Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall is here and there is a chill in the air...

It's been a while since I last posted on here. I apologize, life has been pretty crazy over the summer and into the fall. I've been working on my Zombie book called Self-Aware (A Zombie Series) and I love everything about it. It's a fresh twist to the popular Zombie genre that's currently making its rounds. 

I am a huge fan of the Walking Dead series and I appreciate the simplicity of the show, even though its story and drama is complex. In a post apocalyptic world, there is no technology. Think about it. You don't see them playing with their smart phones or tablets, etc. Things kinda go back to a time like the 1980s and earlier.

In my book, it's the same world, same everything, expect there's a twist to the genre. I won't spoil it but trust me, you'll want to read this if you're a fan of anything Zombie. Currently I'm polishing episode one and when it's ready, I'm looking forward to making it an audio book that I read as well. (Complete with subtle sound effects.) 

There's a lot still to be done and it's taking up my time, on top of going to a full time job and having a relationship. Writing is something you have to do everyday. It has to be a routine, a habit, otherwise you will fall out of it and quit. Last year when I made my first book, I had NO CLUE what I was doing. Yes, I  read all the things I needed to know but still... this was unfamiliar territory. How much would I make? Would people like my work? Will they hate it?

I had all kinds of anxieties and butterflies, as does everyone else releasing their work into the world. No one likes to be told their work sucks because they take it personally. Sometimes we need negative reviews if they highlight where our short comings are. "This author doesn't know how to use a comma!" ~ If that's what they say to you, focus on learning  where to put them. Sometimes negative reviews can be a blessing in disguise. Another negative can be false positives. You know, when your friends and family post nothing but rainbows and unicorns reviews about your book, saying you're the next Harry Potter writer.

You maybe, but these reviews also set the reader up for a certain level of expectation. If you don't meet it, they might turn around and rant about how they feel betrayed. When you ask for reviews, ask for honest reviews. It's okay to have someone  say your book is "okay" and not "OMG You gotta read this." Because when you're at okay, you know that with more work and focus, you can work towards getting those kind of reviews that people are not kidding when they say your book is a must read.

If you're a reader, do your favorite author a favor and leave them an honest review, even if they have a whole bunch of them. Add your two cents. Keep in mind though that this is a living for some authors and words are very powerful. If you slam an author, that can hurt them financially in the long run. If they suck, then tell them where they can improve so they can learn from that and do better. (If they don't know they're doing wrong, how can they fix it?)

If you like their work, tell your friends, tell your family. Better yet, loan the book you just bought to your friends. (Authors make more money when you loan books!) And leave a review of why you liked what they wrote. "I loved how you kept me on the edge of my seat until the last page!"  These really help.

I must lurk back into the shadows of writing and next time I pop back out, I hope to have some good news and content for you guys to enjoy. Don't forget, with Halloween coming up, there's two great books that talk about real paranormal events that I investigated. Things DO go bump in the night and these books are a collection of the cases we went on!

Until next time,
Stay Crunchy, Even in Milk...

Author Steven Wolff

Thursday, July 11, 2013

When your books sales go Thelma & Louise on you...

For the first time since September, I'm experiencing a huge slow down in sales.  I'm not sure the culprit but I have read that this is normal even for the best of the best. They call this phenomenon a Sales Cliff and it sucks because the timing sucks - I'm counting on this to help cover my expenses for my road trip I'm taking in September. What I make this month determines how much of a cushion I have to cover the days I'm not paid from my regular day job.

I did find out that you can contact Amazon's customer support and ask them to put you in a category you can't see (because it's not listed). The trick is to be nice with them and be patient. I sent them an email yesterday and I'm waiting to hear back from them. By asking them, they can place you in multiple categories on top of the normal two you are only allowed to pick.

Another thing you can do is release another book. That helps too but I'm in the middle of two projects right now. I don't think I will be able to get done in time for it to make a difference and you don't want to rush your books.

Quality will always win, hands down. Put out a good product and try to get reviews and that should solidify your books place. Put out a crappy product and the negative reviews will kill your book, even if you fixed it..

