5 June 2007

"10 Things"

Yesterday, I read some great advice on Buzz, Balls & Hype from David J. Montgomery, who writes for several large newspapers about authors and books.

Montgomery wrote the “10 Things An Author Shouldn’t Do”. Here are the main points, but you definitely should read all of his advice.

1) Never complain publicly about a bad review.

I’ve seen the complaints of bad reviews. I’ve complained a lot through the years, but hopefully I haven’t bashed anyone. 🙂

2) Never rely on your publisher to do it all.

I’m a newbie, and a stay-at-home mom. I’ve done what I could just let people know I have a book and it’s out. I’ve never felt comfortable with the idea to tell people to please buy my book. Sure, I would love people to do so, but I would like people to want to. It’s a very sensitive topic with authors on how far authors are willing to go and how far they should. I go by the motto to go as far as an author is comfortable.

3) Never assume reviewers got a copy of your book.

This is actually a great tip. I wanted to ask the publicist for GG for a list of who was getting an ARC, but I didn’t know if this was okay. With my new book, I wanted to tread slowly discovering the aspects of a first release. I’ve never been the one to jump first ask questions later. More like slowly sit back and contemplate so I can learn by experience and maybe be more confident with my second release.

4) Never pass up an easy promotional opportunity.

I have not past up a promo op on the Internet, but I haven’t been able to travel for speaking engagements because 1) I don’t feel comfortable traveling far from my children yet and 2) I need to sharpen my speaking skills. I’m going to be giving my very first workshop to my writing chapter. It’s a very small group and I just have to see if I can pull it off.

5) Never miss the chance to invest in yourself.

I have invested in promotion such as buttons, stickers, bookmarks, mailings, contests, and a new website. Maybe next year I’ll be able to do more. I’m not yet sure what that might be.

Never go too long without attending a fan/reader conference.

Now this I’m not very good at. 🙂 I think I’ve made a con once a year, but I don’t always know anybody so I guess it defeats the purpose of getting to know others, but I also attend to learn.

9) Never take your career for granted.

This I will never do. Lines close, markets shift. The genre you might be writing could suddenly not be hot anymore. Your editor could leave and everything could change in just one phone call. I’m beginning to think you are not safe and secure in publishing unless you are a continuos NYT Bestselling author. But then it’s hard to say.

10) Never forget why you got into this in the first place.

I want to try and remember this advice right here. Because under stress you can forget why you started writing, forget your enjoyment of creating characters and the love of a good story. And believe me, I don’t want to forget. 🙂