On Wednesday I received a mass email from a new author looking for reviews. On Thursday, the same author sent out another mass email explaining that he’d quit. Too much work in getting your book out there and he has a life so no time for that. He wished those of use who were in the same boat a derisive good luck. He’s deleting his book and leaving gmail forever.
I was kind of speechless, and then I had lots to say on the subject. I have a love/hate relationship with promo. I love talking to readers and putting my books out for the public but I hate the virtual pavement pounding. Promoting your work takes blood, sweat, and tears. I feel like I’m following people around and begging them, “Please be my friend, pretty please.”
Here is the list of what I’ve learned about becoming an author with any sort of feedback.
#1. Don’t give up on your day dream.
You want to be an author? I mean, you really want to be one not just say you do? Then keep working at it in whatever time you have.
So you say you have a life. Guess what? Every author has a life! I don’t have an assistant, what I do have is three young children that are taught at home, a husband, a house to take care of, and various commitments. I know authors that work eighteen hour days. You’ll learn the routine that works for you, maybe it’s eighteen hours or maybe it’s one hour. One hour is better than none if you’re working to fulfill your dream. You decide what’s important to you and how to fit it all in to your life.
#3. Deliver the best product to people.
DO NOT self edit. It’s a disaster. You need to go over your manuscript with a magnifying glass and scrutinize it. When you’re done, someone else needs to do it. I advise a few passes with a real editor. Even then, chances are you’ll have errors. Imagine how many you’d have had otherwise. *yikes*
#4. Get a quality cover.
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover is a phrase we can all recognize because we ALL DO IT! You want a cover people will be curious to know more about. Good covers can be as cheap as $50 and as expensive as $300, depends on the artist and what you want. Shop around.
#5. Be Specific who you send it to.
Look for readers and reviewers that like your genre. I write paranormal romance, I looked for paranormal blogs and readers to publicize my book.
#6. Personalize the promo
A mass email is bad. Obvious form letters are bad. The blogger/reader/whoever you’re trying to interest needs to feel like you didn’t just pick them out of a phone book to review. Take the time to make them feel special.
#7. Social media is key, especially Triberr.
Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, you know the places. Get out there and make connections. Triberr and LinkedIn are good for making networking connections with other authors to reach each others readers.
#8. Pay for it.
Seriously. Pay for a blog tour, ad space, any advertising you can find that will reach your reading base. The only caveat is don’t pay for reviews
#9. If you’re last name isn’t King, Sparks, or Rowling, don’t expect to sell a million copies.
Do you know how many books are available? How about how many new books enter the market each 365 days? You probably shouldn’t google the answer. Let’s just say that sales are sales and that is good.
#10 Refer back to #1
You’re gonna have bad days, bad weeks, bad months. You’ll think about quitting. The laundry list of doubts and little problems can be daunting. I’m gonna tell you what my mama told me, Suck it up, Buttercup. You want this, go work for it and earn it.