Also keep in mind that no matter how good your book is, there will always be someone, somewhere who hates your book. They may think it sucks, or think a 5 year old can do better. IGNORE THEM.

On the opposite side of the coin, you will probably have fans who think every word you type is gold and you can do no wrong. In other words, continue doing what you're doing. Our audience will find us in time.

Most importantly, as I said before, you want to have a email signup form on your website to start capturing email addresses. This will take time to gather them but in the long run, you'll be glad you did.

Let's say you have 500 email addresses. Tell them that on Friday (such and such date) your book will be coming out and they will most likely follow your link on that day. When Amazon sees a lot of interest/buys on your book, your ranking will go up. They call this an Amazon Rush.  :-)

Second most important thing to have is a professional book cover. This stops people from browsing and makes them stop and look at your description.

What they are looking for is "Can I trust you to give me a good experience?" How you word your description is the next most important thing...

Third - A Killer Description. This is very misleading because you don't really want to spill the beans and give away what your book is about. That's part of the joy of reading.

Instead, your description should be like a sales ad, starting with any awards/kudos or acknowlegements from someone important.

This establishes trust that you are going to give them a good experience. Your description is basically trying to tell someone "relax, you're making the right decision."

Add a few blurbs and follow up with a final saying like "If you love ____________ then this book is for you!" to seal the deal. The name of the game is to get your product onto people's devices. (A Sale.)

Just remember that sometimes no matter what you do, you can't change the Amazon winds that blow into your sails or not. You can do everything right and the wind just isn't blowing. Try not to be discouraged.

Use this time to double check everything, strengthen anything the needs tweaking, work on trust and relationships with your readers and bloggers because they have access to lots of people who are readers. One good blogger with a huge following can really turn a bad month into a super month.

It's going to suck this month for me in sales but that's okay. (It may change but I'm basing it on the current trends.) I'm working on getting more quality content out, I'm checking and rechecking things and I'm working on making my image (called Author Platform) better so readers trust me, as they should.

For me to reach my goal of making enough money to stay home and write full time, I need to find 1000 new readers every month. That's it... just 1000. Consistently. Once I can do that, I'll be able to stay home and focus on pumping out more books, and do the things I want to do.

However, this month feels like that goal is so far away and I'm back at square one/Day one. That's okay, I know what's possible. I've already proven it.

Did you notice I said goal and not dream. Goals are attainable and are under our control. Dreams are out of our control and may or may not be attainable. For example...

Goal: I'm going to write 2000 words minimum every day. (This is a realistic thing that can be done if you focus.)

Dream: I want to be a New York Times Best Seller. (This is a nie dream to have but getting on the NYT best seller list is something that just has to play out on its own.

So many factors out of my control have to happen. For one, lots of people have to buy my books in a short period of time and do so over a certain amount of time. There's other factors too but you get my point.

Do what you can, Don't worry about what you can't control.

As Joe Konrath says: "This is a marathon, not a sprint."


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Update on things...

Hi everyone, I wanted to give you guys an update on what's going on in my world, why so quiet, etc. For one, as much as I keep reading about "You have to write and maintain a killer blog" that is just not me. I don't know how to write killer blogs and don't know how to entertain people who come here so I'm just going to be honest and just be me. Maybe this way you can connect with me better, who knows.

June really sucked for me in the writing department because I was dealing with a lot of personal things, mostly related to moving. Everyday I'm doing something productive when it comes to learning about marketing, having a platform, etc. but the most important thing is to write. It's crazy how the simplest thing is also the hardest. There are some who are great at sitting down and pumping out book after book. For others, it's a challenge. It's not a matter of time, we all have 24 hours in a day. It's about prioritizing our time so we do sit down and write.

Well we're in the month of July 2013 now and I am writing again. I'm working on two projects, one of them is Episode 3 of Self - Aware (A Zombie Series) and How to be a ghost hunter (A step by step guide for beginners). I'm trying to wrap up How to be a ghost hunter but there's so much information I want to put in that book and I don't want to half-ass it. Yes I can publish a bare-bones book and then add more stuff to it later but I want to do it right the first time if possible.

