10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before
By Sonja Hegman
Being an author is not filled will all the glitz and glam you might think. It’s hard work. You can’t just write your book, send it off and be done. The before and after prep for a book become a full-time job after writing itself.
1. I’ll admit, I was a little blind-sided by everything indie authors must accomplish just to make themselves known. It’s not easy task. And so, here are a few things I wish I’d known about being author before I ever typed my first word.Marketing would become my full-time job. Once your book is written, you must become a full-time marketer and sales person. No one else is going to do this for you, not even your publisher. You must be on Twitter and Facebook and Goodreads and possibly a few other social networking sites to generate sales for yourself. If you have the money, you can always hire someone (like me) to perform these tasks for you. But when you’re first starting, you’ll most likely be on your own.
2. Your first royalty check might be $1,000 … or $12. As long as you understand this up front, you won’t be disappointed when you get your first royalty check of twelve whole dollars.
3. Some people care too much that you wrote a book. These people are whom I like to call “leeches.” After I wrote my first book, friends I hadn’t heard from in years suddenly came out of the woodwork. If you write a book, you’re automatically rich, right? Refer back to No. 2.
4. Some people won’t care you wrote a book. I never thought everyone would jump for joy because I achieved my author dream. I was extremely excited so I somehow thought everyone else would be too. Now, I actually prefer it when people don’t make a big deal about it.
5. Writing a book might not change your life. I assumed that becoming an author would change my life quickly and significantly. Gobs of money would fall from the sky and Hollywood would come knocking. See, I know that my book is amazing and others should recognize it too. Sadly, it doesn’t work like that.
6. Start promoting your book as soon as the idea is solid. For Trials of an Entrepreneurial Virgin, I began heavy promotion in July 2012 for my book’s October 2012 release. This was not even close to enough time to generate a real conversation about the book. It took until April 2013 (nine months after I first started to promote and six months after my book’s release) for things to finally start happening with sales.
7. Think of yourself as a brand. What do I mean by this? You are not just a person any longer; you are a product — just like Nike and Coca Cola. I know that you don’t like to think of yourself this way. But, you can’t expect to sell thousands of books during your first week in print if no one has an inkling of who you are or that you’ve written a book.
8. Online relationships will make or break your book. Social media is an awesome tool for authors today. I’ve chatted with people all over the world who otherwise might have never heard of me. Just be sure to reciprocate when someone does you a solid. One-sided relationships never work out.
9. Virtual Book Tours are a thing. When I used to think of book tours, like most people, I thought of a physical tour. Doing readings and signings in physical, brick and mortar bookstores. How cool is it that book tours now happen virtually? We authors can now travel the world without even getting off the couch.
10. Book trailers aren’t widely used yet. I’ve always been a fan of video and to me it just seems logical to use video to promote a book. I first heard of book trailers a few years ago so I assumed every author probably had one. They are apparently just on a cusp of becoming a big thing. Get on that wagon if you can.
Have you always dreamed of earning your living as a full time writer?
Sonja Hegman has made that dream work for her. Now she tells other writers and “virgin” business owners how to do it, too. In Trials of an Entrepreneurial Virgin Hegman explains how to:
• Choose a business structure
• Write a client contract
• Handle those “clients from hell”
• Develop your marketing materials
• And of course, the ins and outs of networking—both online and in-person
From working at a small town Minnesota newspaper to taking on The Big Apple and finally discovering her niche as a business writer and social media consultant, Hegman tells us about her triumphs and her trials—and offers us the “virgin writing professional’s” practical advice along the way.
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Genre – Non-fiction
Rating – PG
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