10 Little-Known Tips for New Authors

10 Things Every First-Time Self-Publishing Author Should Know

I love late night talk shows. (I’m staying up late to catch Clooney on Jimmy Kimmel.) I adored Leno’s monologues (still miss him, though I marvel at Jimmy Fallon’s talent), but Letterman had the trademark on the Top 10. So as a tribute to late night icons and to the upcoming launch of my first novel, I thought I would share my Top 10 Tips for Writing a Book.

  1. Create and pay for your own ISBN # so you stay in control of distribution.
  2. Have a few honest friends give you early feedback—it’s hard to judge your own work. You know the old saying, “It’s hard to tell if your baby’s ugly.”
  3. Print on demand  so you can make early tweaks.There are always more typos than you think are humanly possible! CreateSpace is a great option.
  4. Don’t go to layout until you are sure you have no more changes. I mean absolutely, positively, 100%, no more changes sure.
  5. Find the right PR firm. The best way to test them is to see who can produce a good media kit and how many current media contacts they have.
  6. Learn the world of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. Understanding these platforms for growing your brand is critical.
  7. Do spend the money on a proper website. It’s your home base and your identity.
  8. Have other projects or work that balance your focus on your book and allow for a fresh perspective.
  9. For reviews, Foreward/Clarion and Midwest Book Review seem to be the most Indie friendly, in my experience.
  10. And most importantly, remember that some of the most famous authors have a pile of early rejection letters. Don’t let it discourage you!

While writing Free of Malice was a labor of love, as a first time self-published author, I have learned that writing the book is just the beginning. Taking the manuscript to final product, distribution and promotion are just as important. Hopefully my Top 10 tips will make the journey a little easier for others who are just starting out. Fellow authors, what tips would you add to the list?

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