One of my challenges as a writer is a personal one... I'm all A.D.D. which means I have the attention span of a goldfish. I'm easily distracted and a great multi-tasker but it's staying focused that's always a daily challenge. I'm experimenting with blocking off time to write and seeing if I can do that every day to the point that it becomes a habit. They say that once it becomes a habit, things should be easier. For the record, I have no problem writing, nor being creative.

In fact I consider myself very blessed in that department. I have so many good ideas and dialog flows naturally out of my head. Last count I have about 18 book concepts of things I want to write, the problem is sitting down and writing them. I need to focus on one project (or two at the most) and just knock it out. Getting myself to sit down, turn off facebook, my Nexus 7, and all distractions and just write is a challenge.

However, while this is a challenge, it's NOT an excuse. I own up to everything and I'm constantly challenging myself to do what I need to do. Every day I'm reading, studying, learning or doing something that is reading/writing related and the stuff I'm learning I'm slowly bettering myself with the wisdom and knowledge gained.

Again, this has got to be one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life (being a writer.) You can't just write a book and throw it out there and hope people will find it and eat it up, spending their fortune on it, making you rich beyond your dreams. No, you have to not only write it, edit it, proof it, format it and write a good description and find a cover that works, you have to market it and yourself to the world.

There's lots of hats you have to wear and it sucks but that's the price of being a self published author. The positives (and I try to focus on that) is that I am the boss of me. These are my words and the story I tell is straight from me, not some publisher who determines how my book will turn out. I like this freedom and I've got lots of stories still yet to tell.

The 10,000 hour rule
I've been reading and hearing about this 10,000 hour rule that if you want to be good at anything, you've got to put in the time. In this case, 10,000 hours. Since Sept 2012, i've been putting in a lot of hours and I know I'm not even close to finishing my 10,000 hours yet. Gah! I do believe in it, I've just got to do the time and I've still got a ways to go. I just wish I was there. (Don't we all?)

Sales have been slowing down these last few months and as a result my ranking on Amazon has been taking a hit. Ranking (from what I understand) is how well you are seen on Amazon. The less people see you, the less sales you get. (I could be wrong, don't quote me on that.) I just know when my numbers plummet, my sales dry up. I am happy to report my Got Ghosts? Series are my best sellers.

I wish my Anica Storm & The Wand of Time would sell but it's hardly noticed. Ironically it's selling better in pieces than it is as a whole. That is my baby and pride and joy. .I'm not ready to write part two yet as I have many other books that I want to publish first. Books that I think I can write in less time. (Book 1 took over 3 years to write.)

 Don't get me wrong, I love Anica and that world she's in and I have a total of 8 books I want to write in the Anica series but that's going to take some time to write but if I can get a routine down where I can write everyday, I might see what  I can do to get Book 2 out sooner. I've already written some of it and it starts off action packed! I just hope to keep that up.  :-D <3

So there you have it.

If you're a fan of my work, please let me know, I would love to hear from you guys. Thanks!

Steven W.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Top Five Simple Steps You Can Do To Improve Your Website

I'm learning that if you want to be seen as a professional writer, you need to have a professional appearance online, which means your website needs to be too. As part of having an author platform, your website and blog plays a critical role; it's your business card, your public relations director and its your billboard all in one.

It needs to be and look professional because people will judge it (and you) all in less time than you can say "wait! don't go!!!" Also, if its not well designed guess what? You just lost a potential sale. Already two strikes!

People in this day and age have come to demand and expect certain things when surfing the web and if we can't keep up, they'll just move on to the next thing that captures their brief attention span. They have the ability to process a lot of information very quickly and filter things out just as fast till they find what they want.

Sadly, up till yesterday, that was me and my website. When you came to my page, you were hit with spam... my books plastered for all to see with little reason to buy them. I had my covers larger than life and the links to buy them but little else. Honestly, I didn't know what my website was for; what purpose did it serve? It turns out for the last 8 months, it's been hurting me and I didn't realize it.

I didn't know better but it was because I wasn't educated on how to do it right. That's okay because this is all a learning process.

It's all part of this journey and its okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from the lesson presented. I saw what I had and decided I needed to change it so I did.

Here's what I've learned...

1.) People don't always come through the front door of your website. Thanks to search engines people can discover you through many of your other pages and links.

What does this mean? It means that every page should look as good as your front page or landing page because for the person whose just seeing you for the first time, that is their front page.

2.) Have a banner that tells your visitors what your site is about.

What does this mean? It means that your name, who you are (Your Brand) and what you offer should be easily seen within the first four seconds. Take for instance my new banner:

Right off the bat, it tells you who I am, shows you a nice photo, tells you that I'm a writer in the paranormal/fantasy and young adult genre along with a tagline "Let me tell you a story..."

It sets up the visitor to know they are welcomed here and that maybe my stories will appeal to them... all in less than 4 seconds.

I'm not saying my way is the right way or is how you should do it but it's merely a suggestion and the reasoning behind it. You can make your site and banner look any way you want. In fact, if you have a better way, share it with us in the comments section below.

3.) Your site should be easy to navigate.Believe it or not, this is the most crucial step people forget when making their web pages.

What does that mean?  It means that no matter what page the person visiting your website is on, they should be able to find the buttons or links to the most important things they probably want to know. One of them should be the Contact Me button. People like to feel a connection with their authors and sometimes want to email them or ask them a question. Another one is the BUY or STORE button. If they are at your site, they like who you are and your sales pitch, now would be a great time to show them where they can buy your book. If you leave them hanging, having to search for where your books are for sale (or if you make it too complicated) they will leave your site frustrated.

4.) Sign up for my newsletter! - One of the most neglected but most important thing to have on your website.

What does that mean?  Repeat after me: "You want to have a newsletter signup link" Why? Because it's a numbers game. Let's pretend you've slowly built up your email contacts list to several hundred (or several thousand). They signed up because they are interested in what you have to offer. If you tell them "Hey, this Friday I'm going to sell my NEW book "Blah" for a certain amount (usually .99 cents) on Amazon but it's only a 24 or 48 hour sale! Be sure to get it this weekend! (Give them enough warning time/heads up). Come Friday, Amazon will see a surge of people buying your book(s) and that will cause Amazon to boost your ranking which in turn exposes you to thousands of potential buyers who will also see your book. It's a snowball effect and had you not told your followers (fans) when to go, nothing would have happened. (Think of it like a Flash Mob on Amazon.)

5.) Less Is More. 

What does that mean? It means that if you don't have a lot of clutter on your website, people are able to see the posts and images you want them to see. People like simple, clean and clutter free sites. Look at Google's home page. It's a simple white page, with its name and a search bar and that's pretty much it. Simple and to the point. The same goes for flashing icons, gifs, etc. If people want to see that, they'll go to MySpace.

There you have it, 5 simple steps you can do to improve your website. If you would like to share your own tips, please leave a comment below and as always, thanks for reading.  :-)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Update on the previous book cover (& a new one)

Believe it or not, my previous book cover with the dragon has *NOT* sparked any interest, nor has it generated any new sales. This is very disappointing because the book itself is a gem waiting to be found. Right now because of limited funding, I can't afford to hire a real professional book cover designer but I am saving up for it. Again, this shows that people DO judge a book by its cover.

The other day at work, I came up with a book concept that I'm going to write later on down the road. (I've got a LOT of books I want to write but for now I need to focus on the projects I'm working on.) It's called DRONE and it's about a multi-million dollar drone attack plane that is hacked and stolen in mid flight. One of its two missiles are fired upon a high profile target and kills them, sending shock waves all over the world. Unable to find this drone, tensions are high as the group responsible for hijacking it demands something or else at a certain time, someone will die.

I'm excited to write this, and sometimes when I'm feeling creative, I'll make a book cover to kinda help "push" me in that direction. Here's the book cover I made for this book I've yet to write.

