I was invited to a small writer group, Chalk the Sun run by the very lovely Ardella Jones yesterday. The purpose was to share my experience of self publishing and although in the past I have been known to look like I am about to haemorrhage when I have to speak in front of others, this was actually fun.
There was wine, yes, but mostly it was just chatting about the ins and outs of getting your book out there. Tops tips…hmm?
- Write something everyday- It doesn’t matter what. If I’m not actually mid book, which recently is rare, but if I’m not, I will do a blog post, a long post on my reader group or a letter. Just to get some words down.
That was pretty much the nub. I mean there was a great many questions regarding the nuts and bolts of what I actually ‘do’ outside of writing to get my name out there, with social media, relationship building, promotion, street teams, advertising, covers, formatting blah blah etc. Honestly, most of the information you can get from a decent Guide to…book, that’s certainly where I got most of my knowledge, well that, and at the cliff face.
I think I might’ve frightened them a little with how much work I put in outside of writing, but I have a marketing background and this is my business, my brand and my passion. So it isn’t a chore, it’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
I did think that had I sat in a room full of extremely intelligent and talented people before I published I might not have put pen to paper in the first place. Crippling insecurity and self doubt would have hindered for sure, but thats just me…or is it?
I think the best advice is “Just keep writing”. Get it finished, get it our there and ALWAYS get professional help before you press publish.
Oh…and be nice. It’s costs nothing and means everything.
I published my first book Never a Choice on March 20th 2015.
I knew nothing…I pretty much still fumble along as best I can but a year ago I had read one book on self publishing and I just went for it.
I had obviously written the books I had scheduled to publish and had a professional editor but other than that I was very much on my own…so what have I learnt since then?…What words of wisdom could I offer to anyone just about to press that button?
Um…I actually wouldn’t dream of being that presumptuous to offer advice but I have learnt a few things…
- The internet is dark and full of terrors…well duh! But what I mean here is there will always be piracy and it’s devastating when and I mean when it happens to you. Protect yourself as much as you can…sending ARC’s to trusted sources etc…and comfort yourself that those that get books from pirate sites probably wouldn’t have bought your book anyway and hopefully their computer will get a nasty virus and they’ll have all their personal date cloned…we can but hope 😉
- Bloggers are people too…I know shocker right! But most are lovely book lovers that do their very best to share their passion but that doesn’t mean they HAVE to do the same for you…they really don’t…If they do…FANTASTIC…really that type of exposure is invaluable so say THANK YOU!! and if they don’t, remember your relationship with Bloggers is the same as any relationship so say THANK YOU regardless-manner cost nothing…no-one likes to feel used.
- .Treasure your team…if you are lucky (and I consider myself uber lucky) you will pick up readers who love your work and want to help…they may understand to some degree that you are the weeny tiny fish in a massive ocean and offer to spread the word about your books…embrace these lovely folk for the kind hearted generous souls they are. I have a few very active ladies on my street team…dear friends now…and I am unbelievably grateful for all their help promoting…especially since FB tries to hinder them at every turn…You ladies rock!! This is very much an extension of my previous point…value the relationships.
Not a great revelation I’m sure but like I say I’m still very much learning…I know to give myself time for proper edits and proofreads and I know to appreciate everyone reads a different book…still don’t get how people can rate a book they didn’t finish but hey you can’t win em all…You really can’t so don’t waste your time chasing…focus on those that do…they are a lot more fun to hang with.
New book with my Beta’s…coming soon…keep an eye out <3