Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guest Post by Jennifer Burrows / Into The Light

Starting Out As A Writer-5 Things You Should Know

I love this topic! Everybody wants to know the secret to becoming a successful writer.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a set road map for everyone.  If there was, it would be much easier.  It’s different for each individual based on the genre, networking capabilities, and if your story is what people are wanting.  With that said, let’s dive in. 
Number Five: The chances you’re going to become mega successful are slim to none. My husband always says, “I can’t wait for you to make it big so I can quit my job.”  I just smile and nod at him.  Of course it would be amazing.  I’m going to do everything I can to get there.  But in the back of my mind, I continue to focus on what I love—writing. I get the opportunity to do what I am passionate about.  That’s the reward and I’m lucky. 
Number Four: You don’t need a publisher to publish your book.  I had a publisher for my first book and I self-published my second.  I’ve been more successful with my second book than I ever was with my first.  My publisher didn’t do a lot for me except create headaches.  I’ve done all the marketing and networking on my own.  Oh, and self-publishing is incredibly easy!
Number Three: Find a good group of beta readers.  Your friends and family are not an asset where this is concerned.  My husband is a lit major.  No help there. My best friend is an avid reader and is very critical when it comes to books.  Not really a lot of help there. These people are too close.  You need someone who is objective and doesn’t give a crap about hurting your feelings.  These are the people who will tell you honestly if your story sucks.
Number two.  Networking is your best friend.  Go to writers conferences, join an online group, become a part of a writing club, etc.  Make friends.  Share your experiences. That support group is so necessary. Writing can be a lonely profession.  If you find a person to share your ideas, fan bases, and tips, it will make things easier for you.  One of my author friends did a giveaway of my book on her website.  I got almost 100 new likes on Facebook in one day. 
The number one thing you should do is make friends with the bloggers.  People told me this over and over.  Common sense told me I needed to.  The problem I had is I’m no one.  I’m a new author.  The bloggers get tons of inquiries a day to read and review books. One by one, I was shot down.  Most didn’t even write back.
In order to get their attention, I started giving them things to give away on their page. Mostly is ecopies of my books.   They love this.  It gets you exposure while making their fans happy trying to win free items.  It’s a win-win.

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