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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Indie authors, listen up!

Authors are offering advice in 'What I wished I'd known before I published' all through January

Part One

Before publishing I wish I had known about self-publishing and the many great programs that can be used to do so. There are pros and cons to using a publisher, it can get costly and frustrating with the time consumed in the communication during the process. - Anna Othitis

Don't rush to get out there. First impressions are everything. Cover, blurb, opening pages. You only get one chance at a first impression so make it count. Also, don't think that just because trad books "have a few typos" that it doesn't matter if yours does too. It does matter.- Debbie Bennett 

Agreed, don't rush, get someone else to edit for you and get beta readers! Then, listen to other writers and use the common information they are giving you before pushing that publish button. In other words, do NOT do what I did! LOL - Linda Zukowski 

Make sure your book blurb is the best it can be before you press publish. It goes without saying that editing, formatting, cover and presentation is as good as it can be too. - Pam Howes 

I wish I had been told, sternly, that a social media platform is essential for building your author brand but you have to discipline yourself in ring-fencing time to continue writing creatively. - Ruby Barnes 

I wish I'd known that by reading a printed proof I’d notice literally dozens of errors that I'd missed on-screen, despite reading the electronic document many, many times. - Peter Reynolds

Don't write for money, fame, or accolades. If you do, you'll be disappointed. Write because you love it.- Simon Parkinson

Focus on writing more books. You don't realize how much having a second book helps until you have a second book. Promotion is helpful, but if you spend more time promoting than writing your next book, you're not spending your time well. -  RJ Crayton

Matthew Wayne Selznick - A month of planning before you type "Chapter One" will save reams of paper and hours of editing after you type "The End."

Rachel Eliason -  Publishing your first book is the beginning of the process of becoming an author, not the end of it.

Jolea M Harrison - 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.

Mandy White  - 1. Ebooks are where the money is. Ebook first, print after, not the other way around. Only do the print version AFTER it's been edited by a professional.
2. Don't waste money ordering a zillion copies in print of a book that you haven't even seen yet. There WILL be things you want to tweak before you distribute it to friends, family and local readers. Take your time and make sure it's perfect. Your credibility as an author is at stake.
3. Readers can and will judge a book by its cover. Make sure your cover is a good one.
4. Understand that other writers are busy with their own projects. If someone offers to use their valuable time to read your work or offer advice, express your appreciation.

Deb Nam-Krane - 1. I want to take off on what Mandy White said: order a print copy of your book BEFORE you publish the e-copy and read it through. Plan on doing it twice, because you'll find things you'll need to change, no matter how many times you and your editor looked at it. Make the changes to the e- and paper-versions, then put them up for sale. I cannot tell you how much less angst I had with the second than the the first doing it that way rather than publishing the e-version and then going through the print.

2. Outsource anything you can't do well yourself (for most of us that's the cover and for all of us that should be the editing), but if there's something you *can* do yourself, do it. Learning to format your own book can save you money as well as worry if you want to make small changes.

Mandy White What Deb Nam-Krane said is also true - to proofread a print copy because the book will look different on paper than it does on the computer. You will see typos that you missed on the computer. The reason I said ebook first, print second is that I skip the paper-proof step by reading it on my Kindle. I find the Kindle works just as well as a paper copy and it costs nothing to put my book on it.

More author tips all through January on WWBB in 'What I wished I'd known before I published'.

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