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Thursday, 16 January 2014

How Authors Sharing Tips Of The Trade Can Help You Succeed

What I Wished I'd Known before I Published
Part Three

It's great to have a book ready to go but in the digital book one book often gets lost so be sure to have book two ready to go hot on its heels. - Monique McDonell

Read the FAQ! - Alex Butcher 

Write every day. - Wayne Bartlett

If you want to make a living from your craft, you have to treat it like a business. Your writing is your product, and a successful business will do whatever it takes to put the best product out to the public. That means doing the best job you can where your talents are strongest, and hiring "outside vendors" to take over where you are weak. If you have a talent for graphic arts, do a great cover. If you don't, then for Ghu's sake, hire someone to do a professional cover.

And whether or not you are a good editor, NEVER edit your own writing! Your mind will see what you *intended* to write, and not necessarily what you *actually* wrote. Hire a good editor. - Jeff Brackett

Learn how to market before you hit the publish button because it's all on the author. Wear a thick skin because no matter how many times you edit/check/re-check someone will find a typo and blow it all out of proportion. Get into a writers group like this one so you can keep gaining knowledge. - Elaine Raco Chase

Great cover art is worth its weight in gold. If you can't afford great cover art, see if you can do a swap (babysitting, editing, whatever). - Connie Keller 

I wish I'd known about creating a mailing list. I started indie publishing at the end of 2010 and I didn't know such things existed. I also wish I'd paid a cover artist sooner. Also--it is okay to go back to earlier books and 'fix' them. I just reedited (for dialogue tags and typos) my first book and uploaded. It just means that the people who buy it today are getting a version I like better. - Sarah Woodbury
 
Don't rush to publish. It's easy to do when the thrill of finishing a book is swimming through your head. After you've finished that final edit, step back at least two weeks, then reread. - Jolea M Harrison 
 
Actually I'm glad I wasn't told all of the pitfalls or how difficult it was to get published. If I'd known it might have put me off trying. - Patsy Davies 

Matthew Wayne Selznick - "Whenever possible, direct potential readers to the sales page on your website, not to Amazon.com or another retailer. There are two good reasons for this: 

1) Your reader might not want to shop at the retailer you choose in the region you choose.

2) (This is the big one) By bringing a reader to the sales page on your own site, you raise the chance they'll subscribe to your mailing list and become part of your reader community. This is far more valuable in the long run than the chance of a one-time sale."

Connie Keller  - Make sure your betas are good editors. Not every writer makes a good editor for someone else's work. Also, when proofreading, read the book aloud from back to front, i.e., start with the last chapter and read it through aloud. Then, the second to the last chapter, then, the third to the last chapter and so on until you read the first chapter last. This will keep you from getting caught up in the story and you'll do a much better job of proofreading.

Vickie Taylor - Pay attention to details. It's the little things that whisper "professional" versus screaming "amateur". Time to make a modern cover. Editing. Formatting. Proofreading. Sometimes the smallest things like using two dashes instead of an em dash or straight quotes instead of curly quotes can give a reader an impression of your book's quality and your skill as an author.
 
Secondly, develop an open mind, but thick skin. That means be able to listen to criticism objectively without hurt feelings and then decide if it is something you really want to rethink.
Three probably isn't fair, but here goes. Don't feel like you have to (or even should) publish your first book (as in for sale, where people are going to give you money for it). Put it out there for people to read, sure, possibly on your blog or on Wattpad or even a fan fiction type site where people can read it and maybe give feedback. But writing, like any other craft or art, can take time to develop. I've never seen a pianist charge for attending a concert to play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star or whatever other first song they learned. Hone your skill. Go big when you're ready. And I know some people won't agree with that. That's okay. I've been working on my #2
 
Vickie Johnstone - Nothing will happen overnight. Finding readers takes time. Don't give up though and keep writing. Ask for beta readers. I only did this after publishing several books and they were a great help. It also takes the 'oh my God' out of hitting 'publish'. I published my first book without anyone having read it, which is scary, scary, scary! Oh, and make sure you get an editor. I am one, but still need one. 

3 comments:

  1. Lots of great advice here; thanks for collecting it in one post!

    I have to agree with what Patsy Davies said—had I fully understood the pitfalls of self-publishing, I might not have even bothered. Glad I did, though. (The thing about the mailing list is something I regret not having done. I suppose it's never too late to start one up! :P)

    blog.katmellon.com

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  2. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!


    http://jennaveryauthor.blogspot.com/

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  3. I found out late about the mailing list, Kat (when forming this post, actually!) but better late than never!

    Thanks Jenn! :)

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