Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of meeting many authors. Some, like myself, have just entered the crazy literary world having published a first book, while others have more than a hundred books to their credit.
I’ve said this before, but humour me, I thought writing the book was my contribution to this endeavour. (This is where most authors can be found literally rolling on the floor laughing).
My book came out a little over 6 months ago, but it wasn’t until December that I really started to understand and get involved in the marketing of my novel. I take marketing webinars when I can, join book/literary/author groups, ask questions, share frustrations, and learn as I go…(I am always happy to share what I’ve learned. If I can help someone avoid wasted efforts, then good).
Last week I was reading about 50 authors, their routines and income around their passion. I would think I'm on the right path, but I know now that it's not an easy road to travel.
Here’s some of what I’ve learned:
-Don’t quit your day job, not until you’re income from writing is sufficient enough to support you.
-Learn how to use your computer, you will be spending hours on it every day…no, not writing, but marketing, answering emails, preparing blog posts, and answering interview questions about the strangest things…Most writers do this every day, easily up to 20 hours a week (and this is besides the writing we are thought to do. Wait! We have jobs, families, responsibilities…)
-Authors have to buy their own books. Just because we wrote the book doesn’t give us free access to the book…so if an author gives you a book, chances are they’ve had to purchase it. Relish it.
-Those who publish with a traditional publishing company can benefit from a cash advance, most wisely used to market the book. (If it’s a huge amount, you might want to look into a publicist.) Chances are, regardless of HOW or with WHOM you have published…YOU have to market the book.
-Learn all you can learn about marketing. As great as your book might be, no one will be banging on your door to buy one if they don’t even know it exists.
-If you’ve always wanted to write a book, but just never had the time, start. Things won’t get any better once you publish, so roll up your sleeves and get on with it.
-Writing a book takes time and money. The money might be to have the book critiqued, edited, published or marketed. It can be to support you while you write…but somewhere along the way, you’ll need to invest in your writing. (At least until you’ve become the next household name).
-Rejection is part of writing, don’t take it personally.
Louis L’Amour, author of over 100 western novels had received over 300 rejections before publishing his first book
John Creasy, author of 564 mystery novels had received 743 rejections before publishing his first book
Ray Bradbury, author of over 100 science fiction novels and stories had received around 800 rejections before selling his first story
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter had been rejected so universally the author decided to self-publish the book
If you get feedback (from rejections, reviews, critiques), learn from it. Don’t hesitate to talk to other authors about it. Never give up. If you need to find a sympathetic ear, try another author…they know what you’re going through.
-Be proud of yourself, you have accomplished something great.