So you want to be a writer
Take a class, join a group, participate in NaNoWriMo, scour Reddit- to be honest, the list for being a writer could go on and on.
Some get Masters in Creative Lit. Some join tons of groups. Some of us go it somewhat alone.
Will you be traditionally pubbed, go it indie?
Are you submitting to lit mags or just rewriting in hopes of the elusive perfect draft?
It’s been a minefield navigating indie writing life as a true blue writer this year. Writing my first novel and publishing it myself has left me with more questions than I will ever have answers to. I am constantly googling and reading and researching the best way to do almost everything from self-editing to Amazon ad campaigns.
So much of it is helpful to an extent and a lot of it is noise that gets in the way at times.
What I have found the most useful is to plot out not only your book but everything from the book down to the marketing and everything in between no matter how minute. A master checklist if you will that allows you to see everything that needs tending to.
In those first few days when my book was first up, all I wanted to do was refresh my Amazon dashboard. Which was silly because besides a few close family and friends no one knew I had written a book. I had made the choice to write under a pen name for a reason.
In the three months since my book’s release, I have slowly puzzled together what it is I should be doing. Some days are far more productive than others. I spend part of the week working on blog posts and tinkering with amazon ads and keywords, I work on ideas for a better social media presence while not make any moves to actually improve it, and I am writing my second book.
My advice then for those who have started navigating indie writing life
- Follow Reddit/self-publish: here you can query everything from amazon keywords to covers to blurbs. It’s a lot to comb through but a wealth of information.
- Follow other indie authors: I found that following other self-publishers, especially on TikTok has helped me so much in seeing their process in comparison to my own, but also another treasure trove of tips to garner.
- Follow traditionally pubbed authors: even though you are going it alone it doesn’t mean there is no overlap and learning what publishers want can only aid in your own marketing.
- Don’t get bogged down by how you should be writing. Just write. Your process will work itself out. So don’t compare yourself. Write your story, that is the most important thing.
- Always get feedback: It can be scary opening yourself up to finally have others read and critique your precious words but it has to happen at some point and if you don’t have the means to hire an editor then betas and hell even those close to you can be your biggest helpers.
- Set a realistic timeline: it can be a bit tricky at times to keep to your own deadlines. As someone who in the beginning constantly tried to set unrealistic goals, it’s important to sit and really figure out what you are capable of so that you have direction without feeling completely overwhelmed by pressure to complete your story.
Last but not least:
- Walk away. It truly can feel overwhelming. And as an indie author, there can be a pressure to write and to write quickly. The more you can grow your catalogue the better. But it won’t help if you burn yourself out and make silly mistakes. We all need a break, so be sure to work it into your timeline because it is always better to go back to things with fresh eyes.
I hope these simple but important tips help!
P.S. My book A Twist of Fate is now FREE on Amazon Kindle today until August 10th: GET IT HERE