“The End” is Only the Beginning
Writing a book is only a small part of the actual process of becoming a successful author. Once the imagination has been transferred into print, it is sent off to an editor, where countless hours are spent polishing a rough manuscript into a novel that you hope and pray that readers will enjoy.
This is only the beginning, and when the real work starts.
The number of authors who are published, whether traditionally or self-published, is constantly growing. Unfortunately, once your novel is out in the world, that moment is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. You have a lot of work ahead of you. Success doesn’t come without a price. It’s an extremely tough market and only the firmly dedicated will survive the work, time, and effort it takes to be an author.
My advice is to not get discouraged. You have already accomplished something monumental by completing a book, a feat not many are able to claim, but know that you will likely spend more on marketing at the beginning, rather than see any profit, It’s all a matter onfwhat you’re willing to do, and how badly you want that dream to become a reality.
So how do you grow that reader base?
Personally, I suggest utilizing any resources at your disposal. I was already a presence on social media and in the process of growing my followers when I got published. But that doesn’t mean my books immediately got noticed. I was a newbie, with no one and nothing to recommend me, except for my own desire to accomplish my dreams, and my family and friends who were cheering me on. Word of mouth is great, but that doesn’t always sell books, nor does it guarantee that you are worth taking a chance on.
So what did I do?
I continued to grow my social media following. I started a website and began advertising. I went on virtual book tours and joined author groups, anything that might help me ‘break out’ into this competitive and tough industry. I signed up for book signings and conferences as a reader.
Going online is a great way to chat with people, but networking in person is even better. People get to know the real YOU, something that is hard to do through a computer screen. Some of my ‘rock stars’ are veteran authors. While I have had a good experience with most of them, there are a few that aren’t as approachable as others. As a fan, that definitely discourages me from supporting any future endeavors.
You have to be friendly. That is KEY. Not only is the publishing industry a rough business, but so is the world in general. Be the reason your reader leaves your signing table with a smile. I guarantee that will do more for your sales than if you act as though you are too important to be there. No matter how successful you get, don’t ever forget that you were once a struggling writer as well.
For me, that’s the best advice I can give.
Stay humble and be kind.