You’re a writer because your head is full of stories that you need to tell. If you have the self discipline to keep writing, you eventually end up with a first draft.
You put it away to get some perspective and come back and edit it to death. If you’re not going to chase agents and publishers, you decide to self publish. That means you’re responsible for everything.
I quite enjoy editing. Writing is art and craft: the first draft is the art, the inspiration and creativity, after that it’s craft. The craft involves editing, critique partners, an editor, beta readers and all sorts. Whatever help you use, eventually the novel is finished. What happens after the writing?
As Michelle Mason Evans says, ‘You can’t sell a secret.’
The book needs a cover, a blurb, a media kit. Then it will need uploading to Kindle and Create Space, and promoting like mad. Social media and blogging can be fun, but you’ve got to put the work in, and I WANT TO WRITE.
That is the hardest balance to find: between the writing and the promotion. There’s no point writing a book that nobody reads, and no one will read it if they don’t know it exists. You need to be on social media, you need a ‘platform’, you can automate a lot of your platform, which is great, but you do have to set it all up and monitor it.
One of the important things, which I’ve neglected before, is reviews. I’ve asked friends to review my books, and some of them have, but it’s not enough by a long way. Readers judge books by the reviews, so you need a lot. I’m reading up on guides on how to get reviews and searching the internet for sites that might help me (but I’ve been told never to pay for reviews).
After a while you may gather a lot of followers, friends etc. on the various social media platforms, but if you make genuine connections with people with similar interests, they can promote your book to all their followers. Then you do the same for them. Not only do you reach more people, but you come recommended.
BUT it all takes work, and time, which you have to commit yourself to. All these things come after writing, if you want your book to be a success.
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz