What does it mean to think outside the bookshelf? Like thinking outside the box, when you think outside the bookshelf, you consider possibilities that are new or innovative. Publishing may seem to move slowly and in some ways it does! But in other ways, opportunities exist today that writers twenty-five years ago could never have imagined. Like what? Well, the accessibility and infrastructure of publishing.
Digital books that anyone can write, publish, and sell to readers didn’t exist even a decade ago the way they do now. Serialized fiction on apps on our smartphones. Fan fiction and shared world content that exist only to satisfy the hunger of readers. Five years ago, producing an e-book, creating a print book template, and distributing indie-pubbed fiction to major brick-and-mortar retailers was just a droplet compared to the ocean of opportunity available to authors (and therefore, to readers) now.
When I teach or edit a book, I try to share “best practices.” Lessons from the trenches. After editing hundreds of books, writing (as of today) a dozen or more of my own, there are craft essentials that can make any work stronger. But I also stress there are many ways to tell a fantastic story. Yes, knowing craft will make your job as the writer easier and will save you time, writer’s block, and energy running down rabbit holes. But there is beauty in innovation, experimentation, and even in our mistakes.
And even more important, there are opportunities. Voices and faces and lives that were left behind or left off the bookshelves, now are not only just “included.” All stories are welcomed and wanted. Your story is needed now more than ever. And there is plenty of room at the table, so to speak. Or more accurately, plenty of room on the bookshelf.
If you want to be part of publishing, if you have a dream to write a romance novel, DO IT. Start today. Study craft. Join us here at Romance Writing Academy for classes and instruction if you want a community and professional instruction. READ. Learn from the best examples within your genre or field. And then WRITE. Allow yourself to think outside the bookshelf. You belong here. There is room for you and not just that—you’re wanted. Don’t rush the process. Don’t try to shortcut experience to reach a certain goal. Allow yourself the luxury of learning, growing, and even failing. Romance Writing Academy with our online courses and professional services will be here for you every step of the way!
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