A Not so Sexy but Helpful Post

I’ve been in this business for about a decade and I’ve learned a LOT along the way.  I read blogs by successful authors.  I follow social media experts like Kristen Lamb.  I take notes, both mentally and literally.  The best thing about the writing community, well, is that it is a community.  We help each other. We give each other spots on our blogs, swap books for beta reading, editing and sometimes review.

I like helping my fellow authors.  I also like getting help.

But I find that I’m starting to get very irritated by some of the newbies.  With books like 50 Shades increasing the interest in erotic literature, there are a ton of people trying to hop on the bandwagon and they are committing every atrocity in the business.  They will use you, step on you and lie.  They have shitty cover art and slap a “New York Best Seller” label on the front. BITCH PLEASE.

I’ve been calling people out on facebook.  I’ve posted little snippets.  So, I decided just to make a post and hopefully, other authors will see and share.  Below applies to all genres of writers.  I’m even providing links of blogs I’ve followed for years.

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What NOT to do:

1. DO NOT TRESPASS: Collaboration is a gemstone in this industry.  I’ll cover that under my DO list.  But USING other authors is a huge no-no.  Don’t post your crap then tag every author you’re friends with on facebook.  That’s no different than putting signs in your neighbors lawn advertising for a service that they don’t use.  Don’t trespass. Don’t post stuff on other’s facebook walls without their permission.

2. DO NOT BE DISHONEST. Do not, under any circumstances, swap reviews for books that you do not read.  Don’t ask people to post reviews for you.  The public will sniff you out as a liar.  Having several 5 star reviews from folks that obviously didn’t read your book is a quick way to land your name and novel in one of the many Amazon Forums… not the kind of attention you want or need.

3.DO NOT LOSE YOUR INTEGRITY.  There is no fast way to the top. It takes time and a SHIT TON of hard work.  If you have the money for advertising that can help speed the process.  Don’t follow people like Melissa Foster who will encourage you to use people… there is a large group of folks who really dislike her for it – and I’m one of them.

4.  DO NOT utilize auto-post features.  This is self-explanatory.

5. DO NOT GET YOUR TITLE WRONG.  First, it’s “aspiring” not “inspiring.”  Second, you are either an author or not.  Believe in yourself.

6. DO NOT GET INTO THE BUSINESS… if you’re not going to stay.  The pool is already diluted.

books_and_wine___later_by_dh6art-d45r29oWhat to DO

1. Follow a social media expert like Kristen Lamb. She gives a ton of advice on her blog for free and she has a few VERY REASONABLY priced books also.

2. Read blogs by folks like Joe Konrath who have been in the business for a long time.  True, he had a back list and that helped… but he’s done the hard work and will tell you how to do it (for free.)

3. If you need to learn how to write effective queries, read The QueryShark.  Janet Reid is no longer doing this, but the archives are full of goodies. UPDATE: I JUST NOTICED THAT SHE’S BACK!!!!

4. Collaborate.  Find other authors to post on their blogs/pages for you.

5. Take the time to contact reviewers for HONEST reviews.  This takes a lot of time as most reviewers have a large pile of novels they still have to get to.  Some will pass. Some won’t even reply. According to one marketing company I spoke with, there’s about a 20% rate of response.

6. Do be respectful.  Respect your audience and your fellow authors.

7. Do read. Read a lot. Read in and outside of your genre. Read the paper. Read blogs of folks who have made it big. They almost always give advice for free.

Most of all, remember that this is a profession.  You must act like a professional.

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2 thoughts on “A Not so Sexy but Helpful Post

  1. Thank you Anita, this is a very thoughtful and informative post. I certainly appreciate the good advice and I will certainly take heed of your valuable insights.

    I have been approached by authors, who I will not name, who have offered to provide me with a ‘canned’ review to post on their behalf…I declined. I’ve adopted a rule, I don’t accept ARC’s or freebies. I only post reviews for books that I have purchased and that I’ve also read. I feel that purchasing the book and posting an honest review is an effective way to support authors I like.

    Thanks again for this post, I will share it.

    Like

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