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Tyra’s Rant

What I’ve Learned so far…

The biggest strength of self-published authors, are self-published authors. The biggest weakness of self-published authors? You guess it, self-pulished authors. It’s far to tempting to hit ‘publish,’ when you should be developing your craft. Living in an instant world, it’s so easy to develop a sense of, even an expectation for, immediate success. Sadly, in the real world, success comes with work. Most of those overnight success we hear about? Well, they took an average of 10 years.

Why have I put off printing more books or creating ebooks of my current novels? Because I’m learning the ropes of e-marketing and trying to create the best products I can. By taking time and not rushing, my hope is to get known for quality. You know quality? Using the right word. Checking grammar. Reading my work out loud. Having others critique the work. Studying, reading, editing, reading, editing…learning the craft. Do I expect perfection? No, but it’s a good thing to try. Just to make it clear, for those of you who don’t know, taking the time isn’t just a sign of respect for the craft but also for your readers. If you care enough to give them characters they can care about, they just might care enough to give you their time.

For me, the other issue in delaying has been trying to understand the system that’s evolving, or least be comfortable stepping into the pool. So what have I learned so far:

 

  • Printed books boost online sales & generate more income
  • Cover is critical: it must grab attention from thumbnail to 6×9 size (on a white background)
  • Online sales boost print sales & generate more exposure
  • Bookmarks must be striking, are cheap even printed both sides & are better than business cards for promoting an author (if beautiful & quality, people keep them)
  • Have your covers on your bookmarks, go with larger bookmarks, make sure your website url is there
  • Local indie bookstores tend to be your best promoters
  • Small local papers, schools & libraries love authors
  • Radio interviews generate more sales than print ads
  • You should record positive feedback from readers & put it on your author site & your posters
  • Posters are cheap but print them with a lot of room so that you can write in dates, locations & put them up the week before you do a signing
  • Plan trips, weekends, etc., around promoting your book (you’d be amazed at the festivals, etc., within an hour or five from where you live)
  • Don’t expect to get rich (most overnight success stories involving authors took ten years to happen)
  • There’s a market for quality books & ebooks (grammar, spelling, consistency, etc., will do more for your career than speed or ideas) & there are a lot of refuse containers for the rest
  • If you’re not selling have an independent person take a serious look at your product

 

There’s an old saying, to have career as a writer you need two out of three things, skill, imagination and luck. I wish you what every two you need, keep writing & reading.

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