From Hobby Writing to Author

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When I first started my journey as an author, I had no blueprint. I just started with a Google search and compiled all my research.

With this research, there were techniques that worked and quite a few that were a waste of time. There’s so much information and it can be overwhelming to find what you need and steps to get started. Here are 9 tips that I used to help me on my journey to becoming a published author.

Tip 1 – Know Your Audience

If you’re writing for a hobby, continue to write and journal and let it all out. However, if you are writing to become published, you must know your audience. Questions I ask myself when starting a project: What are their demographics? Who will this impact? What will they learn? Why do they need it?

Tip 2 – Know Your Genre

Knowing your genre is just as important as knowing your audience. You need to study the genre you want to write. It will make things easier for you and keep your audience happy!

Tip 3 – Write and Write Some More

Writing is a skill that gets better with time and practice. The more you write, the better you’ll become. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they help you learn.

Tip 4 – Start a Blog

Blogs are a great way to start your fan base, long before your book is created. If you have a strong following from the beginning, it will be easy to get your book in front of your audience and we all know the importance of word of mouth!

Tip 5 – You Must Have Thick Skin

You must be prepared for rejection. You must be prepared for criticism, sometimes harsh criticism. You must be prepared to know that not all your “writer friends” will like your writing. As a matter of fact, writers are the worse critics.

Tip 6 – Don’t Be Cheap, Invest in Your Book

Transitioning from writer to author results in a mindset change. You must go from being a hobbyist to starting a business. Oh, you didn’t know? Yes, being an author is a business. If you want to be successful, you must invest in your business.

Tip 7 – Quality Over Quantity is Important

This goes with step six. If you want your work to be taken seriously, you must put in the time and effort to produce quality work. This may require paying a little more for that editor for your manuscript or illustrator for your book cover. First impressions are important, and your book is your first impression.

Tip 8 – Choose Your Publishing Option

There is a debate with authors about whether one should self-publish or go through a traditional publisher. There is no right or wrong answer. It is a matter of preference. However, it is helpful to know the pros and cons of both platforms. Do your research to see which option is the right one for you.

Tip 9 – Create a Marketing Plan

This is a step that many authors do not budget for. They write a book, publish it and are confused as to why they are not receiving sales. I feel that creating a marketing plan, is just as important as creating a business plan. Do not rush this process. Create your plans (marketing and business) so you can get the results you worked hard for.