By Daryl Wood Gerber
Author of the Cookbook Nook Mysteries
and the stand-alone suspense,
GIRL ON THE RUN
Don’t you love when someone says you “should” do something? I mean, c’mon, no one is the boss of me (you), right?
But I’m telling you, if you are an aspiring author or a brand new author, or even an established author, there are some things you “should consider” doing.
1 – Your mailing list. Do you have fans? Do you have fans that open every newsletter you send? Do you send newsletters? Do you have super fans who want to do everything for you, like spread the word, share your newsletters, and write reviews? Start now and build up this group. Where do you find them? Lots of places. Start with family and friends; add fellow authors. And then you can find them on social media (see below).
2 – Your website. Do you have one yet? Is it polished and professional? Does it have a landing page for each of your book titles? Does it have buy links for your books? Does it have a contact page so fans can write you or contact your agent? Does it have your bio as well as media pictures that a journalist could download? Look at authors’ pages and jot down what you like about them. Remember, a website is always changing. Make sure it reflects your brand.
3 – Social media. There is a truth that you should only do what you “like” to do when it comes to PR activities. That way you’ll keep doing them. Do you like to tweet? If so, make it a regular habit. Do you like to interact with fans with stories and comments? Then having a presence on Facebook is probably for you. Do you love to post pictures and share with friends? Check out Pinterest and Instagram. There are so many social media outlets. Try them and see which ones ignite your interest! And then make sure the people who follow you are also signed up for your newsletter.
4 – Business. Should you set up a corporation? That’s up to you, but assume you’re going to sell a lot of books and you want to own your books’ copyrights. If so, then you will probably want to have a corporation. You’ll probably want to talk to a professional about this. If you intend to self-publish, you will definitely need a corporation and a bank account, which will accept transfer funds.
5 – Professional Demeanor. No matter what, be a professional. Don’t slap a book together and assume it’s great. You need readers (who are not just your mother). Consider hiring a professional editor so you can make sure sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and plot hold together. Consider hiring a proofreader to make sure there are no typos. There is nothing an agent or editor likes less than reading pages filled with typos; they will reject the book.
Last but not least, remember to persevere. Keep at it. Believe in yourself. If you get shot down, get back up. And remember to write a book that you want to be involved with for a few years because, even after your book is accepted by a publisher, you will have more chances to read it, tweak it, and polish it, which means you’re going to be reading it a lot! You had better like the characters, the setting, and the story. If you’re writing a series, you’re going to be living with these characters for a long time.
Enjoy the ride.
Where are you along your journey?
Daryl’s new book:
Grilling the Subject
Written by: Daryl Wood Gerber