Whether you’re an experienced author or just starting out, here are 8 things you should know for your writing journey.
1. An editor is essential to your book’s success.
You may have written a book with a great plot, but if it’s full of typos, missing punctuation, telling instead of showing, and rambling narrative, then readers won’t like it. A trained, experienced editor can help you fix all these things and polish your book to be the best it can be.
2. You need to self-edit your books too.
The cleaner your manuscript is before you send it to an editor, the less you’ll need to pay an editor. The editor will also be able to better focus on issues that you aren't able to catch. If you don’t self-edit your book, the editor has that much more to fix, and the end product won’t be as good. Always self-edit before sending your manuscript to an editor. This does mean that you’ll be reading your book over and over and over again.
For grammar and punctuation help, you can browse our blog posts on the subject.
3. A good book cover can make or break your book.
The cover is the first thing potential readers see when they look at your book. If it’s not appealing and appropriate for the genre, they won’t buy it.
4. You need a thick skin.
Not everyone will like your book. You’ll get criticism from editors and reviewers, and some of those reviewers may be downright mean. Don’t take it personally; instead, take the pieces of criticism to improve your work, while keeping in mind that not all criticism is actually valuable.
5. You should offer your book everywhere.
Offer your book as an ebook; this is a digital age, and ebooks are cheap to produce, market, and sell. At the very least, you need to sell your book on Amazon; it is the biggest market for ebooks. If your ebook isn’t enrolled in KDP Select, then be sure to also sell it on Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also offer your ebook in international stores, even if your book isn’t translated (people in many countries can and do read books in English). Additionally, invest in a print format for your books. With all these buying options available, you won’t miss out on readers who want to buy your book from a certain vendor, in a certain format.
6. You'll need to promote your book often.
Marketing is never a one-time thing. If you want to sell a lot of books, you need to promote them, even if you are with a traditional publisher. The most effective promotion strategy is to temporarily discount one of your ebooks and schedule a promotion on a site like Book Cave; this increases sales and reviews of that book, as well as sales of your other books (especially if the book on sale is part of a series).
7. Keep reading.
To write well, you need to be a great reader! Most importantly, read popular books in the genre you’re writing in, so you can see what sells well. Reading good writing can also help you improve your writing as you come to recognize awkward phrasing, or sentences that tell instead of show.
8. Keep writing.
The more you write, the better writer you’ll become. And the more published books you have out there, the more money you’ll make.
What things do you think all authors should know? We'd love to hear in the comments below!
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