Friday, February 10, 2012

The basic rules of self publishing

  So I've started a new blog format to be more informative for the indie authors seeking guidance and information.While I have only been doing this for a short time (about a year) I have learned some very basic but invaluable information. While I don't claim to know everything, I want to help Noobies avoid some critical pitfalls that I have made in my search for validation as an author.
  First thing first. Don't assume that we can all be Amanda Hocking's. Independent publishing is not the fast track to quick cash. Most of us will slave over our keyboards for ten plus hours a day for weeks to months only to have our book never sell a single copy. It is grueling and frustrating and  many times has made me want to wail in devastation.
  Second, despite your failures don't give up. As a budding author you will make mistakes, many mistakes. Learn from them. Don't take a critical review as a personal attack. Embrace them. It's taking the criticism of others to heart and working on those aspects of our writing that will help you on your road to success. While we can not please everyone, reviews about bad grammar, lack of editing, and poor cover design should be listened to.
   Third, don't assume that just because you have an education in English studies or you gave your book to a friend to look over your book is free of errors. Find an editor and use them! I had several books critiqued telling me that they would have been great except for lack of editing. As a recent reviewer so blatantly put it "spell check is not editing." (Thanks Mel) I will have links posted shortly for a phenomenal editor that is well with in the budget a new author can afford.
   Fourth, although you may be proud of your cover (I was) your attempts at Photoshop greatness will probably hinder more than help.  Remember when we were kids at Christmas? Our eyes were always drawn to the most beautifully wrapped or biggest package? Your cover is your wrapping paper.That tiny little image is what drives people to look at your book in the first place. Don't short change yourself the sales that you might miss if going with a non pro image. Again I have a cover designer that does beautiful work at a price you can afford.
   While there are many other things that can be discussed as pitfalls a new author can and will make, those are the biggest ones that come to mind. Stay true to the reason you began writing in the first place, what ever it may be. You will find your place amongst the ever growing population of independent eBook authors, but it's going to be a bumpy ride.

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