I can’t tell you how long I’ve dreamed of being an author. I’ve penned short-stories and articles for many years, but always considered myself a writer. Not an author. To me that title is reserved for those who’ve battled their way through writing hundreds of pages of a novel, put in countless hours of edits and rewrites, and have stayed the course through to publication

Last September, I’m thrilled to say I signed my first 2-book contract! It’s been a long road, but now that my debut novel is in print and Book Two is in the making, I can finally consider myself an Author! The Lord be praised for bringing me to this point!

We’re blessed to live in a day and age where there is more than one avenue to publication. In fact, there are four ways to become an author. Each has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. If you’re a writer seeking to become an author, find which method suits your needs.

1) Self-Publishing – Many writers today are choosing to self-publish. If you have a good public platform and are great at social media, this might prove the way to go.
Benefits: Complete control over print/cover options, quickest way to publish, 100% of profit.
Drawbacks: 100% of expenses, publication falls solely on your shoulders.

2) Subsidy Publishing – If you’re eager to publish, but don’t have all the know-how of self-publishing, this option might be for you.
Benefits: Quick, lower expectations, some control over print/cover options.
Drawbacks: Share expenses with publisher, often must buy many books and sell on your own, expensive.

3) Small Traditional Publisher – Small publishers may not possess the selling power of larger companies, but they do have some great attributes.
Benefits: Allows more input on cover design/edits, personalized treatment, no expense falls to you unless you choose to purchase books at a discounted price.
Drawbacks: Must be willing to put forth effort to publicize & sell books, not as much exposure as large publishing company, only get a percentage of profits.

4) Large Traditional Publisher – It’s every writer’s dream to land a spot in this category. Competition is high and it often takes an agent or a memorable appointment at a writer’s conference to make it happen.
Benefits: Greater exposure to readers, on bookstore shelves, greater sales/income, publisher does much of the publicizing.
Drawbacks: Often a much longer wait to publication, more effort on author’s part to make necessary connections, often requires an agent, competitive, high-expectations, less input on design/edits.

I hope laying these options out has been helpful. Whichever path you as a writer choose, the most important aspect of becoming an inspirational author must be prayer and following the Lord’s lead. God has a plan for our lives, and it’s our responsibility to seek it out.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
(Jeremiah 29:11)

If you’ve moved from writer to author, I’d love to hear your story in a comment below. Thanks in advance for sharing!

Read more of Cynthia’s writing at: Putting on the New Blog. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Read how God works in the lives of Cynthia’s characters in her debut novel, UNDER THIS SAME SKY, available in both e-book and print at Amazon.com