1. Connections: Spend time on sites like Goodreads, KindleBoards, blogs, etc. getting to know your fellow indies. They’re often willing to share valuable information as you stumble your way through writing, editing, publishing and marketing your first book. KindleBoards is especially great for gathering advice from other authors, cover artists and readers. Maintaing contact with your fans is also important. I’m so pleased anytime a fan contacts me, whether it’s to offer assistance with editing or ask me when the next book is coming out. They cared enough to send an email and that makes me smile.
2. Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media are great for connecting with readers and promoting your book. But, it’s a delicate balance, and I’ve swung to both sides of the pendulum on this one. Too much social interaction = readers and entertainment, but not enough writing. Not enough engagement on Twitter and you get unfollowed quicker than a skunk in a race. Some authors create strategic plans for social media while others schedule ‘social media time’...you have to figure out what works for you. I don’t want my FB and Twitter pages to become boring clogs of self promotion. I’d prefer to connect with writers and readers, share knowledge and connect with the outside world. Balancing social media is one of my goals for 2013. Wish me luck.
3. Accented Dialogue: When you’re writing dialogue, sometimes you get caught up in the fun
accents (like I did with Fat Assassins). If you’re from the South, then you probably realize that “I’m a-gonna keel you” is way more dangerous than “I’m going to kill you”...but folks not from other regions might not appreciate the extreme vocalization. Even now, I’m reviewing FA, tightening up the dialogue and eliminating some of the errors that readers have pointed out. I appreciate the honest feedback, and I’m happy you loved the characters enough to make the book better. An audiobook of FA will be released in early 2013 and I’m looking forward to hearing the narrator bring the countrified dialogue to life.
4. Idea Overload: The more you open your imagination, the more story ideas flood in. You find yourself jotting down a million book ideas until you reach a point where you’re overwhelmed with all the storylines. I’m still struggling with this one a little because there’s not enough time (or caffeine) in the day to write every story immediately. If you’re like me, once I have characters in my head, it’s very difficult to quiet them. Always write your ideas down, but find a way to put the characters into solitary confinement until you finish you WIP or series. Otherwise, you’ll have a mental prison riot, and that’s not fun.
5. Tools: There are a few tools that helped me improve my writing process. Full disclosure - I’m not a sales person for any of these tools or site.
- Writing: Scrivener. It made it easy to organize chapters, keep reference or character notes, export to ebook, etc. Since then, my writing and formatting process is more streamlined. http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
- Editing: Grammarian. Automated editing software...Nuff said. http://linguisoft.com/
- Graphics: Digital Webbing. I used Digital Webbing when I was searching for a comic artist to create the prologue for Fat Spies. I posted an ad detailing the project and over thirty talented artists responded. http://www.digitalwebbing.com/
- Cover Art: KindleBoards. There are so many talented cover artists on KB - you’ll have no problem finding one for your genre. I lucked upon KeithDraws, who did the cover for Adderwald. http://www.kindleboards.com/
Happy Holidays to everyone. May your cup be full of hot cocoa, and your shelves full of