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. 

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’.