January 19, 2012

Ten Things A New Author Should Do

by Aileen Stewart

1. Write Stellar Material.
Today everyone has a story to tell, but only those stories of the highest quality will sell well. This means you must pay attention to spelling, typos, grammar, punctuation, and details.

2. Get A Critique.
Having family and friends proofing is fine, but having a professional critiquing your work can make all the difference. A professional will tell you where your story is weak and what you need to do to polish it. I guarantee a publisher will be more attracted to a polished manuscript!

3. Be Determined and Persistent.
An author has to have true grit because with roughly 800,000 new books per year released, the competition is stiff. You will hear “no” frequently which is not a negative; it simply means you haven't spoken to the correct person yet. This is your dream, don't let it die!

4. Market Before You Are Published.
It is never too early to let people know what you are working on. Movies are always advertised well in advance, whetting the appetite of potential viewers. So why not books?

5. Have a Website.
People are curious; use this to your advantage by having a website. Make it entertaining but not solely about your book. Offer potential fans value. For example, if you write Westerns have links for dude ranches. If you write Romance, have a section with "Romantic Poetry". On my website Fun With Aileen I include recipes, crafts, and poems.

6. Have Business Cards.
Business cards are a great and inexpensive way to promote the business of writing. Hand them out everywhere: restaurants, hair salons, grocery stores, libraries, and gas stations. I've even included them in my bill envelopes.

7. Form Relationships With Others.
Recently I read that being published was a community effort. No one person has all the ideas, contacts, reach, or tools needed to become a success; so join forces. Offer reviews and interviews and your efforts will be reciprocated.

8. Be Proactive.
Don't wait for opportunities because this is not "A Field of Dreams". If you write it, they will not come. People can't buy what they don't know about. Look for contests, book lists, book fairs, craft fairs, radio shows, and opportunities of every kind.

9. Don't Be Afraid Of New Things.
If you haven’t blogged, don't worry. Everyone is a novice at some point. If you are nervous about public speaking, start with a pre-recorded radio interview. If you have recording capabilities, record yourself reading from your book. If you don't have a book trailer, make one. There are several easy to use sites that walk you through the process. I am fond of One True Media.

10. Have Fun. 
Of all the possibilities a new author can and should be pursuing, this is the most important. If you aren't having fun, what is the purpose of being an author? Neither writing nor getting published is easy and marketing is even more difficult; but it doesn't have to be dreary. With effort you can feel confident and can become an authority in your genre.

Aileen Stewart is a wife, a SAHM, and the author of Fern Valley-A Collection of Short Stories. She holds a degree in Business Management and Sales/Marketing which she finds new uses for daily. She loves cooking and somehow can’t seem to keep mentions of food out of her work. She also loves amateur photography, crafting, bird watching, flower gardening, and jig-saw puzzles.

Connect with Aileen online: 

Website ~ Fun With Aileen
Fan Page ~ Fern Valley

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