- Editors aren’t there to hurt you.
Yes, we might say some things that you would think are harsh. I’ve had them said to me too. But, think of it this way, an editor is there to teach and guide you, to help you hone what’s already there. A good working relationship with an editor is essential in the writing industry these days.
- You’re toughest critic should be YOU.
This is because you should be thinking always, is there any way I can make this story better before it goes to the hands of editors or betas, proofreaders and the like? Also, what they say shouldn’t get you down but make you stronger.
- Don’t be afraid to work passed that first draft.
I know, people say, “Oh, I do plenty of revisions.” Well, in the eyes of an editor, you can never do too many. And, never be so attached to your ‘baby’ that you’re afraid to change it.
- Promote yourself early.
Yes, get the crowd talking, put out edited excerpts, get opinions, and learn to find your audience. Having readers is just as important as having a stable of writers.
- Writing is a business, not just a book.
After you’ve written and re-written the book, the fun part is over, time to think about the marketing and the publishing side of it. Any serious writer will tell you, it’s all fun and games.
- If your book isn’t selling, don’t stop trying.
If it’s not selling, change your strategy. We Indie folks, we try hard, we work a lot harder than the ones on the top of the list, if you can’t figure out your next move, ask other writers what they do, but never give up trying.
- What works for some, doesn’t work for everyone. Try everything.
Ask yourself, have you tried everything? If the answer is no, ask yourself what you haven’t tried. Maybe it’s as simple as not being so shy and posting a bit more than you do on your sites.
- Better grammar can be learned.
Yep, that’s right. It can be learned if you, the writer, are willing to take the time to learn it. When you get an edit back, where your editor tracked the changes, pay close attention to some of the little things. There is probably a book for that, in college, its English 100 or 101. Also, Google is your friend, if you’re wondering about something, never be afraid to Google it, or ask a friend. And last but not least, the best way is to just keep reading books!
- Sometimes it takes time to pick up true speed with your work.
By that I mean, not everyone is going to start out selling a bunch of copies right out of the gate. Don’t let it get you down. I know, easier said than done. But if you let that discourage you then what are you doing?
- A good copy-edit never hurts.
If you know a grammar-Nazi let them have a look before it goes out to an editor. It never hurts to have multiple people looking at your book. And if you know some betas let them have a look also. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what those are, most of us who came in new had no idea either.)
- Reviews aren’t the be-all-end-all of your book.
Don’t worry if you get a bad review, someone took time to tell you they didn’t like the book for whatever reason. You’ll also have people who like the work as well. That means people are reading your work. And that’s a good thing.
- Are you feeling like you’re suffocating if you don’t write?
We all sometimes feel like we can’t breathe if words aren’t flowing from our fingertips, it’s natural. If you feel blocked in any way, do something different, then go back to your book. Blog writing is a big help to keep us going sometimes when we feel like the words aren’t flowing in the current book. It helps to just write about anything that comes to mind at times. Keep going, keep words flowing, and the right ones will come.
- Angst, we all have it, YOU are not alone.
Sometimes, when we least expect it, we get nervous or angst builds. It happens, we all go through it. The main thing to remember, you are not as alone as you feel like you are as you sit staring out your window wondering what you did wrong. There are millions of writers out there these days. And, chances are, you did write that great story that no one is reading. Don’t let it crush you. We’ve all been there!
- Never be afraid to ask for help.
If there’s something you don’t know, nine times out of ten, there is a nice person out there who will tell you or show you if you have it in you to ask. Be brave, the least they can say is no and let’s face it, we’re writers, it’s not like we haven’t heard that before. So carry on and seek out someone else who will help, not everyone was born a techie or formatting and editing guru. And that’s okay.
- By all means, learn…
Learn as much as you can about the industry. Learn what you’re up against. Learn the laws. Learn how to become more knowledgeable in an industry that’s continuously changing. It will be beneficial to you as writers to know this stuff.
- Never be afraid or jealous of other writers.
It’s better to have a community joined together than a bunch of enemies who can’t stand you because of how you are. Be a humble and friendly and help the network you’re hoping to build by using your talents to help not hinder others out of jealous or impatience. It always helps to be gracious to those around you and never assume anything. Some say it’s a competition, with millions of writers out there, no it isn’t. Just find your audience. If your friends are your friends, they help you as well.
Jennifer Oneal Gunn, Author and Owner at Vigilante Publishing Group LLC.