Many aspiring authors spend hours and hours, alone behind their computers tap, tap, tapping away. Then those hours turn into months, and of course, the months slip into years.
This is admirable. If I’m confident of anything, it’s that to be an author you have to be willing to spend hours of your life equivalent to entire years out of your life slaving away writing. I’m just for sure that you need to read at least just as much. http://www.prolawguide.com/
One thing that gets unfortunately overlooked by many is that you also have to be willing to leave your books and your computer behind sometimes. To engage others.
Not that you can’t be an introvert. Thousands of widely regarded successful authors were introverts. That’s is because in some way or another they were able to overcome, albeit sometimes only briefly, their restrictions and step outside of their comfort zones.
That’s because while writing can take many forms; journaling, hobbies writing, personal letter writing. Authorship is a profession, and that means that it falls within a business structure. No matter how sincerely you believe that Jack Kerouac went from nothing to a fantastic book within two weeks of boozing (which FYI, in reality, he didn’t). If you want to move books from shelves, you will need to approach the task earnestly. With a humble attitude that is open to working with others.
The business of writing, designing, editing, publishing, marketing, and selling your books requires a multitude of strangers. Regardless of whether you have a small budget, or you’re JK Rowling.
In fact, the small your budget, the approach is better suited to involving a large number of people each with small, potentially volunteer style task. For instance, having friends complete a narrative edit before giving it to a professional editor, to reduce the amount of paid time the editor has to spend on the manuscript.
For your first book, I highly suggest having a strong group of people who can offer various products, services, and insights to help you stay focused, motivated, and up-to-speed on the ever-changing self-publishing landscape.
Being a successful author requires a lot more than just writing a great book. You have to get into the weeds, be willing to change out of your writer’s cap and into a variety of other hats depending on where you are in the process.
You may not have the skills or willingness to tackle everything with your own two hands, and that’s why it’s so important to develop your own file of go-to resources along the way.
Here are 30 more resources to tap into along the way!
While this list is mostly self-publishing focused, if you’re going the traditional publishing route, you should still have a rigorous shift through them to make sure you are familiar with what is out there.
Useful Blogs and Sites
1. The Write Life
This workhorse blog is a one-stop-shop offering all you need to figure out how to work with clients, navigate the changing landscape of publishing, learn the ins and outs of social media, grow a following for your blog and find a community that will support you along the way. You’ll always find something useful for your book business here. Try not to get lost in the rabbit hole though. There is so much helpful information here I try to time my visits to make sure I’m not eating into my writing time!
If you want to dig deep into the goulash of marketing your books, Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur is your man. His strategies are groundbreaking. Every successful author has to wear many hats, and Dave shares his years of marketing experience and success to show you how to promote the heck out of your books.
3. The Book Designer
Joel Friedlander, the creator of The Book Designer, says “Writers change the world one reader at a time. But you can’t change the world with a book that’s still on your hard drive or in a box under your bed.” This embodies the Community Writer mentality. Joel gives you everything you need to get your book out of the box with a variety of self-publishing guides, advice, templates, and toolkits. With his experience in book design and advertising, Joel has the creds to help you produce and sell a great-looking book.
4. The Creative Penn
The Creative Penn is run by Joanna Penn, who has been wildly successful with fiction and nonfiction. In her blog and podcast, she covers every aspect of what it takes to start and run a successful author business. She also has a grab bag of books on various self-publishing topics if you can’t get enough on her blog.
5. Jane Friedman’s website
Jane has more than 20 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry, with expertise in digital media and the future of authorship. Her site is full of actionable content and detailed strategies for the aspiring author from someone who’s been there and done that many times over.
Podcasts Worth Your Time
6. Podcast – Neuralle (Uncommon)
Please forgive the shameless self-promotion here, but aside from the fact that I will be most likely appearing on this podcast at some point, Neuralle is a fantastic self-development podcast and in my humble opinion a must for any aspiring author or entrepreneur.
Past guests have included Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs, Chefs, Restaurant Owners, Body Builders, Strength Coaches, Activists, Winemakers, Filmmakers and many, many more.
7. Tim Ferris Podcast
This show is the first publishing-related podcast that I followed, and it’s still an all-time favourite. It’s hosted by Tim Ferris an American best-selling author, entrepreneur, self-proclaimed “human guinea pig”, and public speaker.
8. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Every green writer should bookmark this podcast. With helpful and insightful tips on grammar and storytelling, Mignon Fogarty’s podcast is sure to help you improve your narrative and technical writing skills.
9. The Writer Files
Hosted by Kelton Reid, The Writer Files is a long-running podcast that delves deep into habits and habitats of famed writers. Reid interviews writers from a broad spectrum, giving each listener a chance to see into the mind of an accomplished wordsmith within their genre or interest.
10. Neil Gaiman Board
Neil Gaiman’s Official Message Board. Enough said.
11. Goodreads Groups
Goodreads is the mega-site (with over 20 million members) for authors and readers. They have more specific groups than you can count, and if you can’t find an answer or inspiration here, then it doesn’t exist. You might feel a bit overwhelmed, but here’s a smart article on using Goodreads to support your author business.
There are tons of writing forums out there to choose from, so I suggest you have a play with a few of them. This one works a bit differently which is why I like it though. Scribophile provides detailed and helpful critiques from a member exchange. The analyses you’ll get are so much more than just a pat on the back – you’ll get actionable ways to improve your writing.
Scrivener is a powerful writing tool for authors that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring your documents. Get a free 30-day trial and watch some brief YouTube tutorials to get acquainted with the system quickly.
This proofreading application is an improved version of your standard spellchecking program. Just copy and paste blocks of text into Grammarly, and it will check your writing for common mistakes. The reason it’s better than most spellcheckers is that it provides useful feedback that will improve the overall quality of your book. You will learn a lot very quickly by taking heed of the side bar suggestions and explanations.
15. Hemingway Editor
Excellent writing is quite often straightforward writing, and Hemingway was the master at that. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, your narrative should get to the point with simple language. With the Hemingway software, you will learn how to simplify your writing.
Book Publishing and Freelance Help
16. Archangel Ink
Archangel Ink is a one-stop solution for getting your book ready to publish. Archangel offers a range of services to help you with cover design, editing, formatting, audiobook production and much more. I feel that if you haven’t published before you learn a lot by manually going through the process of completing your manuscript via Scrivner, finding editors/cover creators via say Reedsy/Freelancer and then uploading it to KDP/Createspace. However it can be frustrating, so I completely understand throwing down some cash and handing of some or all of this to someone else. I’m currently considering using Archangel Ink to produce and audiobook for me.