As always, a quick update on how everything is coming along.
The Holiday Spirit is still with the editor. (I’m dying here!!!) The cover is being worked on by my amazing and wonderful best friend and cover artist, Jessica Dixon.
Beyond My Words is being read by my beta readers and I’m waiting to hear back from them still. I gave them until end of March, mid-April to get back to me with critiques there, so cross your fingers that goes well.
Convicted: 25 to Life is coming along very nicely. I’m extremely proud of what this story is becoming. As of March 1st at 9:30, PM, it is written chronologically to chapter 13, 22,255 words, and 147 pages.
The deadline I’ve given to my editor and beta readers to give me feedback is going to be the end of March, mid-April. I’m hoping to have Convicted finished in the writing stage by then so I can go into full-blown editing mode for the other two.
I’m so, super excited for you guys to read these books!
Anyway, update out of the way, let’s get on with it.
I was asked a question by one of my followers on Facebook about what advice I would give him for someone planning to self-publish a book. So, here’s my response! Hope it can help him as well as some of my readers out there.
Get an Editor!
I learned this one the hard way and cannot emphasize this one enough. I’m lucky enough to have a friend who just happens to be a professional editor who will do it for a good price. Huge blessing for our family, since self-publishing is expensive! There’s a lot more that goes into it than most people probably think. That’s a different subject for another day, though.
I think it’s really important to get an editor who will be honest enough to tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. It’s better to hear it from an editor before the book is published so you can change it rather than hearing it from your readers later. Trust me on this one. Just get an editor before you publish.
Get Beta Readers You Trust.
Beta readers are amazing! I have two friends in particular that I’ve known for years that I always trust to give me honest, helpful critiques. It’s why I always end up going back to them. Before I send it to them, however, I always have my awesome, sweet husband read over the book to help me clean it up a little bit.
Along with getting an editor who will tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear, get beta readers like this too. Because, even though it’s hard to take, find betas who genuinely want to help you improve and are willing to point out the good and the bad. Nothing is worse than getting a critique back that’s basically, “I hated it. I hated the characters, the story was stupid, and I just don’t get it . . . Yeah, it was good!” Specifics are good, but find people who will be kind to you too.
Be Willing To Take The Criticism at Face Value.
I don’t know about you all, but I have a tendency to look at critiques and criticism a little too seriously. A little word of life advice here, DON’T! My writing mentor told me when I was young that critiques are like an cafeteria line. You take what you need/want and you don’t have to take everything. It’s okay. You don’t have to change everything your readers want you to. It’s your book!
And I’ve learned from experience *cough, cough, Beyond My Words,* that it’s literally impossible to please every reader. Take this advice, just don’t try it. Not worth the emotional trauma. Write for you, but be willing to take critiques if you want to be published.
Find the Online Publisher that’s Right For You.
Everyone has their own dreams and ambitions for their story. One of mine is that I’ll be able to see my story in bookstores. That’s why I’m choosing to try out IngramSpark as well as Amazon. (Cross your fingers that attempt works)
Promote Yourself Like Crazy! Even Before You Actually Publish.
I did this wrong when I first released The Holiday Spirit in December. (Like I did with a lot of stuff.)
You want to have a basic fanbase before your stories even launch. Build up excitement! Promote yourself as a writer! Tell everyone you know! Your coworkers, your neighbors, your family, your friends, the neighbors, and their dogs! When people ask what you do for a living, tell them you’re an author. If you’re not comfortable calling yourself an author yet, tell them you’re a writer.
Don’t be shy!
Social media is a huge platform for me as well as plenty of others. Make an author website, get a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Make an official author page on Facebook and promote it. Blogging is helpful too, though I’ve been slacking on that one to promote other ways. Build up your followers list!
Find What Works for YOU.
I think this last one can summarize a lot of things in life. But as a writer, there are a lot of people out there who will tell you “proven ways to be successful,” but honestly, I’ve found that it’s more important that you are true to what tactics work for you specifically. We’re all different. These are generalized ideas I’m throwing out that I’ve researched extensively and come up with my own conclusions. There are people out there who will tell you that there’s only one way to plot, create characters, worlds, etc.
As writers, we’re creative beings. We all have unique stories to tell and that’s what makes this job so amazing! No one can write your story like you can. Don’t give them the pen because it’s not theirs. It’s yours.
I’ve gone to lots of writing conferences, I’ve done a lot of research. I’m not an expert, but I’ve had enough experience to back me up with this stuff at this point in my writing career.
Be Yourself! 🙂
Thanks for reading! I really appreciate everyone who reads my blog and takes the time to support me with this crazy endeavor of trying to publish three books by July 2019.
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I love you guys! Hope you enjoyed this post!
~ Chandler R. Williamson