This one is always fun, and hopefully, new and aspiring authors could take something from my experience.
I started to write in 2009. I was 29 years old and thought I would become the next J.K Rowling. I’m honest as can come, and let’s face it, every new author who gets an idea thinks their book will be the next Harry Potter.
Newsflash, and it is a big wake up call, your book won’t be the next Harry Potter unless you really have something gold in your hands.
So yes, that is my number 1. Your book won’t be the next Harry Potter.
Number 2: Reviews.
If I knew reviews could be that harsh, I probably would never have started to write. The funny part is, it’s like 5% of my reviews are so negative, I wanted to sit in a corner and cry. The other 95% struggle to actually wait for my next book.
Authors quit writing because of their reviews. They can be brutal, and less than a percent of those reviews are actually helpful. You get negative reviews that you learn from, and those readers I treasure as they tell you what they find wrong with your book. The other part likes to tell you what trash your book is, and we call those reviewers, Trolls. They are known as trolls as they do not know how to write a review that helps authors and actually trash their writing dreams. It’s one of the reasons I do not read my reviews anymore as I always concentrate on those 5% negative reviews and forget about the 95% that actually loved it.
Number 3. Marketing.
If I knew that I would spend so much time on marketing, I would probably choose a different career. But I love the first part so much, it’s like breathing that marketing is just something I have to do.
Number 4. Writing the book.
My first book took three years to write, and I thought it was the most challenging part I’d ever done. Writing the book is the easiest part. I wish I knew that before I published.
Number 5. Wattpad.
I wish I knew about Wattpad before I started. Wattpad is a beautiful site if you are starting out, trying to build your fan base. It’s a bit harder if you are an established author using Wattpad and then developing your career.
Number 6. Publishers.
I was with a publisher first before I stepped out on my own. Publishers can really make things sound so sparkling and pretty. Giving you the idea that all you are going to do is write the book. It’s not the truth. If you are not a prominent name author, you will work your tush off for a crazy small amount of the percentage when it comes to royalties. You are lucky if publishers give you half, but most provide you with anything from 12 to 25% of the cut. So be careful when it comes to publishers. They have their strong points in getting your book out there, but you can also step in a ditch and struggle to get out.
Number 7. Editing, editing, editing.
English isn’t my first language, and I can’t tell how important it is to get an editor that can actually edit a book. I had many, many people telling me that they are brilliant at editing. Then I trust them and guess what, when my book gets released, plenty of reviews streamed in about my book being riddled with mistakes. It’s hard to find an editor, and I wished that I actually took an editor’s course before writing.
Number 8. You are going to work your butt off.
If you are not prepared to work your butt off (not meaning literally as you sit on a chair), then don’t do this. I never worked this hard at any of my jobs. So be prepared to work your butt off.
Number 9. Funnel sites.
Ever heard of Book funnel, Prolific, and StoryOrigin. Yip, I wish that I knew about them when I started. They are excellent sites that help you gain newsletter subscribers that love books. You need those to make a success from your writing career.
Number 10: Networking.
You need authors to help you make a success in this career. I started late in life when it comes to this, but glad that I discovered it eventually. This industry is not a competition. The sun is big enough for all of us, and you need author buddies to help with pushing and cross-promoting. It’s like one hand washes the other. Bloggers. Bloggers are gold. Treasure them, and work on your blogger list as you grow.
And that is my ten top list of things I wish I knew before I published my book. If you have anything to add, leave it in the comments. I might not even know about it.
Kristin resides in South Africa, East side of Johannesburg with her husband and two beautiful little girls. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she’s living the dream, being able to write every day. ” I love life, cherish every special second of it and live my dream.” She has recently started her own Publishing company – Fire Quill Publishing in South Africa – http://www.firequillpublishing.com/
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