Saturday, November 17, 2012

To Become a Better Writer (MY POV)

I have never been more determined to make a name for myself then now. Up until October 9th of 2011 I had been working at an Ice Cream Parlor for three some odd years. After several months of no longer working there, my husband, Shawn took up a stalking position to help support us. I couldn’t have asked for a better guy.

I guess up until mid-year, around June or July, I loved writing but I guess I really didn’t know what it takes to make a good writer. I spent so much time working on just one story that I forgot about all the other things like: book covers, blurbs, getting my name out there, starting a social media connection with people, and many more things. I was just set on writing that one good story which would “make” my career.

In the end I struggled to figure out why people didn’t want to read my work when it came out, or why people weren’t really even viewing it, but it was my fault. Just posting your book up and expecting it to be a big success isn’t going to work. Writing the book is only part of the battle, becoming a good sale person and pitching it is also a big part of it. If you can’t convince people that they want to read your book, than no one will.

The first thing I needed to do was take a step back and view what I was doing was wrong and see how I could correct it. Mind you this is after having written something.

1: I needed to get specific. Break down: What would I love to write about? What kind of genres does it fit in? Poetry or Prose? Fiction or nonfiction?

2: Once I figured out my style of writing at that moment it was time to dust off my social skills and connect to people. I created an Author bio in third person, a small set of information such as: likes, dislikes, favorite books, movies, ect… A couple of pictures of myself after having decided I would use my real name on my stories (Some people use pen names as they are testing out the water.). I created a Twitter account, A Facebook personal page and Author’s page, and a Blogger account which I have linked to my Gmail. You want to spread the word of your story as far as you can reach and these are just some of the places to do it. Mind you that honestly is good no matter what you are doing and you shouldn’t feel these pages with false information to discredit you in any way.

3: Now as I begun to establish my connections I needed to check my work. Go back to my manuscript and edit it. I also needed to provide a good cover. For those in which neither is an easy task you will be surprise what joining an author’s group on facebook can do. You will run across people that will volunteer to help edit, people who create covers, and those that will review your book. All of them are great. They are your friends. So I had to get over the fact that I would be spending money at some point, but use what you have first. If you have an editor in the family, don’t be afraid to slid your manuscript their way and promise a little mention or something. If you have a Photoshop pro in the house ask them if they could help, but if you don’t you may need to hire someone and its okay. A good cover will help to increase sales.

4: As I waited to hear back from people about creating a cover (and keeping up with my social media) I needed to take the next biggest step. I had to decide where my manuscript would go. At first I figured just Smashwords, which is a free online eBook website, but after thinking about it I realized that I wasn’t limited to just one site. Every free eBook site you go to has a different style guide and thus more work, but in the end it’s worth it. So I placed my manuscript not only on smashwords, but Amazon as well. Amazon is viewed and recognized by a much larger crowd and thus is makes sense to get publish with them. You can also put it up on, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads. The good thing about Smashwords is that once your story is up it isn’t just up on the smashwords page, but they spread it so several other sites which is explained on their website.

5: After I figured out where my manuscript was going I began to sale it. I created a short blurb (a short summary which would be vital to help me sale it), little sales pitches, blogged excerpts for people to get a taste of what was to come, set up a date for when people could buy it, and spread the word as far as I could go. (You can never go far enough so no matter what keep trying to sale it, even after you’ve published.)

6: Once I had the manuscript edited, a nice cover, a blurb, a good working title (which you should have come up with early on), and what appeared to be several people backing me up I submitted it and announced to the public is was online and ready for purchasing.

7: Continue to write! This is the most important step that I have come to realize.

You shouldn’t expect to make it big off of one story and this was my biggest mistake. I thought, I could do it, but I couldn’t it. Yes, I was heartbroken when I realized my sales weren’t going up and yes I questioned if it was possible, but after stepping back and walking through the steps above I launched my book again on Amazon this time with a new cover and a new thirst for success! I received the gratification I had been looking for and received a few sales. It was these sales that gave me the little spark I needed to continue on.
I had accomplished becoming a self-published author, receiving a good review, plenty of compliments, and many new friends and supporters. In this moment you must take in all the good and try not to get a big head. Take your new found drive and put it into the next thing you are writing. That’s the secret. Keep writing.

1: Make a writing schedule and stick to it.
2: Create not only long stories but short ones.
3: Promote all your works as often as you can without spamming.
4: Last, but not least, it is okay if it’s free.

Making a story free isn’t a bad thing. You’re not losing money if you do it right. If you wrote a Trilogy and you give the first one away, depending if they loved it or not, you just created a potential buyer for the next two books! That’s one more person you didn’t have before who could tell a friend and give you more buyer. Making a short story free allows people to get a taste for what you write and a chance to review your other works.

In the end it all comes down to you, the writer. It is rare to strike it rich early on and many people won’t make enough of a profit in this field to no longer need a part time or full time job, but what you can take away from this is the fulfillment and enjoyment of bringing others into your world or to bring a smile to a child’s face.

And to those that do strike it rich, do not forget what it took to get you there nor the people that assisted you along the way.

My name is Brenda Franklin and I am a Writer by day and Vampire by night. J You can reach me on Twitter, Facebook, my Author page, or continue through my Blog. If you would love to read any of my works (including the FREE ones) you can find them on Smashwords. I also have Book One of The Pulse Trilogy, A Steady Pulse on Amazon.

Please feel free to leave a message and tell me what you think. :) 

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