I am starting a new post called Author Advice. It will be words of advice from other Self-Published Authors in the Indie Writing World.
Today's Advice comes from S.M Dahman who is the Author of Twisted Greens.
As a new independent author, I've committed many errors along the way. However, as is the case in life, with every error I’ve made, I've learned something new and valuable. Here are 3 critical things that I’ve learned along the way in my 5-month journey so far:
1. Hire an editor. Editors are your friends! Yes, they can be rather expensive, but they are essential! No matter how strong of a writer you are, you’re going to need a professional editor. A good one will not only point out your grammatical errors, but she or he will help you become better writers by teaching you how to hone your craft (e.g. streamlining your plot, making sure it’s logical, how to make the characters or your plot more realistic, etc.). By the time you’re done working with an editor on your project, you’ll see your story from different angles that you never could have imagined.
2. 2.Start building your platform while you’re writing your book. In regards to marketing, this is actually the number one thing I wish I would have known from the beginning. If you’re intending to be self- published, you’re going to need to start pumping up your book before you even send it off to an editor. Social media is a great starting point, but don’t limit yourself to just that. Tell everyone you know about it! You never know who may be interested in the story you’re telling.
3. 3. Finding your audience (or tribe) takes time. Boy does it! Finding your audience does indeed take time and it also ties into cultivating your platform. The best starting place in building your audience is to start with yourself. Now, this may sound strange, but bare with me as I explain. People tend to hang out with other people who have similar interests as themselves. This is no different when it comes to readers. If you’re a person who loves to smoke, jam out to Bob Marley, and wax philosophical, more than likely your work will reflect that as well, in some shape or fashion. You can start seeking your audience out by finding those individuals who enjoy doing the same. If you do seek likeminded people out on social media, don’t only “favorite” or “like” a tweet or a post, actively engage (say why you like that comment, why you favorite that picture). You never know what opportunities a simple comment may lead to. I hope my 3 tips have helped someone out there. If you’d like to know more about me or join me in my journey as an independent author, you can find me on Twitter: @twistedgreenz, Google+:google.com/+SMDahman, or my blog at www.smdahman.com
Stephanie (S.M.) Dahman