Friday, 15 November 2013

My Tips For Authors

We've all seen the tips on writing and promoting books and other things literary. So here's a few I've picked up over the last couple of years on being an author.

Appearances Count

They say don't judge a book by its cover. But we do. So you've got the snazzy book cover, your website looks awesome, and you've got some cool as ice business cards. What else?

Get some promo materials. Not just business cards but flyers and postcards as well. People forget about emails you've sent, links you've posted to their Facebook walls, and things you've Tweeted them. They quickly get lost in the ever growing pile of electronic noise.

But you give me a postcard and I'm more likely to check out our wares. They don't have to be hard to make. A quick search of the internet turns up hundreds of discount printers who can turn around postcards, flyers and posters in a matter of hours. Artwork doesn't have to be a hassle either, just try not to use the site's standard templates. Have a look around for royalty free and creative commons images (always credit any artists you use. They'll thank you for it!) and pick one you like. Or hit up any artists you know. It might cost you a bit but you'll have something which stands out from the rest.

And Smile!

For the love of all things great, get some photos taken! If you find yourself giving an interview, or someone needing a photo of you for whatever reason, the last thing you want being used is a Facebook photo of you drunkenly gurning at the camera. You only have to take a look at some of the articles on music site Blabbermouth to see just how some atrocious photos are used (Yes, it's believed they do it deliberately!). Put on your finest clothes, brush your hair, and grab a photographer friend. Go somewhere nice, or somewhere interesting, or your back garden. Do something interesting. Get some nice photographs taken so you've got something to hand out if people need it.

The ones I use were taken by a friend in exchange for dinner. It did involve a hike up to a castle in high heels (never again!) but it paid off with some really pretty pictures.

Be Nice

Seriously. It's not hard to do and people are more likely to remember you if you've been nasty to them. Yes, we all have our bad days. We're only human after all. But try not to moan, especially about your situation as an author. Whether you're self published or traditionally published, there are people who follow you and will have a certain image of you in their minds. If you break that image, you've broken their trust in you and, in turn, probably lost yourself fans and readers. By all means moan about your day, the weather, the traffic, or whatever, but remember that, as an author, you're in a somewhat privileged position. A smile will make you a lot more friends than a frown (unless you're Grumpy Cat. But let's not go there because this post will descend into nothing but photos of our favourite frowny feline).

Saying that, play up to your quirks. I've managed to turn being grumpy into something which I think makes people smile. Thanks to everyone who sends me Grumpy Cat stuff! You're only helping to fuel that fire! ;) Be yourself and continue what you're doing but keep the moaning private.

No One Left Behind

Remember those who've helped you get where you are. You might not be selling books at the rate JK Rowling does but, somewhere around you, there'll be a team of people helping you along. This may be people at your publishers, friends, family, the local community, or work colleagues. Send them a card every now and again. Drop them a gift at Christmas. Say thank you. Again, emails, Facebook messages and Tweets are great but there's something so much more personal about sending something through the mail. Trust me, people love getting things which aren't bills and junk in the mail.

No One Left Behind Take 2

Some people do need a slap in the face with a shovel. But, for this one, we'll forget about them. Authors are generally a really great bunch of people. So let's help one another out! Promote each others books, help others who are struggling, hold competitions, and get involved with events. Together, we can do this!

Thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate it!


Rae spends her days running around a care home and her nights in front of a computer. When she's not writing or making people laugh, she enjoys listening to music, keeping in touch with her friends, and fangirling over various bands. She's threatened to write a novel about some of her life experiences.

Her first two books, Mars on the Rise (Veetu Industries #1) and Selling Mars (Veetu Industries #2), are available through TorquerePress. Her next two books, The Eve of War (Veetu Industries #3) and A Second Past Midnight, will be coming out in 2014.