Surprisingly, I'm really liking this cover on so many levels. While its simple, it's to the point and makes you want to know more, just by reading the cover. I hope this is a successful cover. I'm sure I'll tweak it one last time before the book goes live but I kinda like it. Who knows how long it'll be before I make the book but at least it looks cool. For now, I still need to figure out what to do with Anica Storm. Those who have read that book love it but in the millions of books out there, I need it to grab peoples attention so when I can afford it, I'll hire a professional and keep my fingers crossed. If you know of any designers that are great, please list them below. Thanks!  :-)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Try, try again... (New Book Cover)

This is the latest cover of my book - Anica Storm & The Wand of Time. I spent 16 hours drawing it from scratch and trying to make it relevant to my book. It includes the dual moons - Leo & Luna, James the Were-Dragon and Castle Alveydor. I don't have a lot of money to hire someone who knows what they're doing (yet) but until then, I'm trying to save a little money by doing it myself. My book hasn't gone anywhere in the last few months and it's not because it sucks, it could be because of the title or the description. I don't know. This book took me 3 years to make and I'm hoping it will take off but it's limping, even barely. It's not because the story sucks, those who read it love it so I don't know what to think or do. For now, this is my last ditch effort before I move on to other projects I'm working on and if those projects bring in more income then I'll revisit this and see if I can get some expert opinions on it.

I welcome your comments and feedback if you have constructive things to say.  :-)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Steven Hears A Who?

Hey, it's been a while. How ya been? I've been busy with my full time job, packing, moving, unpacking and maintaining a relationship with this incredible woman I'm seeing... and oh yeah, I'm writing too. Not as much as I want because time is limited when you've got lots to do. It's already difficult as a writer to sit down and make yourself write, much less add on other distractions. Writing is one of the easiest and hardest things you can do at the same time. (You can quote me on that)  ;-)

It is, anyone can write anything but it takes focus, time, dedication, energy, and a strong will to put the words together so they sound fluid. It doesn't help if you're A.D.D. like I am and all over the place. While I have an incredible ability to multi-task, it does sometimes get in the way of what I'm trying to do. I'm like the dog in the movie UP... "Squirrel!"  It's true.

I am blessed with the gift of imagination and creativity. Words do flow easily when I'm writing and I'm thankful for that. I'm also getting better with my sentence structure and grammar, thanks to owning the newest Office 2013 professional edition. It helps point out flaws and has taught me a thing or two about where to put commas, etc.

I've noticed I'm starting to gain a following but it's hard to tell if they are from other authors or from fans of my books so I wanted to ask you if you are a fan of any of my books, will you please leave a comment below? I'm just curious who's out there and I really want to connect with my fans as you go along with me on this journey.

My Got Ghosts? books are doing great but my Anica Storm hasn't been moving. I think maybe its the cover and so I've been swapping them out and seeing if there's an uptick in people buying them. (So far, nada.)  I'm determined to find the right cover and tweak the description so people will want to buy it. Anica - the series has been doing great on its own which is basically the whole book split into pieces. I heard that authors have been having success with that so I decided to try it out and sure enough my fragmented book is selling better in parts than my whole book.

I'm working on multiple books right now, one of them being "How to be a ghost hunter - (A step by step guide for beginners)" and the other is my Zombie series "Self-Aware" which I'm really excited to release but it's not ready yet. It's going to be a six part series and I'm going to release it every two weeks leading up to the opening of AMC original series - The Walking Dead in October. That means I'm planning on releasing it in September (maybe sooner, it depends.) Either way, i'm excited because it gives fans the usual stuff they like but also gives them a fresh twist on the genre. 

So if you're a fan of my work, leave a comment below in the comment section and say "Hello" ~ I would really like that. 

Thanks & Happy Reading,
Steven Wolff

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

eBook Covers I've made

This is the official cover to a book I haven't written yet but I'm excited to do. I've got the concept/story line written I just need to flesh it out. Red is a re-imagining of the Red Riding Hood tale where Red's parents are killed by a werewolf. She survived but was scratched, causing her to be infected with the curse of being a werewolf. To break the curse, she must hunt down and destroy the bloodline of the wolf who created her. Together with the help of Peter who raised her, she swears revenge on the wolf who killed her parents and terrorizes the village he calls home. There's lots of twists and turns that will leave the reader going WOW.  :-)

Check is another one i'm excited to write because it's based on a real life chess game being played with real people by two mysterious players with a lot of power and money. The twist of this game is that two people have to fight for control of one spot (which can be at a bar, hospital, theater, you name it) and the one who wins changes how the rest of the game is played. No one knows who's making the moves but if you're not careful, your next move maybe your last!  ;-)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Trending Sales (i.e. It's WORKING)

When I launched my first eBook Got Ghosts? Real Stories of Paranormal Activity - I had no idea what to expect. It was my first "test" and I pushed really hard to get it out so it would be there in time for Halloween. It sat for the whole month of October and it did pretty good.

