In the past two years, I have self-published five books. Most of them are parenting/children’s books; however, I did release my first work of adult fiction this year. Each book that I released taught me a little more about the industry, my strengths and weaknesses as an author, and relationships with my friends and family. Here are a few things I have learned since becoming an indie author:
1. Writing the book, for most authors, is the easy part.
2. Some authors edit their own work, and do a great job. But I have learned that professional editing does pay off, and IT’S NOT THE SAME as general (or even college-level) editing. These guys know more about comma splices, fused sentences, correct tense, passive and active voice, and the use of single and double quotation marks than most authors. Most of them became editors because they enjoy the technical side of writing, whereas most authors simply enjoy the creative side. This is not to say that there aren’t some excellent author-editor superheroes out there. But chances are, they either received formal training on editing, or they took the time to research the process and became better with each book they published.
3. The cool thing about researching editing tips is, once you learn them, you tend to not forget them, which saves you time and money on future published books.
4. Most authors are too close to their own work, and too emotionally invested in it to be able to edit thoroughly. Many times it’s because they know their story inside and out, and tend to skip right past common errors – such as passive voice, proper tense, and omitted words.
5. Asking for reviews from friends and family is like asking them to help you move. They love you, and want to help, and even want to be able to come visit you in your new home from time to time (i.e. – read your book); but if it conflicts with their lives or schedule, it’s probably not going to happen.
6. Friends and family are not always going to tell you when your book needs work, again, because they love you.
7. Marketing is an everyday endeavor that most authors dread; however, the greater level of online presence and engagement you have, the higher your sales will be. And you will receive more reviews.
8. Success doesn’t usually happen overnight, but new connections that lead to success can!
9. Supporting others goes a long way in the industry. One hand washes another. Eventually, YOU will be the one with clean hands! Until then, you must keep digging in the trenches.
10. If writing is your dream, just keep at it. Passion tends to be an infectious thing…it eventually spreads to others. If you write what you are passionate about, eventually, you will find others who share your passion!
FEEL FREE TO COMMENT AND SHARE ANYTHING YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT THE WRITING/PUBLISHING INDUSTRY!