I am happy to share a guest post by author Josanna Thompson, who shares advice...
From One New Author to Another
I released my historical adventure, A Maiden’s Honor last October. Though I thought I had prepared sufficiently for my book launch, it was anything but perfect. In fact, it’s a perfect example of what not to do. If I could go back in time to talk to my younger self, I would tie her down and force her to listen to the following advice.
Believe in your book and yourself as a writer, but don't be cocky. Understand that you don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay. Always be willing to learn from other authors. I’ve met a lot of wonderful writers on Facebook. They’ve been very supportive of my work. They’re also generous about offering advice on writing and marketing, and I’ve learned a lot from them.
Envision yourself as a successful author and your book as a bestseller. Keep that vision, even when your sales don’t reflect it. Unless you’re already a bestselling author or a celebrity, your success won’t be instantaneous. Don’t get discouraged if your sales are meager. Keep promoting; keep hustling to share your book with the world. And keep writing. A number of authors warned me that they didn’t start making good money until they had released ten plus books. They assured me that success will come if you’re willing to work for it.
Covet your writing time, and write every day.
Make use of Reedsy, if you don’t already. This website provides a wealth of useful information and services to authors. They also offer free web courses, which have been invaluable to my own writing. (https://reedsy.com/) Check them out!
Start networking and building your social media presence long before you publish your first book. This is essential. Don’t wait until after you’re published. It’s never too early to start. If you don’t already, tweet and tweet often. An author friend has over 1,000 followers. Her secret? She tweets every day. I’ve discovered that the more you tweet, the more followers you get.
Spend time on Facebook chat groups relating to your genre. This is a great way to network and make new friends. Don’t just use these groups to promote your books. Talk with the members. Be supportive of their work. Share their posts, and they will share yours. When the time comes, they will be more than happy to buy, read, and review your book.
Consider starting a blog. This is a great way to establish yourself as a writer. Be willing to do guest blogs.
Copyright your work. This is your best defense for protecting your baby.
After you have finished editing and are ready to publish your story, enlist the help of beta readers. Listen to their suggestions and make the necessary changes if you can. The beta readers will provide Goodreads and Amazon reviews too. Also line up others to provide reviews. Make sure your reviews are from credible reviewers. (It’s ok to throw in a few reviews from friends.)
Line up an ebook tour months before your launch date. Try to time it before you release your baby to the world.
Do some fun things on your author website. Treat it like a DVD with lots of extra features. Add pages with character interviews, or articles about your research. Add new articles and features regularly. Above all, have fun with it.
Finally, never give up on your dream. Thomas Edison once said, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." Those are good words to live by.
From one new author to another, I sincerely wish you all the greatest success in your writing endeavors.
by Josanna Thompson
GENRE: Historical Fiction / Romance
Sarah Campbell is a rarity among women in her time. Raised by her Scottish father and the natives of a remote island in the South Pacific, Sarah and her father embark on a perilous journey to Scotland. Their crew betrays them and murders her father for the purpose of selling Sarah into slavery. She is rescued by an unlikely hero, Hassan Aziz, the most feared pirate on the Barbary Coast. She quickly discovers that she is unprepared for the complex world that is suddenly thrust upon her. Sarah must find a way to survive in a world that intrigues and terrifies her.
Sarah picked up the first picture in the stack and handed it to Hassan. “My friend, Temoe. She … beautiful, aye?”
Hassan frowned as he studied her drawing. If he had to guess, her friend looked as if she were Sarah’s age, perhaps a little older. She wore her hair cut to her shoulders with flowers tucked behind her ears, just as Sarah described, but she was not the Aphrodite goddess from his fantasies. Her flat nose and angular jaw gave her a slightly masculine quality. Dressed only in a cloth tied around her waist, her full breasts provided the only proof that she was a woman.
“She beautiful, aye?”
“Well, um.” Hassan didn’t know how to answer her. “Do all the women on your island look like this?”
“Aye. You not like?”
“I am certain that your friend is lovely. Honestly, it's hard to ascertain her beauty from this portrait.”
”Temoe have … um … many sweetheart.”
“I see.” Hassan grinned as he studied the expression on her face. “I imagine you had many sweethearts of your own.”
Sarah looked down at her lap as her trembling hand fidgeted with a lock of her hair. “No. I not beautiful.”
Hassan lifted his brow. “You must be joking.”
Sarah pointed to her friend’s nose. “Beautiful women have nose like Temoe.”
“Do you mean that men esteem women who have flat noses?”
“Um.” Hassan thought for a moment. “In other words, your people consider flat noses as a sign of beauty.”
Hassan wished he had a mirror to show Sarah just how exquisite she truly was. Then again, he wondered if it would make a difference considering that she measured beauty by the Polynesians’ standards. In this part of the world, Sarah would be regarded as the rarest of all beauties, for he had never seen her equal. Hassan caressed her cheek with the back of his finger and said, “I cannot speak for your countrymen, but I can speak for mine. They will esteem you as a lovely young woman.”
“Aye?” She looked at Hassan as if this was the first time someone had told her that she was beautiful.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Josanna Thompson is the author of A Maiden's Honor and The Woman from Eden series. She has lived in many different places in the United States, including the Southeast, the Midwest, California, and the Northeast. When she is not writing; she enjoys traveling, exploring, and scuba diving.
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