Category Archives: publishing

3 Author Behaviors Which Will Kill Your Career

3 Author Behaviors Which Will Kill Your Career

Happy days, you’re an author. Whether traditionally published, or self-published, publishing a book is a wonderful achievement, so kudos to you. Chances are you’re on a high. Unfortunately, that high won’t last. After the happy glow wears off, it’s time to consider that you’re now a pro, and think about what that means.

Basically, it means that what you say and do matters to your career.

You’re a professional author — what you say and do matters to your career

You’ve published a book. Whether you sell ten copies or 100,000, be aware that people are watching:

  • Editors and agents will Google your name;
  • Your readers will form an opinion of who you are, and that will affect whether or not they buy your next book;
  • Other authors will form an opinion too.

Let’s look at some author behaviors which will damage your career, or kill it entirely.

1. Acting like Cinderella: waiting, and waiting some more

This is very common author behavior. Cinderellas wait for other people to do stuff, because they feel that this is their route to success. They wait for:

  • Their agent and/ or editor to get back to them;
  • Readers to provide reviews;
  • Advertising to boost them into bestseller-status…

I met a writer I hadn’t seen in two years. When last we spoke, she was sending query letters for her first novel out to literary agents. Since I hadn’t heard that her book was out — not surprising, because so many books are published — I asked her who her publisher was.

She told me that she didn’t have a publisher. She’d parted ways with Agent One, and was now with Agent 2.

There’s not much you can say to that, so I made commiserating noises and asked what she was working on.

“Oh, I’m not writing. I want to see how this book does.” I wished her well, even though I wanted to shake her.

If you’re waiting for something, stop waiting. Keep writing. My friend could have written three or four more books in the time she was obsessing about agents. Not only would her additional novels had made her a more appealing prospect to both agents and editors, but she could have sold at least one or two.

And of course, she could also have self-published her novels, without waiting for anyone.

Listen up. Writers write. Everything else is totally peripheral. Whatever you’re waiting for won’t change your basic reality: you write today, you’ll write tomorrow, and you’ll write the day after that. As for waiting for things to happen: your aim needs to be to do all you can to make them happen.

2. Being a big mouth: gossiping, and/ or sharing proprietary information

This behavior is unfortunately common among traditionally-published authors, but self-publishing authors are guilty of it too. Traditionally published authors gossip about their agent and editors, and their sales; self-published authors gossip about their designers, web developers, other writers, and their sales.

Shush! Stop it, please.

Please don’t gossip. Word gets around, and sooner or later people won’t return your calls. It should also go without saying that you never share any proprietary information given to you by your agent, editors, or anyone else with whom you’re working.

3. Being a depressing Eeyore: cheer up!

Eeyore is a pessimistic stuffed donkey in the Winnie the Pooh books:

He usually expects misfortune to happen to him, accepts it when it does and rarely even tries to prevent it. His catchphrases are “Thanks for noticin’ me” and “Ohhh-kayyy”.

Never complain in a public forum, and that includes on your blog, on Facebook, in groups… Several editors have told me that when they’re considering an author, they check his social media profiles carefully. Any hint that you’re high-maintenance and prone to complaining, and you can kiss a publishing contract bye-bye.

Everyone has challenges. You can be as weepy as you like in the comfort of your bedroom or home office, but aim to be cheerful in public. You don’t need to be a Pollyanna, but remember that you’re a professional author.

Anyone and everyone can and will Google your name. Even if you’re a member of a private mailing list, or private Facebook group, these groups are public spaces. Keep everything positive.

Your career as an author is up to you

Be professional, and kind. Your career is always what you make it. Enjoy it. 🙂

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Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels. More info →

Indie Publishing Survey: Exciting Results For Self-Publishers

Indie Publishing Survey: Exciting Results For Self-Publishers

Bestselling author recently Marie Force recently conducted an indie publishing survey.

In this blog post, Survey Indicates Indie Publishing is Pot of Gold for Some, Work in Progress for Many, Marie wrote up her findings, and reported on why authors were indie publishing:

29 percent reported they are indie authors because the frustrations are minimal. More than half the respondents say the biggest benefit to being an indie author is agility and the ability to pivot when needed.

Takeaways from Marie’s indie publishing survey

Please read the article, it offers useful insights which you’re bound to find useful as you create your indie publishing plans for 2017. They might find you changing your strategy completely, or they may confirm what you already have planned.

Indie publishing in 2016: insights…

Here are some insights from the survey: almost 2,000 indie authors took part, so it’s a fair sample.

  • In an average month, between new releases, 33% of authors report making between zero and $50. On the other hand, 15 authors (0.80%) reported making between $30,000 and $40,000. A single author reported making $500,000 per month between new releases.
  • 13% of the 2,000 authors reported that self-publishing supports their family.
  • 87% of the 2,000 authors reported earning 70% of their income from ebooks.
  • The majority of the authors survey reported that 2016 was their best year in self-publishing since 2010.
  • I found this fascinating: authors reported equal success, whether they were giving Amazon an exclusive, and their books were in Kindle Unlimited, or whether they were going wide (not in KU, publishing on multiple retailers.)
  • 50% of the authors spent less than $50 a month promoting their books in between releases.

Indie publishing going forward: the best is yet to come

This year many indie authors have reported that their sales were down, from September onwards. Marie’s survey should give you a jolt of optimism, if you found your own sales lagging — some authors had their best year in 2016 since 2010. 🙂

Read Marie’s post, and use the insights to make 2017 your best-ever year in indie publishing.

(And if you’ve yet to get into the indie publishing world, take the plunge — you’ll love it. :-))

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Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories

Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories

Want to write short stories? If you answered yes, that's excellent… Here's why. Today, you can make money writing short fiction. More info →
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Giggling: Amazon Versus Authors

Giggling: Amazon Versus Authors

Authors: you’re in trouble. So says Douglas Preston, anyway. He’s traditionally published, as are his pals in Authors United, so they’re bewailing the fate of the publishing industry. Again.

You’d think they’d get tired of it, and leave the publishing industry to its fate, but they don’t. I’m starting to think that all this whining is just a public relations ploy so that Preston and his pals can sell more books.

You’ve got to hand it to Joe Konrath, he slices and dices with the best of them. I love his Fisking Douglas Preston article, it’s a gem:

”Doug, show me where Amazon charges excessive prices where it meets no competitors. Then show me some competitors it drove out of business.

”Wait… you can’t? Perhaps because Amazon isn’t a monopoly, or engaging in illegal business practices that drive competitors out of business? There are still a lot of bookstores, both online and physical. In fact, haven’t you heard? The number of indie bookstores is growing.”

Preston’s problem…

What, you might wonder, is this problem that Preston’s complaining about? Here it is, from Konrath’s article: “We believe Amazon has used its power in ways that harm the interests of authors, readers, booksellers, and the publishing industry as a whole.”

It’s enough to make you tired. Your mileage may vary of course, but as far as I can see, Amazon’s helping the publishing industry. After all, it’s almost single-handedly established a brand new publishing industry — ebooks.

Read Konrath’s article. You’ll find lots of laugh out loud snippets, like: “Amazon is not a monopoly. Repeatedly whining that it is one doesn’t make it so.”

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial fiction has been around since the days of Charles Dickens. Self-publishing authors love it. Discover how to write serials in our new four week class. Coaching is included — you’re not writing alone.

By the end of the program, you’ll have published several episodes of your serial fiction. You’ll also be steadily marketing, while you’re writing and publishing.

Join us: you’ll have a lot of fun, and you’ll boost your fiction writing career.

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How to profit from your writing: online store.