We’re all looking for what works or doesn’t work when it comes to writing creative and meaningful pieces and getting them into the hands of readers. Today, author Robert Treskillard shares what helped him find success on his own journey to publication.
Good News—Your Book Idea Is Not Special!
by Robert Treskillard
Try as we might, the premise for each of our novels is not special, and not unique, and that is good news. Why? Because if our success depends on finding a totally unique story, we’d all fail, because it’s all been written about before.
Instead, your success depends on the execution of your book idea … your craft and marketing. Obsessing about the idea behind your book is great, but don’t stop there! Turn it into a great plot with real characters, and then write it! Promote it!
Now this doesn’t mean that all book ideas are equal, because they’re not. Some are awesome, some are mediocre, and you still want to find a great book idea. But don’t worry too much about whether it’s been written before. Give it your own angle, sure, but then move on and turn it into a great novel.
Learn the Craft
But how do we turn an idea into a great novel? Craft of course, which is something that can be learned. One of the great places to do that is at the next ACFW Conference, coming this fall to St. Louis, MO, my adopted hometown. Come on out and learn from multi-published authors just how to write a novel: from dialogue, to scenes, to conveying emotions, to plot, and far beyond.
And your craft is very important. The chart below shows a list of who your writing must impress in order to get published. And regardless of how you publish your novel, you still need to get endorsements and impress readers.
Learn to Promote
My own path to publication started when I began to promote my novels, even while I was writing them. This, too, is something you can learn.
Start with a blog reviewing other authors in your same genre. This will give you four benefits:
- Familiarize you with successful authors.
- Allow you to analyze what makes their writing tick.
- Allow you to get to know them as you help promote their books.
- Gives you an overview of how they market their books.
And all the while, readers will come to your blog to read your reviews and will learn about your books, so that’s another benefit.
Then, when your book is written and polished, you need to get as many endorsements as you can.
For me, I created a decent book cover for Merlin’s Blade, printed it, and hand delivered it to published authors. Note that I did not self-publish at this point … my interest was endorsements.
Only a few authors had time to read it, of course, and that’s okay … those few endorsed my writing and helped me get an agent, which in turn led to Zondervan/Blink picking up my trilogy.
And I did this by writing about King Arthur, a subject that is about the least unique you can find.
Can you get published? Yes. And remember, it’s not how special your book idea is … it’s about your execution of that idea.
(Note that this blog post was inspired by Brad Field’s business related post, “Note to entrepreneurs: Your idea is not special”, which I have applied to authors.)
Try as we might, the premise for each of our novels is not special, and not unique, and that is good news. Click to tweet.
Your success depends on the execution of your book idea … your craft and marketing. Click to tweet.
It’s not how special your book idea is … it’s about your execution of that idea. Click to tweet.
Author Robert Treskillard shares four benefits to blog reviewing other authors in your same genre. Click to tweet.
A King In Danger: Arthur, now eighteen, is missing, and Merlin must find him before a shadowy pursuer catches him first. With the high-king and his kingdom caught in a trap of sinister deceit, Merlin has to find a way out before all is lost.
A Bleeding Kingdom: Having everything to fight for, and almost nothing to fight with, Merlin and Arthur must rally Britain’s warriors against three overwhelming enemies: Saxenow hordes in the south, Picti raiders in the north, and a chilling new enemy that has arisen in the west.
And Merlin’s Nightmare Stalks The Land: Mórgana brings Merlin’s deepest fear to life and sets it loose to destroy Britain. But when the secret purpose of this nightmare is finally revealed, will Merlin and Arthur find a way to survive—without unleashing an even greater evil?
Robert Treskillard is a Celtic enthusiast who’s been crafting stories from his early youth, is a software developer, graphic artist, and sometime bladesmith. He and his wife have three children and are still homeschooling their youngest. They live in the country outside St. Louis, Missouri. Robert it the author of The Merlin Spiral trilogy: Merlin’s Blade, Merlin’s Shadow, and Merlin’s Nightmare, published by Blink YA Books. He is currently working on book 1 of The Pendragon Spiral, Arthur’s Blade.