Are you trying to be a published author? Here is what you need to know


Vansh Patel

Elgin Community College dual credit student, Hannah Soukup, continues the sequel to her book, “To Be Consumed.”

Hannah Soukup, Staff Writer

Hi readers! My name is Hannah Soukup, I’m a second-year dual credit student at Elgin Community College, and I’m a young author trying to make a difference in the writing industry. 

As someone who struggles with mental health, I decided to write and publish a book telling the story of a young girl with the same issues. As a sexual abuse survivor and someone who struggled with a dangerous eating disorder, I wanted to spread awareness to these issues as they typically go unnoticed. 

My story, “To Be Consumed” is about a young girl who struggled with many of the same issues I dealt with. I put my own experiences into my character, El, and included other situations that some of those closest to me struggled with. I wrote the story in a heart-wrenching and suspenseful format to add novelty, which contributed to my success.

I began writing “To Be Consumed” when I was 17 years old, completed it in 2 days, and about 3 months later, I finally got it published. It made waves across Amazon, and I hope to assist other writers with my writing process. 

I submitted my story to many publishing firms, and although they wanted to publish it, I took the self-publishing route. I tirelessly submitted articles to newspapers to promote my story, and over time, local newspapers began publishing my work, establishing my name as an author.

When I decided to self-publish, I learned about Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon. This is a free publishing site that provides monthly royalties and free promotion tools. You can sell print copies of your story if you so choose, but publishing an eBook is free. I published my novella as an eBook, but for the sequel, I may publish it as a hard-cover story.

During my writing process, I learned the importance of organization and self-care. My recommendation to young writers is to prioritize self-care while drafting your story. You do not need to sit in front of your computer for an entire day. Making slow progress day-by-day is just as good as writing an entire story in one day, if not better. 

Use your motivational periods to your benefit. If you’re motivated once a week, write once a week. If you’re motivated everyday, write everyday. This is a personal preference, but managing your time carefully will definitely create a solid writing schedule. 

The biggest piece of advice I can provide is to write about things you’re passionate about. Writing about passions increases determination and interest within a story, stimulating productiveness within authors. Even using personal experiences within a story can create a connection between you and your work, making the story prevalent to your life. 

To add a variation within word usage, find synonyms for simple words. This adds ‘spice’ within a story, and it makes it more intriguing. 

In terms of publication, DO NOT submit your story to an expensive publishing firm… unless you have the money to do so. Start off small and branch out. 

If your story doesn’t do as well as you want it to, don’t give up! I have written several stories that were unsuccessful, so do not feel discouraged when a story does not do well. This is going to happen regardless of how great of a writer you are. Being a writer is all about perseverance and passion, so do not blame yourself if a story goes unnoticed…just keep on writing! 

As a fellow young writer, I hope my writing tips have shed some light on how to stay motivated during your writing process. Stay positive and passionate, writers!