The trail from new author to experienced one is long, hard and full of learning. It involves more than just writing a book or two. An experienced author is successful, understands the market and continues to improve his or her craft. The following tips and information are what you will commonly hear from experienced writers who want to help new ones out.
You put all of your time, effort and thoughts into writing your new book. If you’re a fiction writer, then you just keep thinking about your characters and what new situations you can put them in. If it’s non-fiction, then you’re compiling your information and ensuring that everything works and is consistent. Regardless of your genre, the fact is that you’re probably worrying a lot more about your writing than anything else.
Writing is important, don’t let anyone say otherwise. However, the truth is that it’s only half of the game. All the while, you should also be compiling a marketing strategy to sell your book. This is important regardless of how you publish your book, but it’s most important if you’re self-publishing. Unlike traditional publishing houses that have marketing departments, you’ll be alone when self-publishing. If you don’t market, then you don’t make sales.
Start thinking about marketing your book and building hype before it’s even finished. That way, you’ll be sure to have some eager reviewers and readers ready when the book comes out.
People are going to criticize you. They are going to say that your book is terrible, and some of them might even attack you personally (over the Internet, probably not in person). Every author has a time when he or she just wants to turn the computer or TV off to stop hearing the criticism, but the truth is that you need thick skin.
It’s OK to think of your book as your baby, but understand that your baby has faults (just like any real child). Some people might love the plot, but others will say that it’s inconsistent and boring. It’s much easier to ignore these criticisms and just keep telling yourself that your book is perfect, but the point of having thick skin is so that you can take this criticism and apply it to your book.
Maybe the plot is wrong. Don’t take it as someone attacking you. Look at your book and see if it really needs to be changed. This can be a perfectly good learning experience that you’d otherwise pass up if you keep trying to convince yourself that your book is perfect.
Sell a Sentence
People have notoriously short attention spans. However, it makes sense when it comes to buying books. Why should someone waste time seeing if your book is any good when there are hundreds or thousands of other books on a similar topic? Many experienced writers say that you need to sell your book in a sentence. If you can’t do that, then you won’t be able to sell the book with a larger blurb, synopsis or anything else.
Brevity is a virtue when it comes to the publishing world.
Don’t Follow Trends
The best (or at least, the most popular) writers make trends, they don’t follow them. Remember when Da Vinci Code was really popular? How many other books came out in the following weeks and months about a researcher finding out secrets about art or historical figures? Or, what about Harry Potter? How many writers had wizard fever?
There’s a reason why these books didn’t sell well. The writers were following a trend. However, the truth is that readers are always looking for something new. You don’t need to reinvent the market, but you should give people something fresh and new to read.
Speaking of that, it’s also a great idea to stop censoring yourself. Are you worried about what your mother, child or friend will think of your book? While you shouldn’t purposely go over the top (unless it fits your book), you should never censor yourself. Create your book the way you see it.
It’s always a good idea to hear from the old guard. If you want to be successful in the writing world, then you need to grow a thick skin, be ready for marketing (it is a business after all), make your own trends and sell your book as quickly as possible. If you can do that, then you’ll survive in any market conditions.
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