I was asked to give some writing advice, but I’m not sure if this is what was wanted or not. It is advice that I wish I’d been given long before I released my first book the Regency Romance, “The Fencing Masters’ Daughter” in late September of this year.
You have worked hard and have got your book finished? You’ve even found a publisher? You’ve signed a contract and are bathing in the anticipation of becoming a published author, novelist or poet? Or perhaps you’ve decided to go the self-publishing route? But hallelujah! The book is written and once you’ve agreed a cover and final proof, there’s not much left to do? The book will soon be prepared for pdf format and have an IBSN number, then all that you’ll need to do, is to put it on Amazon or Smashwords. Then you can wait for sales to come rolling in, while you get on with writing a second book?
That is the dream, the fairy story that all new writers want to believe. It is seeing the industry through rose-tinted spectacles. The truth is that writing the book was the easy bit. Even the rewriting, editing and other decisions before publication were simple tasks you sailed through. Now the real hard work and grind starts. If you’d had any forethought, you are already on Facebook, building up a large group of writing friends. You will need them. Your publisher or your friends might have advised you to join Twitter and build up a following, because you will need support when you start to promote your book.
So here is the news you don’t want to hear before your book release. Whatever preparations you’ve made to promote your book before it was released, will not be sufficient. Unless you have already got a fan base, or have made your name in some other field, few people are going to buy the book of an unknown new writer without a lot of advertising. The only other exception is if your book is very controversial, but even if it is; that information will need to be disseminated to the wider reading public.
Are you intending on offering the book for free for a limited period? That offer may be avidly accepted and push you higher up the ratings; but you will not be making any money. You’ve answered many author questionnaires from friendly bloggers and written follow up articles for them to post. Have you had a trailer made for the book or arranged to spend your own money for extra advertising? Review copies have been sent out and you wait in hope that the reviewers will be kind in what they write. You may even have your own blog in which you’ve been posting articles about your opus. Or possibly you held a give-away event and cover reveal before the book was officially released.
Getting a string of honest five star reviews may help you achieve some good sales but there can be no guarantee of sales. If you write because you enjoy writing, then perhaps that won’t matter to you. But if you hope your book will earn some cash; then you may well be disappointed. You have choices; continue to promote your book to the best of your ability, pay for commercial support to market your book or continue to write primarily for the pleasure of the achievement.
It can be disheartening to new writers, but in the long term the writers that will succeed will have tenacity. They will have learnt their craft, promoted hard and got a following of fans who appreciate their work. They will survive brief fashions in writing and have proven their value to readers. I hope that I’ll eventually be one of those writers and I wish many of you will join me in that claim.
About Giselle Marks
Giselle Marks has been writing for many years. She has written two Regency Romances and a Fantasy/Sci-fi series with erotic content. Her first published novel The Fencing Master’s Daughter was published by Front Porch Romance in September 2013. Her second Regency Romance, The Marquis’s Mistake, will be released by them in November 2013. Her Fantasy series, The Zeninan Saga, is currently being edited by Nevermore Press and should start appearing in the near future. Giselle is currently working on an erotic fantasy novella called Lucy, which she hopes will be available in the New Year.
Check out Giselle's website here
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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