What you NEED to be told BEFORE publishing

What I Wished I’d Known before I Published
Part Four
Juliet Madison – Start planning promotional strategies and writing blog tour
posts for your book before you’re published, as these can take up a lot of
Marci Nault – I wish there had been a manual handed to me the day I signed my contract – a published author boot camp. In it, there’d been a list of book bloggers, groups for writers, and wonderful advice by authors who’d been through the process. When The Lake House was coming out, I must say I felt like I was three hours late to a very fancy party where everyone was wearing their finest and I showed up in hiking boots, jeans, and a t-shirt. I didn’t know about Facebook groups or even book blogging. But luckily so many authors took me under their wing and led me to the knowledge I needed. Of course, by then I was about three months late with beginning the promotion of my book and being on top of where ARC’s went out and to which reviewers. So my advice, find published author groups as soon as you sign that contract. Those writer’s will be your saving grace! And realize that the book blogging world is wonderful and they love sharing books so cherish and thank these people with all your heart. 

Ron Fritsch –  How much of the same advice I’d hear repeated over and over: editor, cover, marketing, social-networking, etc. I’m not saying the advice is wrong. It’s a question of how many times one needs to hear it.

Jane Starwood – 1. Never publish a first or second or
even third draft.
2. Line up good beta readers. (Not your mom.) You need people who
will be brutally honest with you about what works and what doesn’t. Ask for
detailed responses. When you get them, consider them carefully, then put your
manuscript away for at least a couple of weeks. It’s hard, but starting another
book is a great way to distract yourself. When you come back to the first book,
you’ll have fresher eyes to see what changes you need to make.
3. If you’re new to writing, take as many courses and workshops as
you can before you attempt a novel.
4. Writing well is hard work, unless you’re a certified genius. I
don’t know any of those.
David A. Tatum – Heh. Having just done this for the first time…
You can do all your homework to plan for and expect all of the big
things, but don’t overlook the minor things you should have learned from
everything else you do on the internet. Like your settings changing slightly in
Createspace when you use their Interior Designer, causing a minor error that
can delay acceptance. Or caching issues in Smashwords if you accidentally
upload a defective file the first time causing your ‘replacement’ upload to be
the same defective file. That sort of thing. Don’t let these frustrations get
to you — most of them can be fixed, and with little effort.
Oh, here’s another one:
The self-publishing industry can change on you in just a couple
months. Find several blogs of professional veterans, both indie and trade, and
keep up with them.
I’d recommend the blogs of PassiveGuy, Dean Wesley Smith and
Kristine Kathryn Rusch, ex-agent Nathan Bransford, and the Writing Excuses
podcast featuring Howard Tayler, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowel, and
Dan Wells. 
Keep in mind that these people aren’t perfect, either — they have egos, can sometimes get locked in a particular way of thinking themselves, etc., so keep looking for new sources as well.

Mike Cooley– I would add Scalzi’s blog to that list and probably Konrath’s. My tip is: go over it and over it until it’s fantastic, then pay an editor to go over it again. Oh, and don’t take one person’s opinion as gospel. You can drain the life out of a story trying to please everyone. It’s not possible to please everyone.

Cheryl Shireman – Hire a great editor. Hire a great editor. Hire a great editor. Oh, and – hire a great editor!

Rikki Strong – Not everyone who receives a copy for review will leave a review, same with everyone who buys a copy of the book or downloads a free KDP copy (for me, with my four books out now, the sales to review average is somewhere between 1% and 5%). Some reviewers also have a very long TBR list. Whatever you do, don’t keep bugging them about it every time you see them, or they may keep dropping your book tot he end of the list.

Karen MartinDon’t wait to start social networking until you have a book ready. Get your FB page up and running, start figuring out Twitter, Goodreads, etc. Start blogging. Start making connections. Otherwise, you’ll have a finished book on your hands and nobody to tell about it.

Jane Linfoot advises Review Blog Tours with…

Wished I’d known that before I published
Jane Linfoot

My first tip is very simple and that’s talking to fellow authors! I was chatting to fellow Harper Impulse Author, Aimee Duffy on Facebook and she suggested a
Review Tour.

Not having a clue, I pushed for more information and discovered that this is where your book is reviewed by each Blog
Host on the tour, so, subsequently I was put in touch with Lisa Filipe of
Tasty Book Tours and the ball was set rolling for How To Win a Guy In Ten Dates.

I found the outlay for this (see prices on the Tasty website above) was very
small, compared to the solid start it gave both the book, and my author
platform, and I would definitely recommend this route/tool to other new authors.

A 10 Date Challenge –  a firecracker of a romance

How to Win a Guy in 10 Dates
Day 1: Take one loaded commitment-phobe explosives expert, embarking on the impossible–a challenge to have ten dates with one woman.
Day 5: Add in a fiercely independent and feisty burlesque teacher who has sworn off men.
Day 10: She’s so not his type and he’s so not in her life-plan. But the heat is sizzling and the attraction is explosive. And they’re fighting it all the way….

In Jane’s own words…

‘I’m Jane Linfoot, and I write fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines with a bit of an edge.

I live in a mountain kingdom in Derbyshire, England, where my family and pets are kind enough to ignore the domestic chaos – happily, we’re in walking distance of a supermarket.

For me, writing romance is cool because I get to wear pretty shoes instead of Wellies. I love hearts, flowers, happy endings, all things vintage, most things French.

When I’m not on Facebook, and can’t find an excuse for shopping, I’ll be walking, or gardening. On days when I want to be really scared, I ride a tandem.’

What I wished I’d known before I published!

Discovering Book Tags
Louise Wise

This month, I’ve asked authors to send in their contributions for what they wished they’d known before they’d published.

The eBook publishing industry is changing all the time and it’s difficult to keep up, and when I first started out not only were the words ‘eBook’ and ‘Facebook’ a twinkle in the developer’s eye, I seemed to be the only struggling author in THE WORLD!

That’s how it felt, but I’ve come a long way since then, or so I thought, until, only a few months ago, I realised the potential of tags: a keyword or label given to your book after uploading onto Amazon (or Smashwords, D2D etc).

These tags not only help the customer find books, but allows your book to rise to the top of a category with only one or two sales: say you have tagged your book with romance, love, coming of age, friendship.

The romance and love tag are common, but coming of age less so and friendship even more. These are the categories where your book has the opportunity to hit the top spot when it’s lagging at 100,000 in the charts. And once it hits that top spot it has more chance of being seen and pulling in readers from other directions.

So study your book’s possible tags and use them wisely.

Sequel to Eden…

Your Amazon
Buy from
Jenny was marooned on Eden a long time ago. As a woman from the 23rd century and living life in the fast lane, adapting to her prehistoric world was never going to be easy. She tamed Fly, her alien lover, and fell in love with her new life. She has everything she wants: an alien man who loves her.
But then he’s taken away.
Jenny’s out for revenge.
Eden’s sequel – HUNTED