Wednesday, May 24, 2017

10 Things New Writers Need by Kayelle Allen @kayelleallen #authors #amwriting

10 Things New Writers Need by Kayelle Allen @kayelleallen #authors #amwritingAre you a new writer? Is this you?
I'm a new writer and...
a) I need help
b) I don't know where to start
c) I am starting to panic
d) I need my head examined for thinking I could do this
e) all of the above.

No matter what your answer was, don't worry! Wherever you are in your author career, there's help. Here's a checklist of things to do and/or create that will help you begin to market your book.
As with any advice, remember this is my opinion and not gospel. However, I have experience. I've published with small press and I've self-published. I have twelve books out (with more on the way), and I have six websites (yes, six). I founded a peer-mentoring group for authors (Marketing for Romance Writers) in 2006 and since 2009, I've managed a blog called Romance Lives Forever that features over 350 authors per year. I facilitate a critique group in my community. Authors talk to me.
Others may give you conflicting advice. That's to be expected. Not every item on a checklist will work for every person. Consider all sides, then go with your instincts -- and what you have time and budget to do.

Things New Writers Need

If you haven't already done so, consider setting up one (or more) of the following. [Don't let this list scare you. I've developed these over a period of several years. Begin working on it now and you'll accomplish more than you think.] I listed them in order of what I perceive as their importance, based on personal experience.
  1. Set goals for yourself. Create a list of things you can accomplish in 3 mos, 6 mos, 1 yr, 2 yr, etc.
    Make your goals "SMART" - http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/smart-goals.html
    S - specific, significant, stretching
    M - measurable, meaningful, motivational
    A - attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
    R - realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
    T - time-based, timely, tangible, trackable
  2. Develop your brand - what you're known for (mine is Romance Lives Forever)
  3. Create a mission statement - Mine is "To give readers a great roller coaster ride of a story that brings excitement, fun, and takes them in directions they didn't expect." One of my reviewers wrote, "Think you know what'll happen next? No way. It's by Kayelle." Exactly the reaction I was going for.
  4. Design a logo or avatar and use it everywhere (mine is on the right)
    10 Things New Writers Need by Kayelle Allen @kayelleallen #authors #amwriting
  5. Grab a Gravatar -- what is this? A Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site? Once you create your avatar or logo, upload it here. http://en.gravatar.com/
  6. Get started on social networks like Facebook and Twitter (both are essential). Don't like the idea of social marketing? If you want to be a pro, suck it up. This is how the world does business in the 21st century. You can only have 5k "friends" on Facebook, but a pro page is unlimited. The interactions are different, but it's helpful to have both types. Each has its own use. Tweet every day.
  7. No matter who tells you otherwise, you need a website even if you're not published yet. Would you open a new business without having a store? No? Then don't bypass a website. It's vital. Don't get a free site. Those include ads and are a turn off to readers. Save your pennies and buy one.
  8. Get business cards. It's surprising how often you'll hand them out. Tuck them into giveaways, leave them at local businesses, tack them up on bulletin boards. If you have a website, you don't need a phone or address on them. My business cards have brought me business every month for fourteen years without showing a phone number. Instead, they have my website.
  9. Get a domain name that has your author name first. If that URL isn't available, add author or books to the end. Use JaneSmithAuthor not AuthorJaneSmith. Why? When people want to find you, they will begin typing your name, not the word author. You'll come up faster in search results if your name is first. If your excuse is you don't know how to do all that, then hire someone. I have six (yes, six) websites which are managed for me by Personalized Marketing Inc. Tell Dee Kayelle sent you and you'll get a nice discount. She does author marketing too.
  10. Always always always use a professional signature in your email. The signature may change, based on your newest book, a message you want to convey, and many other factors. I have a document that holds all my various signatures and commonly used links, and I keep it open while I'm online so I can copy/paste or ctrl+drag info into an email or window. Here are two I use often, one ultra simple, one complex.
    Kayelle Allen
    Kayelle Allen
    Author and Graphic Artist
    Enter my world www.kayelleallen.com
    www.twitter.com/kayelleallen ~ www.facebook.com/kayelleallen.author Marketing for Romance Writers www.bit.ly/mfrwgroup ~ Romance Lives Forever www.rlfblog.com

That's the basic checklist for writers. Want to know more? Join Marketing for Romance Writers and you'll learn plenty. It's free and members promote one another.

About Kayelle Allen

Kayelle is a best-selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. Her graphic design graces multiple book covers, banners, and websites.
Enter her world https://kayelleallen.com
Twitter http://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Facebook http://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author
Reader Group https://kayelleallen.com/bro


Tina Donahue said...

Great advice, Kayelle! Writing is hard - but IMO promoting is even more difficult or maybe just less pleasurable. It takes total dedication and persistence to make it in this business.

Kayelle Allen said...

OMG that is so true, Tina. Like any other worthwhile pursuit. Professional athletes spend years training for a five minute performance. Authors have it easy compared to them. :) But it's still hard work and dedication. Not for the faint of heart. No one can take away your dream unless you let them. Don't let them.

Tina Donahue said...

Couldn't agree more, Kayelle. Every time someone says it's easy to write romance, I want to slug them. Nothing is harder to get on the page than emotions. Murder, mayhem, etc. are easy - that's reporting what's happening. But an emotional journey is freaking hard. There simply aren't enough words in the English language to convey everything. Too many people still believe that a bestselling author simply woke up one day and said - "Hey, I think I'll write a book!" and the money poured in. Yeah, right.

Kayelle Allen said...

I've introduced myself as an author or mentioned it when asked "what do you do" and had people say "Oh, I've always wanted to write a book" or "I almost wrote a book." Inside, I'm thinking "Yeah, well I did it!" LOL It's not easy at all. Journalist Gene Fowler once said, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."