How to Make Writing Friends and Influence Readers

Last Friday I was invited to writer, blogger and book promotion expert, Debbie Young’s launch of Sell Your Books! her new book for self-published and indie authors. Published by SilverWood Books, it’s an indispensable guide for the budding indie author and the already self-published.

As a writer about to take the plunge into self-publishing my first novel, The Butterfly Storm, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet and talk to Debbie and other SilverWood Books authors who have chosen the self-publishing route. The authors I spoke to, including Helen Hollick and Lucienne Boyce, were friendly and encouraging and happily shared their own self-publishing experiences with me. What I took away from Debbie’s book launch – besides some new writer friends – was the following sound advice:

  1.  However small my budget for self-publishing The Butterfly Storm is, I should at the very least put aside some money to get my novel professionally proof read.
  2. Ensure the front cover looks professional and is suitable for a book.
  3. Have a well-thought out promotion and marketing plan to Sell Your Books!

As Helen rightly suggested, particularly with eBooks (the route that I’m initially taking with my novel), to show that you’re a novelist worth reading you need to take your writing seriously and that means a carefully edited and professionally proof read novel with a cover that wouldn’t look out of place on your local bookshop shelf. With so many books out there jostling for space and trying to hook readers you’ve got to give your own book the best chance possible. That means ensuring that any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors are corrected before publication and having a front cover that screams ‘buy me’ or at the very least seduces a potential reader.

Marketing and promotion, I admit, are not my strong points but once I’ve published The Butterfly Storm I’ve got to entice and persuade people to buy it to have any chance of success. That’s where Debbie’s book will come in – a guide to building a readership and keeping on building it. Joanne Phillips is one such author making a success of self-publishing with her first novel, Can’t Live Without, published as both an eBook and paperback, plus a newly released book of short stories. Joanne shares her writing journey on her blog, publishing posts packed with advice and ideas based on her own experience. It’s an inspiring read for someone like myself on the brink of self-publishing.

It’s thanks to Twitter that I’ve been introduced to so many new writing friends over the past few months. Writers are a friendly bunch. Far from being competitive with each other the majority of self-published and indie authors are generous and supportive – retweeting links, following each others blogs, leaving reviews and comments. This in turn builds a network of writing friends (and also potential readers) and you never know where those connections may lead.


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