Whether you’re an established writer or you’re trying to be, there are a few tips I’d like to share. They all have to do with your mental well-being, which is the most important part of being successful.
Do not read your reviews! Many new and established authors will argue against this, but before you storm-in with pitchforks and torches, let me explain.
If you like your book, it’s good enough. You can not please everyone even some of the time. Romance readers generally don’t like science fiction. Hard science fiction writers usually abhor space opera. No matter what you do, someone will poo-poo on your work. This is especially true for other authors. For some reason, they will make it their life’s goal to point out every single, little mistake they can find in your work. They discover things normal readers wouldn’t even notice. Don’t listen to them. Your sales will tell you all you need to know.
Keep writing! This is an easy one. Successful authors keep writing… unless they die and become famous afterward, but who cares about them? We’d like to make some money now, right?
If you read a nasty review (see above) and it has you wondering if you’ll ever be a good writer, realize that there are going to be people who leave bad reviews about EVERYTHING. Here are some examples:
- An author got his book one-starred because the sausages the person ordered were not the ones he thought he ordered. You read that right, a fiction book was mistaken for sausages… somehow.
- A military science fiction book got a one-star review because there was too much violence. Um… that’s what the subgenre is all about.
- A military science fiction book got a one-star because there was too much cursing. The reviewer said they served in the US Army and never heard so much cursing and said the book was unrealistic. Any veterans out there? We know the truth.
And last but not least… you’re going to have to market your book.
The best book in the world will sit idle if nobody can find it. The worst book in the world will sell if its marketed. But marketing goes beyond paying for clicks. Marketing includes:
- Your book cover. If it’s not genre-appropriate and eye-catching, people won’t give your book the time of day.
- Your blurb. If your book doesn’t sound interesting, nobody will bother to buy it.
- Ad-space. Whether you buy ad-space on Facebook, Google, or Amazon, you’re going to have to buy it somewhere. You can start with a $1 ad to experiment with, or bump it to $5 if you’re feeling brave. Either way, you’ll need to spend money somewhere. There are plenty of blogs and YouTube videos which can show you how to get started, but without advertising, nobody will know what you’re doing.
- You NEED a mailing list. The most successful authors I know have one. Personally, I use Mail Chimp. I give away a free story every month, sometimes a free book, for people to sign up and to retain those who are already subscribers. It gives me a way to grow my audience and connect with my readers. Be sure to read-up on what should be in your email and how frequently you should send one out.
If these tips helped you out at all, please share this page with your friends. Oh, and buy my books! (Shameless self-promotion is also marketing.)