My Advice For Beginning Writers
by Bradley Convissar
This blog post is going to be geared towards authors like me, those who have a full time job and write on the side. I know there are many people who have the luxury to write as a full-time job, but I am talking mainly to the people who are trying to juggle their love of writing with a day job. Juggle their love of writing with a family and the responsibilities a spouse and children bring. Like a wise man once said… if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. If you can find time to write despite the maximum amount of distractions out there, then you can succeed. A lot of this information will be the same as you have read other places, but that’s okay. If you can pick out a nugget or two, then it was worth it.
My first piece of advice, the most important piece of advice, is this: even if writing is nothing more than a hobby in your mind, a side project, you need to treat it like a job. You can’t just say “I don’t feel like doing it today”. It’s like the gym. Or flossing. One day off spirals to a week off. And then weeks. You cannot write sporadically or haphazardly. You need a schedule and you need to keep to it. Of course things come up: emergencies, busy days, vacation, etc where there is simply not time to write, but you need to do your best to drag yourself to your chair every night, sit down, and do it. And once you start, a lot of times it’s hard to stop.
If you are married or live with a significant other, you must make that person understand how important writing is. That you view it as a second job. If he or she doesn’t understand, it can lead to friction. So make sure you have that discussion before they think that you are ignoring them.
If possible, and this may seem silly, but find an old computer without an internet connection. The internet is the devil. I’m serious. It is so hard to sit down, especially when suffering from some writers block or lack of inspiration, and get to writing when there is a whole World Wide Web out there to explore. Facebook and Tumbler and Twitter and Youtube and game sites… they all offer so much more in the way of instant gratification, and the urge to play around is hard to ignore. Half of the posts on my Facebook feed are from other authors: Get off of Facebook and get writing. I know, it’s impractical to find or buy another device just to avoid the internet, but you need to find some discipline because procrastination is your enemy. I could write a whole post on this, but I’ll leave that to someone else. When you sit down, you must resist the call to play games or play around on the internet, because once you open Firefox or Chrome or IE, you can pretty much count your writing session, or most of it, goodbye.
Keep a drink at hand to keep you from eating. And I don’t necessarily mean something alcoholic
If you plan on publishing yourself, plan on spending some money. If you want to be treated like a pro, you need to put out a professional piece of art. Get a cover done by an artist. Pay an editor to read your manuscript, not only for grammar and spelling, but for content. Beta readers and friends are great, but someone who is an actual editor is better. You need to view this as a business. You think to think long term. Cover art and editing is an investment that will help you grab and keep readers.
Don’t want to give away your masterpiece for free, even for a few days? Write some short stories and sell them for free through KND select. The samples that Amazon offers are good, but a lot of readers want to see your ability to craft a whole story, not just the first twenty pages. Remember, selling books is a lot less about the monetary investment for readers. $.99-$2.99 is reasonable. Potential readers are much more concerned about wasting TIME. They are much more likely to pick up your novel if you convince them of your ability to write short works. Some of my most devoted fans discovered me by reading free short stories first.
Pricing. Yes, on a $2.99 book, you make 70% for every sale while on a $.99 book you only make 35%. But remember, 70% of nothing is nothing. At the beginning, if you are unknown and need people to take a chance and write reviews, you need to sell at $.99. At least for a while.
Keep on writing. Even if your first book doesn’t sell thousands of copies, don’t let it depress you. The more books you have to sell, the larger the library, the bigger the chance of developing new fans. It is a rare author that hits it big with his or her first book.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller / Horror
Rating – PG13 bordering on R
(Horror with some violence / Some sex, not overly graphic)