Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This Sh*t Is Hard Work!!!

While anyone can slap some words together, add a pic for a book cover and upload to Amazon, there's nothing to fear from those who are career authors.

I say that because if you really are serious about becoming an author, there's a ton of things you need to do on top of getting your story down on paper (virtual or not) and that's already a feat in and of itself!

Example... say you get your book uploaded, like I said in my last post, most new books are invisible to the world. I could have the best story, editing and cover and no one would ever know.

Like a diamond in the ground, it's up to you to promote yourself like crazy in order for people to see your true beauty otherwise it'll just sit there.

One way to get yourself known is by adding a link to your email signature so you give potential readers a chance to find you. Write a blog, update a Facebook page with news of what you're doing.

Use Twitter and the search bar to find other authors... they will promote you if you promote them. They are not your competition, they are your ally. Trust me...

But how?!?

Because #Readers will often browse through an authors following list to find other authors. I know because over two weeks ago I had 65 followers. I'm now at 1,006 followers. The only thing I did was add the word Author to my last name.

#Readers enjoy discovering other authors similar to their favorites in hopes of finding one equal if not better to entertain them.

My ex-girlfriend was an avid reader, sometimes taking home a dozen books from our local library that she would read front to back in no time and want more! I honestly didn't think the library had enough new books to keep her busy.

Point being - there are hungry readers out there who will probably give your work a shot AND if they like it, they will join your team by promoting you to their friends, family & probably tweet or blog (because in this day and age, word travels fast... good or bad.)

That being said, there is a certain level of criteria you have to meet, set by the publishers of old. That is, you must have your spelling, grammar, sentence structure, plot, and characters all in order or they will potentially unleash the Criken on your ass! This can be in the form of bad reviews, videos, blog posts, etc.

So like I said, not only do you have to write, you have to please your audience by giving them something they like, hopefully original enough -(most stories or ideas someone, somewhere came up with. The more original and entertaining you can be, the better your odds of being discovered.)

Remember, if you can do that just by itself, then readers will go up to bat for you and also help promote you. That's one of the incredible things about the net... if you release it to the world, it takes on a life of its own. Fans will email you, fan fiction may pop up with your characters you created (which can be a good or bad thing.)

Oh, and you can't just spam your book like crazy either because that will backfire on you as well. There's a very fine line to walk.

That's why I'm saying this shit is hard because if you really want to be good and succeed, you need to play by the rules other successful authors are following. Study them, read lots of blogs, ASK QUESTIONS and know who your target audience is.

They are the ones you are writing for. Is your vampire zombie hybrid cross dressing werewolf written for conservative seniors or for young adults between 18 and 35 who like Twilight? Know what they like and write about it.

To sum up everything... to do this right requires dedication and unbelievable commitment of your free time and mental energy.

On top of that, you can't just give people one good book... you've got to plan on a second book because statistically you will get more sales if you have more books.

People who like you are most likely going t buy your other works because you've established trust and now a BRAND. This also takes time and effort.

So I'm not trying to discourage anyone, I'm sharing what I've discovered on my journey one month in now. To do it right, its going to be a while.

I welcome your comments if you'd like to add to this.

Steven W.

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