On Part Three of this series I talked about various ways of gaining followers on Twitter and the value they hold for you as a writer. I ended the post with something I’m sure many of you considered a little ridiculous, but amazingly enough, it is something that is extremely important.
Your attitude towards your writing and interaction with others can make or break you.
When I first started researching all the various avenues in publishing, I quickly discovered that I had a horrible attitude that threatened to defeat me before I even began this journey. I possessed an elitist attitude I never knew existed. That has been an extremely hard pill for me to swallow. I never thought of myself as better than anyone else, but when it came to my books, that was a whole different story. You always hear people say to let your work speak for itself. Well that’s fine, if people know about and are reading your books. But you have to get to that point first. In the meantime there is a lot of work you have to do just to get your books noticed and if you aren’t careful, you could easily destroy that chance. Most of these need to be done before you even think about putting you books on the market. You need to establish a foundation in which to launch your work. Without a foundation you can quickly find yourself in quicksand getting lost in all other books fighting for that very same spot you desperately need to find success.
- Samples of your book need to be available – when I first read this suggestion from other authors I thought “no way!”. The first thing that came to mind was that someone was going to steal my story and publish their own version of it before I had a chance to publish it. We all hear the horror stories. But the truth of the matter is, if you are virtually unknown then you have to put your work out there for other people to get to know you. That is why literary agents and publishers love to hear about your writing experience and where you have previously been published. You cannot afford to treat your work as if it is a treasure that only the chosen can touch. Think of yourself as a door-to-door salesman. You have to prove your product is what you say it is and the only way to do that as an author is to allow people to sample your work.
- Make your network as large as you possibly can before you publish – At this point, it doesn’t matter who is in your network, it’s about getting your name out there and making the title of your book a topic of discussion. Think of the Kardashians. Not a single person out there knows why they are celebrities but everyone that has a television has heard their names. Just because of that faux celebrity status ride they are on, they have the golden ticket to do just about anything they want and be successful just because everyone wants a piece of the pie they are feeding from. It’s disgusting but that’s how this world works. You want to be known, you want the title of your book to be talked about so much that people can’t wait to read it just to satisfy their curiosity. Then once your book is published, that’s when your book is able to speak for itself.
- Create a description of your book that is so enticing that people have to know more – this is perhaps one of the most difficult things I have come across. I can write hundreds of thousands of words to tell a single story but I could not find a way to adequately describe my story in a few sentences. It took months of talking to others about my book to get to the point where I could pin it down to that all important hook paragraph. You have to prove that your story is original and not like every other book in your genre. Then you have to get the word out to as many people as you possibly can. You have to create a buzz and keep it sizzling, releasing an aroma so delicious that when your book is published you already have people hungry for your book. Don’t be discouraged if your network consists of mainly other authors because frankly, we are readers before we are writers. Your’re fellow writers could very easily become your greatest fans. My twitter account works in two ways for me, it helps me get the word out about my book and it helps me find other great books to read. I can assure you, I’m not the only one.
- Give your introduction time to marinate and radiate – Don’t expect instant success the moment you introduce something new. It takes time to get people interested enough where they will invest their time in anything. In fact, most people are so tired of all the crap out there that they will wait for someone else to be the guinea pig. That is why it is so important for people to write reviews of your book. If you can have reviews already written before you publish your book then you have exactly what you need to prove to people that your book is worth reading. Find a few people that you can trust to be honest, allow them to read your book, and then ask them to put their thoughts on whatever site you are selling it on. If you can do that, then you have accomplished one of the most difficult tasks every author faces. I have read in several places that it takes about six months to get a book noticed and moving. You don’t have to wait for the book to be on the market before that time period begins.
Don’t make the same mistakes I did. I was in such a rush just to say that I had my book available that I skipped a lot of these steps. Now I have to backtrack and try to make up for all that lost opportunities that I did not take advantage of. Timing is everything and you have to test the water before you jump head first. If you do all of this before you publish your book then you have the time necessary to change whatever isn’t working so when you do launch your book, you can relax and enjoy the ride.