5 Things You Should Know
Being a writer is amazing. But as a writer, there are a few things you still need to remember, because the worst mistake you can make is compromise your writing because someone told you that you should.
1. Writing, just like reading, is subjective. You don’t just go to the bookstore or look online, clicking “buy” or snatching every book on the bookshelves that you see just because. You look, you consider, you read little blurbs, and then you decide. Writing is the same. You have to write what you believe in, no matter what anyone else says. Sure, there will be constructive criticism, and that you should listen to, but don’t go back to your manuscript and start changing scenes and deleting characters because of someone’s opinion. If you feel they’re on the right track, then of course take it into consideration, but if you feel like you are compromising something by doing so, don’t do it. Because you won’t feel good about it otherwise, never mind want to stand behind it!
2. Reviews are like a box of chocolates…you know the rest! Negative reviews are unavoidable, unfortunately. Think of your favorite author on this planet, then go to Goodreads and look at your favorite novel on the planet that he/she wrote. And you will see that 1 star. You’ll probably even see “HATE HATE HATE” scrawled all over one review, for no particular reason other than just hating the novel. Yep, no explanation at all. It will just be there, like some sort of horrible, one-eyed Cyclops. But again, this doesn’t mean your book sucks, or you suck. People like what they like, and hate what they hate. Remember that you’ll fall into both sides of that scale. There will also be that one 5 star review, followed by how much that person loved, loved your book. And that, my friends, is a feeling that will quickly pulverize the Cyclops.
3. Be nice to bloggers! Okay, this is so utterly important I probably can’t get it across to you in one paragraph, but you have to know this. For indie authors, bloggers are your saviors—they are the ones that get your book out there. They are the ones that can take you out of the slush and make you relevant. Therefore it follows that you need to treat them as a person. Yes, they are people, people! When you ask for a review, know that they’re going to be honest in that review. That review you asked for just might be negative, but remember, that’s okay! Your book is still being talked about. It’s still hanging out on someone’s blog and getting onto a reader’s radar. It definitely does not deserve a very mean rant directed toward that blogger that you asked to review. A polite “thank you” is all that is necessary. In short, don’t be mean, don’t be cruel. They’re doing their jobs, and you need to do yours. In a professional manner.
4. Patience. Success does not come overnight. Or over-week. Or even over-year. It just…happens, especially if you put the work into it. There are so many avenues to take as an indie author to get your book out there. Blog tours, reviews, book cover reveals, chat forums, so many! But this all takes time, and effort, and more time. Reviews won’t be instant (in fact, you often have to book them months in advance), tours won’t be tomorrow…you get the gist. Just keep at it, keep emailing, keep requesting. The fruits of your labor will eventually manifest themselves.
5. Believe. This may sound lame, but you absolutely have to do this: believe in yourself, believe in your work. No matter how many hits on the chin you take, remember why you’re here, why you did this. Because you love writing, you love sharing your story with other people, and even if you affect just one person, it’s all worth it. You’re here because you love what you do. Reviews will come and go, but your writing is forever. So hold your book close to your chest and just remember: I freaking wrote a novel.
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