Advice from One Newbie Author to Others.

I’ve written two books since June. I self-published the first and the second is almost ready to go. I’ve learned a TON, and it’s been so fun. Here’s a brief rundown of what I’ve learned that’s worth sharing:

(1) I published exclusively on Amazon and I did KDP Select. This means I can’t sell my ebook on B&N, Smashwords, Kobo, or through any other venue. IT WAS FREE. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THIS SERVICE, EXCEPT AMAZON’S CUT OF THE ROYALTIES. You can earn 70% royalties on your book, and that’s impressive.

(2) I highly recommend KDP Select. It limits your ability to publish to other venues, but you can run promotions, check your sales and rank 24/7, update your cover, price, blurb, etc., and Amazon makes it easy. Like, even if you’re stupid with computers easy. Plus, any time I’ve had an issue or question, I’ve emailed Amazon and they’ve emailed me back within a day. Trust me, if you’ve spent any time in publishing, you know this is supremely awesome.

It’s so awesome it deserves a Lenny.

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(3) Two resources have been indispensable to me as an author and a self-publisher: Stephen King’s classic “On Writing,” and J.A. Konrath’s blog.

(4) Stephen King tells you to write every day. You’re a writer, right? So keep a word goal and right every day, even if you have PMS or your kid is throwing up. Or both. That’s the only way to ever get from Point A to Point B.

(5) You need to be informed about the book market; it’s in serious flux. You need to get informed and stay informed. (Konrath’s blog is great for that.)

(6) Look at other authors in your market — look at their covers, their bios, their websites, their blurbs, their marketing strategies. Look on Amazon and see what’s hot in your area. I’m not telling you to do this so you can have a comparathon, which turns into an angstathon, but just so you can be informed of the market you’re looking at.

(7) That being said, DON’T WASTE TIME ON ALL THE WHITE NOISE OUT THERE. Stop reading this blog. Get off Twitter or Instagram or Tumblr or whatever it is that you cool people do these days. Get back to your document. Finish it, and then edit the crap out of it. Have an honest friend read it. Get it proofread. Do a good cover. Go make yourself proud.

I’ll be back, eventually. We’re all in this together. Now good luck – go get ’em!

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