I made $54 bucks for just having one book out with little marketing. After October, I figured the roller coaster ride would come to a stop and I would have little to no sales. I was wrong. I made about $75 bucks in November. Okay, still not convinced it's a trend. In December, I decided to be nice and give my book away for FREE on all days - CHRISTMAS & NEW YEARS.

Wait, WHA?

I know, I know. Believe it or not, even with me giving it away, I made $105 bucks in December.!!! I'm like WOW. So I decided to launch the follow up book - Got Ghosts 2 - More Stories of Real Paranormal Activity and now that it's almost the end of January, I can safely say I'm already at $214 bucks!!! Crazy huh?

However, my fantasy book - Anica Storm & The Wand of Time is stagnant. It's not moving at all. Nix, Nada. It's not that it sucks... it's just not attracting people to buy it. I've tweaked the description, the cover, the title, and the categories and it's just sitting there like an Anvil.

The target audience I'm aiming at (Teens) ~ the beta readers all LOVED it so this is teaching me a valuable lesson, even though I don't want to be learning this lesson (I want to be selling because I think this book has a lot of potential.) The lesson is...


I'm 5 months into this journey with 4 books out (soon to be 5) and my two Got Ghosts are on FIRE and my fantasy book is idle. I've read that some books will sit and collect dust until one day *BOOM* straight to the moon in sales. I've seen it with others so it maybe possible. I'm going to look into maybe hiring a professional cover artist for that book and maybe hire professional book description writers too. We'll see.

But the point of this blog is that this journey I'm on is starting to become a reality. It's working but I need to keep at it. I'm still dependent on my day job but hopefully I'll sell enough books that I can stay home and write for a living. Wouldn't that be nice.  :-)

If you're a fellow writer, like me, hang in there. It's going to take a lot of work. Keep chipping away at it, one day at a time. It's going to happen. I see the numbers. It's working. Every year, 80 MILLION people are born on this planet. There's enough demand for our books for all of us to share in the piece of the pie. Let my numbers inspire you.  :-)

Steven W.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Journey Continues...

I'm happy to report a major milestone for me... Part 2 of The Journey of Anica Storm is released! It's funny that Anica Storm is still an unknown but I think in time it will take off. The fuse is lit, it's just slowly burning. This is good because it gives me time to work on the other parts. Part 3 of 3 still needs some tweaking and it will lead to BOOK 2 called Anica Storm and the Wand of Time.  :-)

If you're interested following the Journey, visit my author page to see my books:


I'm also working on Got Ghosts 2 - More Real Stories of Paranormal Activity, this time adding commentary and information for anyone interested in the paranormal. Coming Soon!  :-)

Steven W. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The New Years Author's Guide For 2013

It's the year 2013 and 7" tablets are all the rage, as are eBooks. With that said, here's my New Years Author Guide for 2013 that I'm not only writing for myself but for everyone else who's inspired to be an author.

1.) WRITE IT DOWN - Don't talk about it, Do It! Writing is the easiest and hardest thing in the world. For some people it comes naturally, for others, one word in front of another is the hardest thing. If you have a story or idea in your head, write it down either on paper, on the walls, on a napkin, or digitally on your electronic device. Don't worry about editing or how it sounds if that's going to slow you down. Get it out of your head and down on paper. You can always edit it later.

2.) EDIT WHILE YOU GO - IF YOU CAN. That's the key word... IF you can but don't let it stop you if the words are coming out faster than you type or write. However, if you can, edit your words and sentence structure while you go - This will save you a lot of time later on in post production. Use a program that has spell check or alerts you that you might want to use a different word, comma, etc. 

3.) MAKE THE TIME - You are ALIVE so you have 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week. You have the same amount of time as other authors. The difference is that other authors make the time in their day to sit down, even if you have a job. Some people come home after work and start writing. Others need a little time to unwind then they write... whatever works for you, MAKE THE TIME & WRITE IT DOWN.

