up to the jobbing writer to find out the hard way, by years of trial and error. Well, that’s all about to change! It’s time you common folk knew how to get on in publishing, and I’m going to tell you!
Don’t worry about the consequences to me – I’ve had my children’s book published – I have my private jet and my island in the Caribbean. This is my gift back to you! To hell with it all! Here are the secret rules of MWAHAHAHAH! Ten Sure-Fire Tips to get your book published!
- Read books. Lots of them. This comes as a surprise to some members of MWAHAHAHAH! If only they’d known it sooner.
- Write – every day if you can. Make it part of your routine. Enjoy it, nourish your creative urges. Discover what you like to write. It’s supposed to be fun – that’s why we did it as kids, when no one made us!
- Write for yourself, no one else! Don’t write to order, don’t follow trends. Just write and enjoy what you write. Some members cry at the liberation this gives them, after years of second-guessing the publisher’s needs.
- Experience life. This one confuses a lot of new members of MWAHAHAHAH! Basically it’s an extension of point number 1. By reading books you live a bit of someone else’s life, but you must never forget to live your own as well. Travel, see films, meet friends, spy on strangers on trains – carefully! Watch documentaries, game-shows, soaps, anything that makes you think. Oh, and here’s another shocker – this one is meant to be fun as well.
- Seek out advice. Members of MWAHAHAHAH! obviously don’t need (or want) advice, but until you get there you should ask others what they think of your work – when you’re ready find a few people whose opinions you trust, who will be constructive and not drain your enthusiasm. And remember: it’s no good being the greatest writer on this little planet if you never bother to send it to anyone. If you’re a perfectionist, guess what? It will NEVER be perfect. NEVER! You have to be critical of your own work, and don’t be precious! When you think it’s good enough send it out and move on to the next thing. But before you can move on…
- Finish it! Simple really. No one ever bought half a car.
- Expect failure. This is the only rule every member of MWAHAHAHAH! fully understood before they joined up (signature in blood and sweat.) When you fail try to learn from it, then forget the failure and move on. Don’t beat yourself up. There is always someone who gets there faster than you.
- Be tenacious. If you ever want the secret door to the Super Dooper Secret Club Of Super-Evil Published Authors to open you have to keep going, even on the days when you really don’t feel like it. Have your revenge on those people who turned you down by being a better writer. Eventually the door will open and, believe me, it’s worth it for the carpet alone.
- No one knows what Rule Number 9 is. When you hit the top spot of the Sunday Times Best-sellers list you’re summoned to a doubly-secret ceremony with ‘Kevin’, the elusive Grand Master of MWAHAHAHAH! where he tells you Rule Number 9. Some say it’s Never eat broccoli on a Tuesday, but that’s just a rumour started by JK Rowling. She hates broccoli.
- If all else fails and the first nine rules don’t get you published then this one will: buy a major publishing house.
And that’s it. Keep these rules safe – who knows how long it’ll be before this site is mysteriously deleted from the net. Treat them with respect and these rules will serve you well. Before long I look forward to meeting you on the annual MWAHAHAHAH! outing to the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall. Good luck!