Book Writing and Marketing Tips for Authors
writing
Carolyn Brown
Contemporary Romance Historical Romance
10 months

#1 STAY FOCUSED
There's always, always something that can distract you from sitting in your writing chair. The grandkids want you to go play in the snow. The doughnut in the kitchen is calling your name. It takes a lot of self discipline to get a book written. You are your own boss, so you have to keep reminding yourself that if you don't get a book written, you are not going to get it published.

#2 NOTEBOOK, FILE, SOMETHING
Keep a notebook, file or something to refer back to concerning your characters. If Tommy has brown eyes on page four, blue eyes on page sixty and brown eyes on page two hundred, your readers will scream at you. I'm old school. I still use a notebook and a pen for my rough outline ideas. On the first page of that notebook I write the ABC's down one side, and then I start a list of my characters. You really shouldn't have characters with the same first initial. It's confusing to your reader. Also hero/heroine with sound alike names (Lisa and Lane) will stump your reader. Especially on series books when I need to remember the hero from book one when I'm writing book seven, I buy one of those little recipe card files and keep it right beside my computer. Each character, even the dogs and cats, gets an index card (filed alphabetically by first name) in the card box. That way all I have to do is find the card, and presto hero in number one was six feet two inches tall and had blue eyes. Some folks like to do this on the computer, and that's fine, but once I lost nine thousand words by shutting the wrong window and not saving. So it's old school for me.

#3 EDIT! EDIT! EDIT!
Your rough draft is finished. Now it's time to edit, edit, edit. Have someone else read your manuscript, and don't take the constructive criticism personal.

#4 WALK AWAY
If you begin to feel overwhelmed while you're working on those edits, get up and walk away from them. That's when it's all right to leave the writing chair. Take a walk. Pet the cat. Get your mind cleared so you can go back to the edits with a fresh outlook.

#5 START A NEW BOOK
Your book is finished, is in the agent's hands or the publisher's, now what? You start another book! This is the WRITE, DON'T WHINE! phase. Don't whine that it's taking so long to get your book published, or that you've got rejection slips. Write another book while you're waiting. When that first one does sell, you'll have a new one in your hands to sell.

    • georgiarose 9 monthsAuthor
    • Thanks for sharing Carolyn, I've found some really useful tips here and love the index card idea - definitely using that one!
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    • kimbeall 9 monthsAuthor
    • What I would like to obtain is Distribution, since I've already swallowed the bitter pill that I will always be the only person on the marketing team. Still, there is no way I am going to be able to drive to every single Barnes & Noble in the US to peddle my books to them, and that's what I want to see: my book in every Barnes & Noble, as well as every independent bookseller. Yes, I am aware some people believe bookstores are going the way of Blockbuster, but for the present, there are still millions of dollars of books being sold in bookstores every day and I want to be part of them. Bookstores HATE having to deal with Amazon, which treats them like competition instead of colleagues. I'm just wondering if there is any such thing as a real book Distributor with which authors can work to get their book distributed to places other than Amazon POD.
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    • cjdarling 10 monthsAuthor
    • I've been doing all those things for years, and still almost never make any sales, though I get excellent reviews from the few sales I do get. My question is, how do you get an agent? How do you get someone in a position to help you to take a look, take an interest, make an offer? We write because we love to write...it's an addiction that has to be fed. LOL But so do the hungry mouths around the table. How do we bridge the gap between published author and successful published author?
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      • carolyn 9 monthsAuthor
      • Getting an agent is often one of those Catch 22's. You have to have a few good sales for an agent to be interested in representing you, but to get into the bigger publishing houses, you need an agent. Building up your readership is step one. That brings in more sales. It took me years to get an agent and then it was only because she had been my editor previously when I was writing for Avalon. It certainly wasn't because I had sales big enough to warrant getting a foot in the door with her. I hope that helps!
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      • shanagorian 10 monthsAuthor
      • Start advertising on Amazon Ads (sponsored product ads) if you haven't already. They really sell our books! You don't need an agent! :) There are plenty of blog posts and courses to learn how to do Amazon ads if you need help but the best way is just to dive in and spend $5-10/day and take all their suggestions on the keyword bid amounts. (PS. I am just another indie author who's tried everything and finally found what really works.~All the best to you)
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writing
Jennifer LeBlanc
Contemporary Romance Literary Fiction
10 months

Always hire a professional editor and proofreader. Most new authors feel that with programs like Grammarly they can just edit their books themselves, which is a great tool to clean up an outline. But it is important to also hire a professional editor to really polish your book and make it the best it can be. Readers always know when a book wasn't edited properly and this can affect the type of reviews they give the book once it's published.

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marketing
Brigid P. Gallagher
Advice & How To Biographies & Memoirs
9 months

1) Blog and Social Media Links
Create a blog or website well in advance of your book launch, and keep your followers informed of your progress. Remember to include information on your blog/website and social media links at the end of your book.

2) Quality
Ensure your book is of the very best quality, by enlisting a professional editor and book cover designer. It will pay dividends.

3) Keywords and Categories
Choose your categories and keywords for online retailers carefully. Try to find categories that have smaller numbers of books to boost your rankings. Keep a close eye on your progress, and tweak as necessary.

4) Pricing
Keep your prices in line with your competitors. Readers will not buy your book if you charge too much. Regular discounted offers will increase sales.

5) Read and Review Books
Read and review other author's books, and post to your blog/website, social media, BookBub and Goodreads...
It will come back to you in many ways.

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marketing
Sr Crystal Mary Lindsey
Mysteries Supernatural Suspense
10 months

I just have 2. Tips.
1. Advertising in the USA works best in the early morning.
2. Using Ingramspark for my publishing has me selling more paperbacks. They are great!!

