Becoming a published author is much easier than ever before.

First, you have to write a book. That is undoubtedly easier than forty years ago, since most of us have personal computers that allow us to make changes easily.

The internet is loaded with websites with articles for writers on topics that will help them become better writers. There are writers workshops and writers groups and tons of self-help books available.

Once you get your book written, you go through it, edit, and make the revisions/changes.

After that, you proofread the book. You might even want to read it out loud.

If you are lucky, you can afford to hire professionals to help with some of those tasks or you have friends or family who are able and willing to help.

So, what then? How do you get it published?

Well, you can go the traditional route and try to get a literary agent who will then try to get a publisher for your book. That is not an easy thing to do. Another option is to submit your book to small independent publishers who don’t require you to go thru a literary agent.

You might decide to skip that process and go directly to self-publishing. If you do, you’ll need to design a book cover or hire a professional designer to create one for you.

There are several avenues for self-publishing. I’ve only gone thru Amazon, so I’ll talk about that. You create an author account with them and then upload your book thru Amazon’s KDP website, get the book reviewed and accepted, and order a print proof (a paperback copy) that you read/proofread. You make changes/corrections and then submit the updated file. Once the book is accepted and you are satisfied with it, you can publish. Just like that, you are a published author.

But, is it really that easy?

Yes, and no.

There’s a learning curve when it comes to writing and publishing. You might abandon your first few books after a few chapters. Even once you get a book finished and ready to publish, it might take several tries, for instance, to get your book properly formatted and accepted by Amazon.

It’s definitely do-able if you study the writing craft and you are tech-savvy. If you aren’t tech-savvy, you can probably find someone who is willing to help you.

What most people don’t realize, though, is that there’s a lot more that modern-day writers have to do. Most of us, at least the indie authors, have to wear many hats–writer, editor, proofreader, publisher–unless we can afford to hire professionals with expertise in those areas, or have friends, family, and readers who are willing to help.

Then comes the hardest part of all–getting those readers and encouraging them to write reviews. Some writers have to pay for advertisements. Some hire marketing professionals to help. Some do book signings or book readings. Some give book talks. Some use social media, such as Twitter.

If you are working on your first book, don’t let any of that scare you and keep you from writing. Sure, it can seem like a huge and daunting process, but it’s not that bad. When I feel discouraged, my husband reminds of a helpful saying: ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’