Monday, 18 April 2016

Useful tips for aspiring authors!

Over the past couple of years, it has been my pleasure to help other authors with a few hints and tips that would have made my life so much easier, had I known them in the beginning.

I decided, instead of just giving a couple of people these tips that I would write them down here in the blog.

This is not a definitive list of hints and tips, but it's a pretty good place to start!

So, you have this burning desire in your heart to be a published author.
You've had an idea for a novel going around your mind for years.
Where do you begin?

Whether you decide to self-publish through KDP select, Smashwords, or Draft2Digital, or if you decide to try your hand at submitting to a publisher, it is good to get yourself organised.

Every writer will tell you that one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is procrastination. Hence the fact for tip number one. I always say get a diary — a big one.

  1. Get yourself a big diary. Get one of those large ones it has an entire day per page. That way, you will be able to plan your week and pencil in things to do in the future. Don't worry, this isn't as scary as it sounds.
  2. Get a blog. Choose either WordPress or blogger, unless you know some other ones, set it up, make it beautiful, but don't worry that it has no content yet! (Notice I said YET!)
  3. Start an author page on Facebook. Facebook is a great place to actually talk to people. I know, I know it's only typing, you're not face-to-face, but this is very interactive and readers really appreciate that.
  4. Start an author Twitter account. Love it or hate it, Twitter is a useful tool. Other authors love it and we would be foolish to ignore it.
  5. Go back to Facebook and link your Facebook author page to Twitter, so that every time you post on Facebook, it automatically tweets for you. Now, this is a little complicated, but there are some excellent tutorials on the Internet to help you do that.
  6. Write. In fact, the best thing to do is to put that in your diary. Put it in your diary ever really single day. What do you write? My next blog post will be about that! ;-)
  7. Go back to your diary put in 'write something' on every page; Monday to Friday, if those are the days you wish to work. (You can choose any days of the week to work, that is entirely your choice!)
  8. Write a blog post once a week, at least. In the beginning, you can chart your journey as a writer. Write down how difficult it is to begin. Tell people what it feels like to have writers' block. The most important thing is that at least once a week, you write something. One great tip for this is that while you were reading other people's books, especially in the genre that you plan to write in, you put a review on your blog. (don't forget to also put the review on Amazon or whichever site/place you bought the book from.) I will also write a blog post about that, too ;-)
  9. Set up your blog so that it will post to Twitter, Google plus, Facebook etc. etc. Then, when you have made your post, you can share it with the social media world. 
  10. Post updates on Facebook and tweet them. There are some fantastic little blog widgets out there that will help you to keep track of your word count. These are great for visitors, as they show how much you've written and are a) Encouraging for you and b) help to show those who are interested in reading your work that you are still writing.
Wash, rinse, and repeat! 

Eventually, what you will be doing is filling your diary with little things. You only need to be adding one or two things in your diary every day. For example, post a review, tweet your word count for the day. But what this does,this not only helps you to get yourself organised and beat that evil procrastination that lurks around every corner but also begins to build up interest in what you were doing. At the end of the day, that is your objective; to build up interest in your work, so that when you are ready to put it up for pre-order, people actually want to buy it. They will have been on this journey with you and they want to see the end result.

As I said before, this is not a definitive list. This is merely a list of 10 hints and tips that will help to get you organised and get you thinking in a productive way.

The key here is; LITTLE AND OFTEN!!

Rome wasn't built in the day so don't expect your novel to be written in a day, or you're following to be huge in a day.

It will happen. Keep writing. Let people know you're writing. 

I wish you all the best!

Let me know you are writing, too! I want to know if this list has helped you! I would also like to know if you would add anything to this list. Anything can be improved if we all get together and help each other!

Happy writing  — Karen x