Dear future romance novelist,
I say…go for it!
I started a historical romance in college, but it took twenty years for me to finish the book and finally publish it. Unsure where to start, I sat on a dream for way too long. Granted, it can be confusing with so much to consider, but my top piece of advice is–write. There really is no better way to get it done. Open Microsoft Word or Google Docs (like me) and just tell your story. Some of my favorite craft books include Cathy Yardley's Rock Your Plot and K.M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel, but at some point those words must be written down. We call it, “butt in seat,” and there's really no other way to become an author.
As to how publishing, I would recommend reading the following article from Mark Dawson, a trusted resource in book publishing and marketing.
I've written a few articles on writing and publishing a book as well as offered a few marketing tips but so many questions remained that I partnered with contemporary romance author Maria Luis and taped a 4-part video series called, Write Your Way to an HEA. Each video is approximately an hour long, but we cover writing, publishing and marketing–all of the advice we give friends who ask, “How do I write/publish/market a book?”