Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Words: Tips from Indie Authors Part 1

Current WIP: Capture (Book 2 in the Cryptid Tales)

I asked a bunch of authors what they wished they had known prior to getting in the writing business, here is what they had to say:

My tip: How to stay motivated in writing
Take an hour a day and focus on what you need to do.
1st 15mins Outline: Have a general or detailed idea depending on the type of writer you are of what you're going to write that day
Next 30mins Write like your hands are on fire: Do not stop, do not read it, do not edit, just write
Lat 15mins Reread and edit, this will save you time later during the big editing phase
The more that you've accomplished the more you'll want to sit down and write

Wish I hadn't spent as much time promoting when I published my first couple of books and had spent those precious hours writing instead. A lesson hard learned, but a mistake I won't make twice. Being prolific is healthier to the longevity of a writer's career than the number of one's twitter followers.

I wish I hadn't spent time emailing agents, especially doing the research to look for good matches and adding personal touches to the letters.  What a pointless exercise that was.

R M Rowan
I wish I'd known that setting deadlines for yourself is important - even in self publishing.

I wish I knew how much fun this was going to be. I would have done it sooner.

I think it was my sixth ebook when I finally learned that supplying an untapped, but hungry niche, is the surest way to earn steady sales. I realized that I had to marry my passions with starving audience's needs in order to build a sustainable business model. Trying to write the next best seller in a crowded market led to finding out the hard way that "results are not typical, individual results may vary.

Todd Thorne
I'd say that it's all too tempting to believe success equates to cold, hard numbers of sales. Especially when starting out. In reality, success is when you keep pursuing your passion for writing.

I'm going to agree with Kevis. I used to spend a lot of time worrying about Twitter, blogging, doing giveaways, whatever. If I had spent all that time writing, I could have probably gotten another book (or two!) out last year. And I would have saved hundreds of dollars on giveaways.
Also, don't send paperback copies of your book to every blogger you can find online. Shipping costs are outrageous (especially to those little reviewers in places like New Zealand), and you can get plenty of reviews just by sending out ebooks. While I treasure the relationships I got from that expensive mistake, there were much more profitable things I could have done with the money.

I wish I had known how important a good editing team is for an author's work. That would have saved me a few 1-stars, worry, fretting, and stress with my early releases. However, without the income and fans from those early releases, I probably wouldn't have had such a strong opening on my first fantasy book; many people who read my earlier stuff became "True Fans" and continued into my new books. So, it's not a regret by any means. I would have done things a little differently knowing what I know now to improve my current situation, but I can't complain too much.

My writing career is a bit short to have "shoulda-woulda-coulda's" but I think the idea I most agree with is not focusing too much on promotion, and just relentlessly putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard and maintaining the passion to create and write fresh ideas.

Christopher Bunn
At the end of the day, a healthily-selling book usually depends on good writing. Constantly hone your craft. Do not be complacent and assume your growth as a writer is done. Immerse yourself in literature that is miles better than your own writing. Just like you should strive to find quality friends to better yourself (among other things), search out quality literature. I guarantee steady immersion will improve your writing.

Check back next week for Wednesday Words to read more tips from great authors!


Heather said...

Very cool post!

Brina Courtney said...

Thanks Heather! I hope it's helpful!

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