It has been an exciting journey since I began seriously writing in the fall of 2011. I continually work on myself as an author and as a brand. I believe that we need to keep growing and sometimes that means changing. At the very foundation of it all you need to have a passion for writing. In my heart I know that how you write is so much more important than what, so there is no need to feel chained to one genre.
That isn’t to say that when you work within one genre you don’t become an expert because you do, but when we lock ourselves in to one thing, the joy finds its way out. Here is what I would suggest for all you would-be writers out there, go for it! Write the story that is in you, no matter what it is. Now you have a whole new venue of choices to make and there is no one right answer for everyone because each author is unique.
I would start by rereading your work to yourself. Yep, read it out loud. How does it sound? If you’ve been writing on a computer it is now time to print it off and read it again. Yes, again. Once you are past these two self-edits, be brave and give it to a couple of people to read (beta readers). Invite them to notice grammar, punctuation, spelling and flow. Edit your piece from these beta readers but remember you are in charge. No one said you had to love everything they suggested. Now, guess what? Give the revised version to a few new beta readers. It’s all about… wash, rinse and repeat… a lot.
Now what, you ask? Well this is your journey not mine, but I would suggest you consider how you feel about time versus money. Do you want to write query letters or go the self-publishing route? How much do you have to spend on cover design, editing, marketing, and file conversion? A great cover draws readers in, editing to meet industry standards is important and how are you going to get a clean copy out to your potential readers. Keep asking yourself what items you are willing to do for yourself and which ones you’d rather pay to have someone else do.
Have you developed a headache yet? Don’t worry; just knock off one task at a time. While you are setting up your author budget consider a website and how you want it to look. Create an author page for yourself under your Facebook account and start an author Twitter account. I’ve heard over and over that it is best to brand you the author and not just your book(s). I also recommend LinkedIn because of the many helpful writers’ groups there. Goodreads is another great place to build a presence.
Wherever you go and however you build your author identity, be sure that it is the presence you want people to associate with your author self. Always play nice and you will gain lots of friends, followers and tweeps who will, with luck, eventually buy your book. Please remember to be patient because it all takes time. Now go forth! The journey is half the fun, I promise!
About Lauren Lynne
Lauren Klever is the author of the young adult fantasy, action adventure series, The Secret Watchers. During 2014 Lauren will be rebranding herself as Lauren Lynne, young adult author. She graduated from both Oregon State and Portland State University with degrees in education. Lauren found writing to be just another way to reach her students and she’s passionate about sharing her love of reading and writing with them.
The Pacific Northwest, with its vivid and varied panoramas is where Lauren makes her home. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, working with students, reading, gardening or hiking around Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Coast. Watch out for the lady with the camera, it may be Lauren scouting out the perfect shot for her next cover.
You can visit her at www.LaurenKleverAuthor.com
Add me to your circles http://plus.google.com/+LaurenKlever/about
Note to readers: As I rebrand to Lauren Lynne, young adult author, my links will also change. Where feasible they will look exactly the same except read as LaurenLynne instead of LaurenKlever. (e.g. Twitter may look like @LaurenLynne)
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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