Full disclosure on this one: I’m not sure what this was supposed to be about. There are times I get an idea for a post, jot it down in shorthand, and assume I’ll remember what I meant later. Less than a week later, I’m not sure what I meant by ‘7 Tips to Author Reality’. Figure I’ll give some tips to those about to start on their journey in the usual tongue and cheek method.
- Run! That or use a bike or some type of physical activity if you can. Since authors spend a lot of time sitting due to writing and editing, it’s best to put aside some time for movement. This can be outside or in the house, but the point is to do your best to ward off the author gut and stir up some energy. (Smart Diet helps too, but it feels hypocritical for me to write about that while eating a Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Master Shake from Sonic.)
- There is somebody out there who will hate you and your writing. They might never meet you in person or interact being a review, but they are out there. It’s unavoidable because you can’t please everyone. Will the negativity hurt? Yes, especially at the beginning. The best thing to do here is focus on the good and rant to friends in private instead of making a public stink. It’s a big urge to fight, but that really will only make things worse.
- Controversial: Many people will tell you that you can’t publish without a professional editor. If you can afford one then great. If not then be diligent on your own, find some beta readers, and learn from your mistakes. Not every indie author has the money for editing, especially when you look at cover art and promos too. Don’t feel ashamed if you have to work up to a professional editor, but also don’t half-ass your own editing and figure it’s good enough.
- Makes friends with other authors through social media. Blogging is usually the easiest because it isn’t as limited as Twitter and Facebook. Starting out, try to find other indie authors and comment a few times on their blog. Not about visiting you or buying your books, but hold a conversation. This should be more about making friendships than sales because you can get a lot of support from people who are actually in the same boat as you.
- With blogging, try not to write about the same thing too often. This gets tricky after a few years when you start having a feeling that you’ve been over this before. Seriously, I really do think I’m repeating myself here.
- Classic Tip: Just because something works for one author, doesn’t mean it will work for another. Certain promo sites are better for certain genres and some people are more comfortable on specific mediums. For example, some authors excel on Twitter while others have trouble with the limited characters and fast pace. Personally, I find a blog acting as a central hub works best because you get your feet into multiple platforms from one post. Again, that’s just a personal preference.
- Never feel like you have to rush your writing, promos, or whatever else you’re going to put out. These things take time and it’s hard to recover from a stumble, especially with debuts. If you’re comfortable and confident then things will be a lot better. At the very least, you can adapt to any small issues that turn up instead of panicking like a chicken that sees the fox coming.