10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before
Clicking the publish button on Amazon’s Kindle publisher was one of the most exciting experiences of my life not to mention one of the most nerve racking. From the moment I received the coveted “your title is ready for purchase” email I knew that it was the beginning of a long process filled with several professional and personal highs and lows. At that very moment I was not only agreeing to the terms of service set forth by Amazon but opening my work to ridicule, praise, critiques, and if I’m extremely lucky potential rewards all for the sake of sharing my imagination to the world.
Self-publishing a book is nothing short of a major risk but the bigger the risk the bigger the reward at least that is how the saying goes. As with anything, educating yourself on the industry you are entering can save you time and money both of which you can never have enough of. Although I read extensively about self-publishing a year and a half before I actually published my first book there are some things I wish I knew about being an author that I didn’t know before.
1.) Writing requires discipline – I had the perfect scenario for writing my first novel. I would sit down every day write about 4,000 words in order to have it completed in about 30 days. Then reality hit me, with a full time job, working on my Master’s degree, and somewhat of a social life it became more and more difficult to reach my writing goal without seriously setting aside time to write. Writing may come natural to some but even the most talented writer needs time set aside to focus solely on writing.
2.) Mistakes cost – The cost that I am referring to is not primarily monetary. As an author time is your greatest asset. Readers are now accustomed, thanks in part to technology, to receiving information fairly quickly. Because of that one mistake my delay printing for days or the availability of your book for download for hours. Readers are then forced to move on to the next book. If at all possible reduce the amount of errors prior to submitting the final product.
3.) Writing is addictive – while writing my children’s book I quickly found out how addictive writing really is. I instantly got several concepts of other stories and wanted to begin those projects immediately. This leads to the next point.
4.) Writing takes focus – In order to ensure you are channeling all of your creative energy focus on one story at a time. Am I saying don’t work on two books at one time? No but focus solely on one book and if you get writers block move on to the next.
5.) You have to make people support you – Okay you’ve finally written the novel, short story, novella, etc. You’re excited, thrilled, and proud. Unfortunately those feelings don’t transfer to other people. You have to let them know how exciting you are and how great your story is. Your enthusiasm will transfer over to them as curiosity and excitement which is the first step in acquiring a new reader.
6.) Timing isn’t everything, IT’S THE ONLY THING – Launching a book themed around Christmas during the summer may not be a good idea. Ensure your deadlines are aligned with what is currently happening in the world. You may have an advantage to waiting a couple weeks to debut your new novel.
7.) It okay to not be perfect –Even if you have the best editor and proofreader on the market there will still be mistakes in your book. That’s okay. Nothing on this planet is perfect including you. Don’t get bent out of shape if an error is brought to your attention. Correct it and move on.
8.) Trust yourself when all men doubt you – People often are unable to see what they themselves cannot become. Don’t allow someone else to dictate or plant seeds of doubt in your head. Always go through with what you believe to be a good idea.
9.) Market a lot- Research shows that people make a purchase after the 7th time they have seen an ad. One mention on twitter isn’t going to be enough to get readers to believe in you.
10.) Have fun! – Writing should above all else be fun. It’s the one thing in this world you have complete control over. You are able to create whoever you want, they’re able to live wherever you want them to and they can be whatever your heart desires. From a superhero to a single mother you have the power to entertain someone so get
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Genre - Children’s Book, YA
Rating – G