My first book, Fools Gold, was published about this time two years ago. I’ve learned a lot in my two years as a published author, so I’ll share a few nuggets here for any aspiring or new authors:
People will be more helpful and less judgmental than you might think. I spent a lot of time in the first months blushing every time I said I was an author and apologizing for being a newbie. But I really didn’t need to. No one minded that it was my first book (or first guest blog post or whatever) and often went out of their way to explain the usual routine to me.
The writing community is wonderful. In my case, I joined groups that write in my YA/NA historical romance genres or were based in Alaska. But my impression is that all writing groups have generous people in them. I’ve made friends and learned so much from my colleagues. Sharing your writing experience with others makes things easier and less lonely.
PR can be fun when you find the right platform. At first, I tried to learn all the social media, follow lots of blogs, etc. and be everywhere at once, and it wore me out. (Plus, it probably wasn’t very effective.) Once I gave myself permission to focus on the things I enjoyed, I dropped the stuff that didn’t fit my style, and I had more fun with it. (And probably did a better job with the PR I was doing.)
Writing is more important than promotion. One thing I heard from others and observed: you can promote all day every day, but if you don’t have a good product to sell, no one will buy any of your books in the future. My advice: keep the writing quality high and don’t sacrifice your writing time to other things.
There’s nothing better than hearing from a reader. I have cherished the kind words that I received from readers—thank you! It is rewarding to know that someone enjoyed my book or found wisdom in my writing. It helps me persevere when I’m having a bad day. Now that I understand that, I post an online review or write an email to the author when I read a good book, to pay it forward.
My best wishes to you, whether you’re a writer or a reader. Thank you for sharing my journey with me. If you’d like to receive my monthly newsletter, please click here: