This is my first attempt, on writing, about actually writing a book! I would not called myself an expert but I did fumble my way through self publishing and have a few tips to share!
1. Promote your book before it's published! This one seems a bit scary and even perhaps counterintuitive. When I wrote my first short story, 'Seeking Vegas' I didn't advertise it at all. I didn't say one word about it on Twitter, Facebook or my blog. Big mistake. I published and the basic reaction was, "You wrote a book?"
I knew I had made a mistake, so when I decided to publish my first book of essays I decided I needed to get the word out early. I created a Smahwords account and setup a pre order for my book. I designed a cover with one of my favorite photographs as the backdrop. Once I had the cover set up I started to promote the book on Facebook, Twitter and my blog.
This was really scary for me because I hadn't even written the book yet! But announcing my book before it's release did two great things for me. The first was it got the word out and hopefully got people excited about my book. The second thing was that it held my feet to the fire so to speak. There was no chance to turn back or second guess my project. I had to deliver the book now. It also gave me a deadline to complete this project. This motivated me to finish my book on time!
So go ahead and promote your book! Even though it's a scary thing to do while you are still working on it, think about how many weeks or months movies promote themselves before the release? It will help spread the word about your project!
2. Hire a editor to proofread your book. The first time I released 'Seeking Vegas' I didn't have anyone proofread or edit it until it was already published. I had a fellow writer take a look at him and he found numerous errors that he said made it difficult to read. I was really disappointed to hear this. I realized that I had made a mistake and in the excitement of publishing my story, I hadn't taken the proper steps to edit my writing.
So for my book of essays I hired an editor to proofread my book. You don't have to spend a ton of money to do this. You may be able to find an English teacher or another writer to review your work. This is well worth every penny! Your book will improve greatly from someone's corrections or input. I know my book improved greatly from being edited!
3. Seek input from other writers and friends. I personally don't believe in writing in a vacuum. I like to seek out input from my friends and other writers on my essays and storylines. Sometimes it gives me an idea to write another essays. Also, not every essay I write is great and included in my books. I like to see which ones are well received and include them in my book. Having other people read these essays before I decide what to include is a great way to figure out what should be included.
4. Keep Writing! As soon as I publish one book, I start working on the next! One great analogy I've heard about writing is that, 'a homerun is rarely hit on the first at-bat'. That can be very for writing. Many authors struggle for years before becoming well known. While as a self-publishing author you will need to promote your book, don't lose sight of your writing, which is your main purpose. Also, the best way to build up an audience is to produce more writing!
Hopefully these few tips help while you are writing your book. Don't be afraid to make mistakes! I know that I have made plenty of them myself and continue to learn as I go! What about you? What have you learned along the way?
'Don't Forget to Write' giveaway on Goodreads
Between September 20th and October 20th I'll be giving away three signed copies of my book, 'Don't Forget to Write' on Goodreads! To enter the contest click on the image below. The giveaway is free to enter but you must have a Goodreads account!
Author: Sarah Warman
I like to run, take pictures and write. I've combined all three in this blog.