Years ago, when I was much younger and naive–or perhaps, stupid–I thought all one had to do was write a story and try to have it published.
Nope. No way. Ain’t happenin’.
Once I began to study the craft, and especially after the internet evolved, I realized there was much more to this than writing.
I loved the stories that played in my head and the characters in those stories. But, writing the stories so that a reader could see, taste, feel, everything the way I saw it, involved a lot more than I realized. I have to show and not tell, the grammar has to be correct, sentence structure has to be considered. The pace has to be right, and most of all, I have to grab that reader’s attention as soon as she/he starts reading if I’m going to keep her/him reading.
Then, once that manuscript is as close to perfect as I can get it (or get to a point I just have to let it go) comes the task of having it published. Another joy.
Oh, and not let us forget promotion. Oh, no. That is a huge part of this. See, you can write the greatest book possible, but if people don’t know about it, you’re screwed. It isn’t going to get read.
So, when you read a book, try to remember that the author went through a lot of work to get that book published, and if you like the book, give that author a good review and let others know about the book.