Title: How to be an Author: The Business of being a Writer in Australia
Author: Georgia Richter & Deborah Hunn
Genre: Non-fiction / Creative Writing
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Published: February 2021

Can we take a moment to thank Fremantle Press’s publisher Georgia Richter and Creative Writing lecturer Deborah Hunn for creating How to be an Author? This is the guidebook to publishing that Australian writers have been craving for a very long time. How to be an Author delves into the nitty-gritty of what it means and takes to become a published author in Australia.

Although the first few chapters provide some inspiration and tips for writing, this book is primarily concerned with what to do next with a completed manuscript. An author is not just an author but (when starting out) is required to take on multiple roles: manager, marketing director, and distributer to name a few. The book is divided into clearly labelled sections that walk the reader through the requirements in sequential order from the first step of creating a manuscript to the final step of crafting writing into a career. This novel is marketed towards writers who not only want to be published but want to make their writing a career.

How to be an Author takes the reader through the writing/publishing stages:

  • The beginning
  • Manuscript creation
  • Readership and audiences
  • Approachability and relationship building
  • Finding a publisher/representation
  • The contract
  • The publication process
  • Branding and self-promotion
  • Business of promotion
  • Writing as a career

Although you can read this book like any other traditional book—one chapter after the other—you can skip to chapters or sections that interest you the most. I’ve always been curious about how a writer finds the right publisher and literary agent, and let me tell you, the divisive thoughts several Australian authors contributed to this section were very interesting to read!

In addition to their own research and expertise, Richter and Hunn call upon the knowledge of 18 published Australian authors. Scattered throughout the book, these experienced authors dish out advice and lessons they learnt during their ongoing writing careers. From Nandi Chinna’s advice on how to tackle the dreaded writer’s block to Natasha Lester’s tips on how to gracefully accept rejection, this book provides both the expected and unexpected advice on questions many have pondered or never considered.

If you have questions about writing, authorship, publication, marketing, or any other aspect of book publishing, this is the book for you. Let this be the one stop so you don’t need to approach publishers at book festivals as they line up for a sausage roll … not that I’m saying I do that on a regular basis. There are many questions on publishing in Australia that Google can’t provide or questions so obscure Google can’t even comprehend, so grab yourself a copy of this book or signup to the online workshops and podcasts Fremantle Press have created for How to be an Author. It’s time to take the next step in your writing career!

Underground Team

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