Due to an overwhelming volume of email inquiries regarding the publishing industry, I have decided to post this handy guide for those of you hoping to enter the fray.
How to be a Published Author (A Beginner’s Guide):
You will need:
A word processor
A whisk or wooden spoon
A 4″ baking pan
A gas or electrical oven
A window ledge
A literary agent
A pair of fancy slacks
A few foldout chairs
A unicorn (a pony, spiral shell and superglue will also do if you’re on a budget)
An ability to pretend to know what the (expletive) you’re doing.
Step one: Combine talent with word processor, and stir sentences until smooth. If you stir too rapidly or too slowly, powdery clumps will form in the batter. That persistent residue is caused by self-doubt and must be beaten with the whisk or wooden spoon. Failure to destroy doubt may result in unfinished manuscript, electrical shock, or public nudity.
Step two: Pour word batter into your baking pan. Preheat oven to 450 fahrenheit and bake for however many months or years necessary. The finished product will appear supple and golden. Despite vigorous whisking, some doubt clumps may have caused bubbles or minor erosions in your manuscript. You may wish to do some minor touching up, but excessive prodding will cause the manuscript to collapse. These minor flaws are not a cause for concern at this time.
Step three: Set manuscript on window ledge to cool. Once the aroma takes to the wind, hungry literary agents should gather in your yard. There are many types of literary agents. I chose the one with $10, a zombie apocalypse survival guide and a meat tenderizer in her Kate Spade bag at all times. The more maniacal your agent appears in public, the better. When selecting the right agent for you, ask yourself, “Would I want to stand opposite this person in a battle for the last cupcake at the supermarket?” If your answer is, “Dear God, no,” then you may have your ideal agent.
Step four: Your agent will have you sign some light paperwork. He or she may treat you to lunch, and will then ask you to wait at the Starbucks on the corner while he or she enters a publishing house with a sack of jellybeans, a rubber mallet, and a plastic duck that can quack the national anthem. Enjoy your coffee of choice. Wait for your agent to emerge victoriously from the publishing house with a shiny new book deal.
Step five: Discreetly change into fancy new slacks.
Step six: Arrange chairs in a circular fashion. Fans of your newly-published book will gather.
Step seven: Ride in on a unicorn like a (expletive) boss.
Step eight: Engage with your readers and pretend you knew what the (expletive) you were doing the entire time.
Step nine: Ride unicorn some more.