It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since my first book, For the Love of Jazz, was published. To say it’s been an enlightening journey would be an understatement. There have been good things and bad, ups and downs, and challenges and rewards beyond my wildest dreams. Other than wishing I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t change a thing. Here are three things I learned in the last year.
EDIT, EDIT, AND EDIT AGAIN
Everyone says this, including me, but I’ll say it again. Edit until you can’t edit any more, and more importantly edit with purpose. I made the mistake of relying on my publisher to do a thorough job of editing my book and was sorely disappointment. Having said that, I need to know how to properly edit my books also. There were basics I should’ve learned and should learn as a writer.
DON’T FEAR PROMOTION
It’s a harsh reality, but even with a traditional publisher, you’re still responsible for promoting yourself and your book. Some authors shake in fear and run for the hills, while others put on blinders and get back to writing. The thought of promoting your book can be nerve-wracking, so I’m going to share what helped me the most.
Research all the options
There is a lot of information about marketing and promoting which is a good and bad thing. Reading through the information before you get started will make it a little easier.
Go with your gut
There are so many options out there and everyone is telling you which ones you should do. My main advice? Pick the ones you’re most comfortable with. You’re more likely to be consistent (and hopefully successful) if it’s something you’re good at and comfortable doing. Bookmark the things you’d like to experiment with later, and scrap the stuff you know you’ll never do. Hopefully, this will save you a lot of anxiety because there is enough already. 🙂
Make sure you’ve prepared your marketing plan so you can continue to focus on writing. Once the promo period has passed (approximately 1-3 months) don’t panic when your sales dip. Instead, focus on doing small promos (tweets, posts, etc.)and connecting with readers to keep your book out there, but then focus your attention on writing the next book. Many times readers of your new book will buy the other books which is a great incentive for writing that next book.
Now unto the fun part! PRIZES! To celebrate the one year anniversary of my book, FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ, I’m doing two things:
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Tweet about the giveaway for the chance to win a copy of my book. Check out my Facebook page to enter.
GIVEAWAY TO REVIEWER #40
Did you read the book, but haven’t gotten around to leaving a review? Have your bought the book, but haven’t gotten around to reading or reviewing it yet? Here’s a little incentive. I will be giving away at $10 gift card to your choice of Amazon or B&N if you are reviewer #40.
Obviously there are rules. I couldn’t make it that easy for you. Mawhaha! The review should be at least 2 short paragraphs long and be relevant to the story or characters of the book and not just a random review without context of the story. It should be an honest review and your opinion of the book. I won’t hold it against you if you didn’t like the book, honest. 🙂 Email the review link to email@example.com and I’ll send your prize.
To all those who have read and/or given FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ a review (good or bad) I want to say thank you for your support and the push to make me a better writer.
So true, Elke- and great ideas here as always. I love to come here and always learn something new! Best of the Holidays to you and your family! I bet you’ll be writing!
Aww! Thanks, Lorraine! No writing. I promised my family time with them. January 1st is another story. 🙂
I really liked this post and what you had to say about editing. It often can be a boring part and if we leave it to someone else to do it might not resonate with our voice. Also very smart of you to reward the 40th person who leaves a comment regarding your book. Wishing you soaring sales in the new year.
Thanks for stopping by, Carol! Glad you like the post. Same to you in regards to sales. Happy New Year!
Great post, Elke. Congratulations and continued success with For the Love of Jazz.
Edit, edit, edit. Don’t fear promotion and keep writing. Excellent advice!
Thanks, Julie! Happy New Year to you!