I gave this some thought, I really did. You see, I’ve not been in the biz all that long, just a couple of years. But I’ve learned a lot…and there is a lot more I need to find out.
Here I present my ABCs for new authors. And since the blog hop only asks for three, D through Z will have to remain a mystery. Even for me…
No one knows your work like you do: what moved you to write, the message you intended, your audience. You know you did well, you like what you did. So tell the world! Get on your soap box and get folks’ attention. There are many, many sites for publishing, promoting, and polishing your work. But do remember to give your manuscript the best polish it can get–by having it beta-read by others (friends and strangers alike), proof-read, and edited. It’s not all that expensive if you look around. And if, sometime after you get your baby published, you get a lemon of a review, shrug it off and keep going. There are those out there who give a crummy review just because it gives them some sort of weird thrill. Literary-world bullies. Don’t let them get to you.
This is different from the soapbox mentioned above. This has to do with social media. Now more than ever, websites like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter are where you are going to find your audience. Don’t know your way around these sites? There are plenty of folks onboard all of them who will be glad to help you. Book launch parties, giveaways, cover reveal events–these all help you get your name and your book out there for others to see. Build your own website and blog, advertise it everywhere, use them, refresh them constantly. And don’t give up. For every one Friend you have on these sites, there are literally hundreds you don’t even know about. They are the second ring of the ripple–the snowball effect. It may seem like you’re not getting anywhere, but I do encourage you to keep trying. Light that twig until the fire is blazing–and keep feeding it. Others will see that light and come running.
Crud, I had this all figured out when I was in the bathtub this evening. Can’t remember the word I was going to use. “Cooperate” doesn’t sound right, but I think it comes close.
When you get a foot in the door of social websites, you will invariably be asked to Like, Share, join events, and possibly contribute a post to someone’s blog. I strongly advise you to do so. Not only will you be helping a fellow author, but you will be making a friend. A friend who will remember what you did for him/her, and will be glad to reciprocate when it’s your turn to host a cover reveal or book launch party for your own next opus.
That’s about it for now. Before I finish, I do need to post what the worst piece of advice was that I ever received.
That advice came from myself.
“Sure, go with Publisher X–even though you have to pay $2000.00 to have the book published (yes, folks, that is the correct number of zeroes), at least it will be published, and then it will take off like a rocket.”
More like a flat banana.
The Publishing Company That Shall Be Nameless is a vanity publisher–which means they will only be too glad to take your money, publish your book, fulfill their enticing-looking bits of the agreement, and then leave your tail hanging off a limb. That is, until they think of another money-making scheme that will only cost the author another couple of thousand dollars. Yep, they have it good.
Do NOT go with ANY publishing company that makes YOU pay for your book to be published. Do not be that desperate. The only good thing that I got out of it was that I learned a lot of the above advice awfully fast. And now I have a publishing house I can depend on, which will launch my book in October.
Happy writing, and as Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up.”