What Every Novelist Needs To Know

WRITING

I’m passionate about writing.  I love to write and I love to read. I figure you must, too, if you’re reading my blog.  Epic fantasy is a particular favorite.  Steampunk is fun.  I read anything I can get my hands on from other fiction genres to non-fiction, and even academic journals.  The problem I see with self-published works is the large number of simple spelling and grammatical mistakes. These really detract from the flow of a story. When my manuscript is done I’m handing it off to an editor/proofreader as insurance. I’m meticulous, but it’s possible to miss something.

MARKETING

I recently read that anyone who wishes to self-publish a novel should plan their marketing campaign a year out.  That’s right, a year.  You should be setting up a website, a Facebook page, and using other social media sites in order to get noticed.  You should also network, and use sites like Kickstarter to raise funds for the travel expenses of a book tour.  Wow.  I was just thinking of trying to write the best possible story I could and then worry about these items later. Hmmm…now whenever I have a few free minutes away from the computer I keep trying to compose an “elevator pitch” in my head for Sons of War in case I’m ever around an agent. I’m not sure, honestly, if this is a good thing or not.

BUSINESS ASPECTS

This is really important. Is it best to be a sole proprietorship or go the LLC route? Get incorporated? These are important questions and none of them are a one size fits all approach. Everyone’s situation is different. I think my current setup needs to change, now that I’ve been reading some business books. That research has been helpful, since I won’t have to ask basic questions, and experts charge for their time.  I highly recommend,  if you’re also re-evaluating, you take that time to do some research, and then consult an expert to be sure you’re on the right path. It can save you headaches and money later.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING

At the end of the day, though, the most important thing is the writing. Every day, every way you can, write. Just write from the heart, write the story of your dreams. Read about how to write better. Analyze what makes your favorite authors and characters resonate with you so you can do the same for your readers. This is what every novelist needs to know.  By all means, protect your legal interests and market your product, but remember this:  you want to develop (write) the best product (novel) that you possibly can!

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