As an editor and coach, I’m frequently asked by writers when they should level up from free and low-cost feedback (critique groups, webinars, and classes) to more expensive forms of feedback (workshops, private editors, even MFA programs). Some are newbies who don’t understand the feedback landscape. Other writers have been burned by overly critical MFA programs, bad editing experiences, or critique group dramas—and they’ve learned that while some mistakes hit your pocketbook, the costliest ones can damage your manuscript.
Often these problems have one common cause: You’ve asked the right question of the wrong person.
Many bloggers agree that having their blog posts shared is one of the best things that can happen in the blogging world. After all, whoever is sharing the post is putting your work in front of a new audience.
I remember when, for the first time, another blogger reblogged one of my posts. As a new blogger, it was one of the most exciting moments of my blogging journey. Even today, I still get a lift whenever one of my blog posts gets reblogged.
But is there anything you should do when one of your blog posts is reblogged?
Unless you’ve switched off your WordPress notifications, you will get an email notification from WordPress when one of your posts gets reblogged. It gives the following information –
Launching a book is an exciting moment in an indie author’s life–but there’s so much to do. What order should you do it in and how much time do you need in advance of your launch to complete it? Today’s post is the Alliance of Independent Authors’ Ultimate Guide to Launching a Book (including timeline).
A few caveats before we begin this post.
No two indie authors launch books in the same way. The below is not a strict “this must be done here” guide but a suggestion of how you can time the activities for your launch. Of course, not everyone will have a long lead time either and not every author does every single item listed.
Practical tips to overcome the ickiness of self-promoting and progress your writing career
I get it. Some people are ok with talking about themselves. They could do it all day. They seem to thrive on it.
Then there are others, like you and I. We’d rather listen instead of speak. Self-promoting feels icky. It’s not really our thing.
You hate pushy salespeople. They invade your space without permission. They tell you what you should buy. Yet even if you need the thing they’re selling, there’s no way you’ll buy it from them. Or even hear them out. Your automatic response is to race away. Or slam the phone. You don’t want to be one of those people.
It’s much better to be recognized naturally. I mean, if your writing is good, people will notice. If your writing is great, editors will knock on your door. If your writing is brilliant, you’ll get invitations for interviews and book publishers begging you to write for them. Won’t they?
Maybe. Sometimes. And that is the problem. Will you risk your writing career to maybes and sometimes?
Where do you reckon your career will take you if you keep feeling icky about sales, let your self-doubts hold you back, and wait for people to notice you?
I like to included humor in my stories. Yet, I don’t want them to be seen as comedies. I like to touch on heavy topics in my stories. Yet, I don’t want them to be seen as serious dramas. That means I need to have both and keep things balanced. That isn’t nearly as easy as some people believe. You can’t throw the two around whenever you feel like it in the hopes of creating an equilibrium. Humor and heavy can clash like battling titans instead of uniting like pieces of a puzzle. So, what are some ways to handle this?
Whichever one is going to be the main tone of the story should be introduced from the beginning. If you want to have a serious story with humorous sections and conversations then you need to set the heavy stage. If it’s supposed to be a comedic tale that moves into serious territory then start with the funny. You do have a runway to work with since the opening is more character and world introduction, so the tone may be neutral first. Eventually, you need to decide on who gets the bigger slice of pizza.
Sales can be one of the most terrifying words in the English language. If one happens to be a creative professional, let’s just multiply that fear level by ten…or a thousand.
In fact, many writers spent decades longing to sign with legacy publishers for the sole reason that they believed a major publisher would tend to all that vulgar sales business for them so they could simply write and create!
*clutches sides laughing*
It’s cool. I once thought the same. We’re all friends and philistines here .
The first hard truth is that, even if we are fortunate enough to score a contract with a major publisher (scant few that remain), if our book doesn’t sell, the publisher will eventually have to cut their losses (‘losses’ being code for ‘writers who fail to sell enough books’).
Second hard truth? In the modern publishing era, Big Six Publishing has been replaced with self-publishing, indie publishing and smaller, more efficient boutique publishers. Again, building a brand and book sales will largely be on the author.
Regardless of size, publishers are businesses not charities, and throwing good money after bad is better left to Hollywood. This said, the idea of having to ‘do sales’ is still enough to make many creatives break out in hives.