4.) MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS - That means log off of Facebook, Myspace, Instant Messenger, Turn your smart phone/electronic device OFF or on SILENT, etc. Go into a quiet room or part of the house where there's not a lot of distractions. Turn the TV off - unless you need the noise or ambient noise in the background. (Personally I use Spotify as background noise but I keep it on low and rotating shuffle.)

5.) BELIEVE YOU ARE WORTHY - You have to believe in yourself. Where would the world be if J.R. Tolkien, Einstein, Shakespeare, Stephen Hawking, Leonardo Da Vinci, Stan Lee, Jules Verne, Thomas Edison, etc. be if they didn't write or share their ideas with the world? Point being these people gave us so much... who's to say you're not the next best thing? Guess what? That's not up to you to decide... it's up to the world. The only thing you can do is .....

6.) WRITE THE BEST BOOK YOU CAN - Take your time, go over it a million times but eventually let it go. No book is ever going to be perfect but aim to write the best book you can. It doesn't have to sound like a word ninja or someone who eats, sleeps, and poops words. My strength is not words - my strength is imagination and creativity. I know that... and I'm constantly trying to work on improving my writing & education. It's okay not to be good at something but if you want your book to sell, you need to write the best book you can. Then those who read it will jump on board and become your #1 marketing team! They will tell their friends and family and soon people will be talking about your book. Trust me it will grow like fire.

7.) HATERS GONNA HATE - It's important to keep your chin up because there's going to be a lot of people happy to throw sucker punches at you. They will give you 1 star reviews, think you're the worst writer in history and just talk smack about your book that you worked so hard on. IGNORE THEM. You can't please everyone and only if they provide valuable criticism that you can use, should you even give them the time of day. Maybe they might point out something you might of overlooked or tell you something you might need to change like "OMG this guy's sentences run on and on... learn to use periods bro!" ~ Then maybe you should look into that because maybe he might be right? But if he/she is just being mean to be mean, ignore them. Your work is going to speak for itself.

8.) PEOPLE DO JUDGE BOOKS BY THEIR COVERS - which is why it's extremely important to find someone who has a good success track record making book covers. Guess what... It's going to cost you... on average $100 to $500 bucks... BUT if you have a sucky cover, guess what again? IT IS COSTING YOU... because you're not getting sales. Can you afford to not get any sales or bite the bullet and spend the money needed to make a kick-ass cover? Yes it might hurt financially but it'll pay for itself and then some.

9.) DON'T WORRY ABOUT MARKETING, BLOGGING, FACEBOOKING, ETC. - Wha? You heard me... Don't worry about it. Why? Because you're wasting your time (the time you don't have to write - remember?)  on doing something other than writing your book. That's defeating the purpose. Remember rule #6 - If you write the best book possible. it's going to sell itself, period. TRUST ME.... Just like there are millions of YouTube videos out there, It's the viral videos that get passed around and shared with others... It's the same thing in the book world. Focus your energy on writing the best book possible and use that time wisely.

10.) YOU ARE NOT AN ARMY OF ONE - Seek out the help and wisdom of others. Get feedback on what others think of your description but make sure it's not from family and friends because they are biased towards you. They want you to succeed and have the best intentions but sometimes you need an outside source to tell you what you might need to hear. If they have the qualifications or track record to back up what they're saying, it's important to listen, even if you disagree. Everyone has good advice, like me, but it's only good to you if you can find a way to use it to make yourself better. The Internet is full of information on how to do millions of things, but if you don't open yourself up to others and seek out others who might help you edit or tweak your book, description, wording or cover, then you maybe missing out on something that could be hurting your sales.

2013 is going to be a good year for me because I'm going to write as many books possible that are as good as I can do. Once I release them to the world, it's out of my hands. Some will treasure them, others will hate them but I'm a story teller, it's up to me to provide content to those who want to read. Those who like my stories will make themselves known, just as much as those who don't. The important thing is I'm writing and I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I hope you are too. There's a little paper on wall that sums it up:



Author Steven Wolff