Sunday, May 22, 2016

Learning From the Best

I admit it. I’m slow to take good advice. For instance, writing colleagues often recommend great how-to books, yet it takes me ages to get around to reading them.

Several people have recommended books by Donald Maass over the years, so I finally took the plunge and read TheBreakout Novelist while preparing notes for an urban fantasy I’m working on. Honestly, the book was so inspiring that I found myself writing copious notes about my own novel regarding plot points, ramping up the tension, creating big moments, and so on. It’s been invaluable.

On the other side of coin, I’ve been reading a fair bit of advice on marketing books. As mentioned last week, I will be doing more self-publishing over the coming months, so I’ve been looking for tips from those who’ve done it successfully.

There are a number of great blogs on the topic, but the advice I want to focus on today is from Toby Neal, whose name I’ve heard everywhere. Her advice not only makes sense, but seems relatively easy to follow, and I recommend that self-publishers read what she has to say.

A lot of her tips, such as building a fan base, gathering reviews, offering giveaways or sales, and maintaining a strong platform isn’t new, but Neal discusses something I’ve been pondering for a while, which is whether to place one’s books with Kindle Unlimited or choose multiple platforms.

She discusses her own experiences and the benefits of both, and she’s a fan of Draft 2 Digital, the company I plan to use when I release my books.

I may be slow to follow advice, but I’m also discerning about the advice I take. It’s important to figure out what works best for me. I have my own ideas about where I’ll publish my books and when, but it’s all part of the learning curve, right? We each have to follow our own path and, if we’re very lucky, we’ll be so successful that we’ll be creating trends rather than following them. 

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