Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Every first Wednesday of the month the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) post is meant to entourage, assist and inspires other bloggers, writers and authors. This is a safe place where we post our insecurities and share them with the world as well as offer assistance and encouragement to others.

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is also holding a contest! Visit today for details – lots of great giveaways.

As always, a big thank you to our host, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today's co-hosts are Julie Flanders, Heather Gardner, Kim Van Sickler, and Elsie is Writing. Please visit them today to thank them for their time and effort.

I can't believe this is the last post of the year for IWSG. It only fits that I summarize what I've learned this past year. It's been a tough one, but with my family's support and the encouragement of this group as well as the blogging community's, the journey has still been worthwhile. I'm only writing this because I feel comfortable saying it and please note, this is only my experience, so yours may vary.
  • A little writing every day goes a long way. I've written over 400,000 words this year, (yes, I need to update my widget on the sidebar) but only because I developed a routine of writing first thing in the morning, every day.
  • Each book I've published is better and sells better than the next one. So it goes without saying that 'practice makes perfect'. Now I'm still far away from perfect, in fact I don't think I'll ever get there, but we aren't born able to walk or talk either. It's practice and encouragement from others what helps us achieve that. The same goes for writing.
  • Read, read and then read some more. If you're a serious writer, this should be part of your job. And if you are a writer/author, reading shouldn't feel like a job.
  • As a writer and publisher, I found making close connections with those writing in your genre is crucial. Cross-promotion between authors is a must to succeed.
  • Writer's Cafe at Kindleboards is a great source of information. Ensure you read the rules of the board before posting.
  • Just because you write a great book, it doesn't mean it will sell well. A lot of luck and marketing comes into play. I don't believe those who say they just upload a book and it starts selling (unless they're established authors). I speak to this from my own experience so if this has happened to you, I'm assuming you're sleeping on a bed of horseshoes and eating four-leafed clovers for breakfast. The competition is huge and ruthless. There are a lot of savvy authors out there with marketing cruising in their veins.
  • If you're in this career for the money, you have better luck winning the lottery. The ship for making a quick buck in publishing sailed over a year ago. Is it still possible to make a good living? Yes. Am I speaking from experience? No, LOL! Well, not yet.
  • Your fans should be your best friends. If you get a personal email about how much they enjoyed your book, put that information in a nice spreadsheet. Reply, politely thanking them and ask whether they'd like an ARC of your next book. This will play a huge role on your release days when on day 1 or 2 you suddenly have 20 reviews. It works! (for the reviews) Plus there's nothing better than fan mail!
Ok, I think I've covered the most important points.
Can you identify with any of these points? What are your insecurities today? On another note, are you done your Christmas shopping?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a lot of writing!
I have improved with each book and hope that trend continues.
I wish there were more authors in my genre willing to connect. Science fiction writers are an odd lot. I'm grateful for the friends I have made in my genre though.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Marketing for me is the pits. I tend to dawdle, and not put much effort into it which is wrong on my part. It sounds like you have your head together and have a great ritual, keep it up.

shelly said...

Excellent on the writing.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Marta,

Congrats. Glad you found a routine that works for you and your books are selling.

You definitely have your hand on the pulse of the current publishing world.

Thanks for sharing…

Happy Holidays!!!

David List said...

Thanks for those words of wisdom! I've finally given up the get-rich-quick mentality and chosen to go indie. If an author is to be successful, it should be after many books. You're definitely on the right path

Annalisa Crawford said...

It sounds like 2013 has been a great year. Thanks for sharing all the things you've learnt - some great tips I'm going to try out :-)