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writing
Gigi Sedlmayer
Teen & Young Adult
10 months

1) Never give up
you never know, what will come around the corner, then you missed it.
2) Write every day, if you can, to keep the momentum.
3) Read, read and read books for yourself.
4) write reviews for the books you read.
5) I try to do all that (Smiles)

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marketing
Samantha A. Cole
Suspense Contemporary Romance
10 months

1) Never pay for reviews (this does not include review companies such as Netgalley, Hiddengems, OnlineBookClub, etc. which charge to list your books on their sites for their clients to voluntarily choose to review if they want.)
2) Look at the book covers of the top books in your genre. Does yours compete?
3) Don't do your book covers yourself unless you have experience in graphic art.
4) Get input from other authors on your blurbs. Some authors find them easy to do, while most do not. Avoid outlining the entire book--explain the first 1/3 of the book and use a question to make the reader guess what might happen in the last 2/3.
5) Do not harrass other authors to read/reveiw your book or do review swaps. Most authors do not have time for this and the popular authors are constantly being asked to review other authors' books.
7) There are over 1000 groups on Amazon that will let you promote your books in them. Do a search for your genre or "book promo" and you'll get tons of them popping up. Read each group's guidlines for posting so you don't get kicked out.
8) There are numerous groups on Facebook that are for authors only, to develop their craft and with tips on how to market. Join them.
9) Set a monthly budget.
10) Research the different book promotion sites and ask other authors about their experiences with them.
11) Don't put your book on sale shortly after a release because your sales are down. Readers get upset when they see a book that just came out, that they already bought, going on sale within the first three months of release.
12) Don't overprice or underprice your book.

(Yup, more than 5 but all needed to be said!)

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writing
Samantha A. Cole
Suspense Contemporary Romance
10 months

1) Don't give up.
2) Listen to the advice of authors who have come before you, yet do what works best for you.
3) Get an editor.
4) Read other authors in the top 100 of your genre to better understand what readers like.
5) Never respond to reviews, but take a bad review and use it as constructive criticism to make your books better.
6) Leave your ego at the door

(Okay, that was six, but they are all important.)

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writing
Donna Sager Cowan
Children's
5 months

I like to write without distractions, so that means paper and pen. I find that when I write by hand, I don’t concern myself with misspelled words, missed punctuation or any of the editing errors that slow me down when composing by keyboard, whether typewriter or computer. It frees my right brain to relax and let the left side lead. I am always amazed how quickly the pages pour out. Using new tools like Rocketbook, I can easily scan the written pages to any device and it will transcribe them to text for me. A total win-win.

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writing
Bruce Knapp
Humor Horror
6 months

Always WRITE but when in doubt...
READ!

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writing
Sharon K. Connell
Romantic Suspense
9 months

1. Get it down the first time nonstop without going back to edit or even worry about the spelling.
2. Decide who is the MC and then how many other voices you will need to make this story complete.
3. Keep a list of all your characters, the spelling of their names, and a page of information to refer to as you write about them. Things like, descriptions of their hair, eyes, physique, favorite food and drink, pet words they use, etc.
4. Date the start of your story, write down the main characters' dates of birth and any important dates that might be mentioned based on when the characters are are born so you're consistent with the timing of events.
5. Keep a list of questions or things to check on before sending your ms to your editor.

    • christineucowin 2 monthsAuthor
    • This is such a great idea and I follow this idea myself. I just write as its flowing and correct when the flow stops. I have a list of names and change of names because I'm writing an autobiography.
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writing
David Butterworth
Historical Mysteries Suspense
10 months

1. Just write. Once you've begun to start writing what you want written, the nagging in your head will stop.

2. Write for the love and the craft of the art. Publishing has become an overrated success circus.

3. No one is going to teach you how to write. If you’re interested in technique or some technical skill, choose a more suitable occupation.

4. If you want to improve your writing, read and draw inspiration from among the greatest writers who have lived and are no longer here.

5. Get someone to read what you have written. He or she can see things you can't see and offer constructive criticism.

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writing
Cachline Etienne
New Adult Romance African American Interest
10 months

1. Write. No seriously, just write. You can't become an author without writing something.

2. Focus on getting your thoughts on the paper. You can tidy up afterwards.

3. Challenge yourself. Set word counts to push yourself to do more.

4. Get someone to proofread your book. You'll be supprised to see how many things you miss.

5. Hire an editor for your first books. It makes a huge difference.

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marketing
Taylor Love
Contemporary Romance Erotic Romance
10 months

Market early-and this can be free Social Media, FB Groups, etc Also you can start playing with ADS. Start small and work your way up once you know what you are doing. I often do $1.00 day for 5, 10 15 days. AMS $1.00 a day netted me a profit in sales (minus what I paid for the sales) in my first year of advertising.

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writing
Mary Ting
Literary Fiction Teen & Young Adult
10 months

1) Read or listen to audios. It will help you fine tune your writing.
2) After you are done with your first draft, walk away, and then go back and read again. You will read with fresh eyes and you will have new ideas to make the story better.
3) Don't fret about 1 star reviews. Welcome to the author world. Bad reviews come with the profession.
4) Don't worry about the grammar when you write your first draft. Just keep writing. Fix that during the second round.
5) Remember you CAN'T please ALL your readers. So write to please yourself. YOU must love your story before anyone else can.

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writing
Gypsy Reed
Contemporary Romance Romantic Suspense
6 months

Write clean and edit as you progress in your narrative. Always stop writing when you still have a little left to say, make a note of it and begin there the next time. Go back and re-read a chapter or two before beginning writing, that with your prompt from before you ceased writing will enable you to jump right back into the story.

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