Monday, July 7, 2014

The Top 30 Things An Author Must Do To Succeed

1.         Get on Facebook, gain hundreds or thousands of friends/followers (the sky is the limit) and   post every day. Photos of cute little puppies are loved. Certainly post some of those.
2.         Reply to messages and comments you receive on Facebook. Stay involved and keep a positive attitude.
3.         Get on LinkedIn. Post every day. It is more professional and people will once again be able to follow what you are up to. 
4.         Get on Pinterest, Google Plus+, Tumbler, Instagram, Flickr, Twitter and Goodreads. Don’t be a social media outcast. Be faithful and responsive: you don’t want to lose your followers.
5.         Get a YouTube account and make videos that support your work. Speaking of that,
6.         Put together a trailer for your book. It is intriguing, so why not give it a try? You might need help on this so,
7.         Find an expert to put together a trailer for your book.
8.         Put together an awesome website. You can choose to go for free websites, but even so you’ll need to keep it fresh and unique. Maker it stand out.
9.         Join a critique group and/or a writer’s group. This can be online or in person – whichever you prefer.
10.     Attend a writer’s conference. Before blindly charging into this one, however, make sure to put together a perfect pitch, rehearse it a thousand times, and then make it sound as though it was not rehearsed a thousand times.
11.     Teach a class at a writer’s conference. Put together the ‘Rainbow Story Arc.’ Weave the colors through the tome. Red represents anger, Blue depression, Purple epitomizes passion and yellow, pleasure. Figure out what orange represents. How can you teach?
12.     Find speaking engagements. This can be about anything, but of course speaking about your publications or soon to be publications is most beneficial (though you can always throw in a story about puppies. As I said earlier, puppies really do sell).
13.     Visit a plethora of bookshops. Watch people shop and see what they pick up in your genre. Is it the cover that intrigues them, the title? Maybe the back cover blurb? On this same topic,
14.     Check out Amazon. What’s selling? What are your competitor’s reviews looking like? Oh, speaking of that,
15.     Write reviews for your critique and writer’s group friends. Oh, but before you can do so,
16.     Read books. Read in any genre, but focus on the genre in which you are writing. Read a variety of authors. Read classics too.
17.     Meanwhile, don’t forget about your own book. Find a graphics artist for your cover. Don’t go cheap or your best seller will look cheap and won’t be a bestseller.
18.     Many authors will tell you to write about what you know. Though I agree with this advice, don’t hesitate to venture slightly further (as long as you get your facts right of course!)
19.     What? You haven’t gotten a blog built yet? Come on! Make it fresh, post faithfully (even once a week will do) and keep your followers interested.
20.     Pitch your book. Knock out several query letters a day, get those submissions going (both for your book and, if you have any, also short stories and poems to magazines to get your name out there).
21.     Get that computer fixed up. Bring it in and get those five thousand viruses taken care of. Speaking of that,
22.     Clean up the junk in it. Old pre-edited works, photos, abandoned blog posts and goofy ideas. Ideas?
23.     Make a file of great story ideas. You can’t work on everything at once (sadly).
24.     Keep a journal. You’re a writer, correct? You need to document insights, thoughts and emotions. Speaking of which,
25.     Go to a café and inauspiciously watch people from behind your sunglasses. Observe how they move, how they look. Make notes in your journal.
26.     Set up a professional email. Publishers will not be impressed if you send them emails with the address you made when you were ten!
27.     Get a professional head shot. You aren't going to impress potential agents and publishers with any old selfie. Put it on all the social sites, the blog and the website. Now you’re branding!
28.     Find a good editor to clean up your work. Yes, your sister can be critical and give helpful feedback, but what do you think a trained professional with years of practice can do?
29.     Shop for e-Magazines that fit your work and offer to write articles for them. Send a sample article. Send another. 
30.     Find a buddy and offer to guest write on her blog. One hand washes another, right? Get more traffic to your sites.

     Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to write.

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