Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before
by Arthur J. Gonzalez
1. Editing takes up the bulk of the process
So… you finished your first draft. It appears to be nearly perfect. You send it over to your editor, anticipating some minor revisions.
A good editor will dig into the levels of your book you may have never thought of. This is an absolutely vital part to the writing process. You are challenged and because of it, you will evolve into a masterful writer.
This phase, for me, is the longest and most essential. So don’t get your hopes up and don’t get discouraged. It is for the better of your story (and longevity of your career), and your readers will love you for it.
2. The author is at the forefront of all marketing (Yes, even traditionally published authors – unless you have a Hunger Games).
You will read countless articles on how writers dread the marketing process, but it shouldn’t be. This is a vital step that allows you to connect and retain control over your fan base. Even traditionally published authors are the conductors of their marketing campaigns.
3.The Pros and Cons of all Print On Demand Companies
If you are a first time author, you will be very tempted to believe any gimmick thrown out you. And that’s okay. You want the best for your baby, and you are determined to get it on the market as soon as possible.
But take the time, beforehand, to research all the different companies. Learn the pros and cons of each. Research what others have experienced. There is a plethora of information on the internet by authors who have been in similar positions, who are voicing their wonderful or horrible experiences.
Along the way, we all learn from our past experiences, so take advantage of others’ journeys and use it to pave your own path.
4.Set Up a Mailing List BEFORE Your Book is Out
I do not know WHY I Didn’t think this was important before I released my first novel. I concentrated on everything social media platform, but completely bypassed a Mailing List – Which I have finally done.
This is a wonderful (and essential) way to compound your fan base and keep in contact with some of your very first fans.
Tip: I used MailChimp. Easy and FREE (unless you’d like to upgrade)
5. Set Up Giveaways where Interested Readers Must Sign Up to your Mailing List
Giveaways are an outstanding way (especially on Goodreads and Blog Tours) to attract visibility to your book. By using free online programs such as Rafflecopter, you can even assign mandatory actions (such as Liking your FB page, or signing up to your Mailing List) in order for someone to officially enter the giveaway.
Tip: Be creative with giveaways too. Don’t just give away eBooks. Give away signed copies with special gift bags and customized letters.
6.Don’t go Banner Ad Buying Happy
Pretty self -explanatory. I bought ad space on every website possible. And I’m not going to say that it wasn’t effective, but for my first novel, I think I could have been a bit more strategic and held out on all the money I shelled out on banner Ads. I don’t believe the value in the end result outweighed the amount of funds I put into it.
There’s a right time and a wrong time for these things. Same with a PR company. You may not necessarily need this the first time around. Wait until you have two or three published books under your belt, and capitalize on your investment.
7. Read as Much as You Can.
Read, read, read! Pick up on the things you like and dislike in other writers. See how certain author’s works are being reviewed. Is there something they’re doing that you may not be?
8. Grow Thick Skin. Not Everyone Will Love Your Book.
This is the jagged pill you will have to learn to swallow. BUT if you train yourself from now to be realistic, then not all is lost. We don’t live in a perfect world, and your story or writing style may not appeal to every reader it comes across. Don’t let this bring you down. Uncover the silver lining. Try and derive the message of that bad review. What was it they didn’t like? Is this something that you can learn from? Possibly use for your future works? Trust me, there is good in everything. There’s a grand, important message there if you allow yourself to see it.
9. CONTROL YOUR FATE. LEARN ALL YOU CAN:
Read Up on Self-Publishing/Conventional Publishing, but be organized about it, or you will go crazy. There is so much information out there. Enough that will literally lead you to a nervous breakdown. But fear not – You will get through this! Just stay organized.
I printed and highlighted almost everything I read. Then I organized it neatly in a binder, with tabs to categorize the topics. BIG HELP!
10. Become Very Involved in a Blog/Forum/Group Discussion Board/Website where your targeted reader group is heavily concentrated.
This is a great way to connect with your direct readers. When readers feel like they can actually interact with you, it goes a long way. They feel connected to you. This connection will lead to higher sales, because these readers will feel motivated to market you to their friends or followers.
11. Blog Tours are your Friend!
I cannot tell you how essential blogger are. Their websites are hubs for your direct readership base. Bloggers have become the heart of the publishing industry, with major publishers relying on their reviews and fan-base.
Find a blog tour company that has the resources to setup a tour for your book. They will design a banner to market your tour, and with this, several blog websites (that market to your reader demographic) will sign up (if they find your novel interesting). The bloggers will decide whether they’d like to review your book, interview you, host a giveaway, or have you draft a guest post for the day you are featured on their site. In my opinion, this is the BEST way to reach your core reader group.
And an FYI – these are probably the periods where you would want to strategically price your novel and couple your marketing efforts. Just sayin’! J
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Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.
Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”
Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.
When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.
He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!
His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.
For Gavin, life will never be the same.
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Genre – Young Adult Science Fiction
Rating – PG
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