I’ve been in the publishing world for a while now and I’ve picked up some things along the way. One of them is that there are far too many people out there willing to take advantage of the hopes and dreams of new authors.
One thing I’ve heard over and over while working with indie authors is that when their book is published they are going to have the money to do XYZ or they automatically assume that a movie deal is just around the corner.
Guys, reality check. By some estimates, there is a new book published to Amazon every five minutes. Every five minutes the market becomes more saturated. Every five minutes, your audience has been given another option to buy. Every five minutes, your competition grows.
I don’t want to burst your bubble here, but I need you to understand that hitting publish on Amazon or signing a contract with Simon & Schuster does not automatically make your dreams come true. If you want to be successful, if you want to sell books and make an income, if you want not only everyday readers but people in the movie industry to take notice of you, you have to work your butt off. From start to finish. From the first draft to the final product and beyond. Writing a book is not enough. You have to have a basic understanding of story structure and grammar; you need to understand marketing and design.
Like any other career, you have to build it, work at it, and make it. It will not just drop in your lap.
Taking a little bit of time to properly set the stage before beginning can save a lot of frustration in the long run. I’ll walk you through a few things you can do to help prepare and eliminate distractions before they begin.
- Gather your tools.
- Set goals:
- Estimated overall word count
- Word count goals
- Set a schedule for writing time.
- Using the Nerdy Kat Word Count Tracker
- Tips to eliminate distractions
- File Maintenance
What is the difference between a Plotster and a Pantster? We’ll take a look and determine how even pantsters can become better prepared to tackle the long-term story arc with ease.
- Plotster vs Pantster
- Using the Nerdy Kat Scene Sketch Form
- Know your characters
- Using the Nerdy Kat Character Sketch Form
- Working Title
Finally! You are ready to let the words pour from your soul. Wait. Before you jump in, take some time to learn a few tips to make the journey a little easier.
- Settle in and Stay on Task
- Hook ’em From the Start
- How to Create a Story Arc
- Using the Nerdy Kat Beat Sheet
- Editorial Tips
- Formatting Tips
- Keyboard Shortcuts (PC and MAC)
Yes, you, the writer, must also edit BEFORE sending it to an editor. Learn some tips on self-editing and how to know if your editor is a good fit for you—and a qualified editor.
- Self-editing tip: Find and Replace is your best friend.
- Things to look for when re-reading.
- So, you didn’t format from the start…
- Things to look for in an editor.
Now that your book is polished and ready to be seen by more critical eyes, let’s determine the best route to publication for you. Whether you have hopes for making the NYT Bestseller List or just want to share your talents with friends and family, you need to be prepared for the road ahead.
- Self-Publishing vs Indie Publishing vs Traditionally Published
Indie / Traditional publishing
- Researching Publishing Houses
- Writing a Query
- Writing a Synopsis
- When do you need an agent?
- Understanding contract basics
- Writing back copy
- Design cover art
- Design ebooks
- Design print books
- Listing books for sale
- How do I price my book?
- Dealing with Piracy
If you’re a writer, you also bust become a salesperson. No one is going to push your book as hard as you will. Learn some tips on planning for a release, setting up ads, and editing your own videos and photos to self-promote. Oh…and how not to break the law and get sued.
- Copyright laws
- Who needs marketing?
- Social media
- Author networking
- Finding and using stock art
- Marketing plan mock up
- Building a website in WordPress
- SEO basics
- Video basics
- Creating a book trailer
- Facebook ads
- Twitter ads
- Amazon ads
- Finding local fairs and book events
- How to get your books in book stores
Money, Money, Money…and how to manage it
- Profit and Loss Sheets
- Creating a Budget