Making the decision to be an author someday can be a hard one. If you’ve made that choice, here’s what you should be doing ASAP.
I might not clearly remember the day I decided I was going to become an author. It was more of a, “I want to write books, I enjoy this, it’s fun,” and then it gradually turned into, “I will be an author someday.” It didn’t happen in a single day.
That being said, when I consciously made that decision, I knew I needed to get some shit done. I needed to start getting myself out there as a writer so people would know who I am when I finally do publish a book.
It’s all about the marketing, people.
If nobody knows who you are, they won’t know you have a book out. If they don’t know you have a book out, they can’t buy it. And after either watching a video or seeing something Jenna Moreci posted on her Tumblr, I knew I needed to get to work.
And you bet your ass I got to work immediately. My goal is to be an author someday and damn it, I will be.
If you’re a newbie and that’s what you want, then start doing the following ASAP.
1. Make a writer website
Yes, you need a website. Some may say this doesn’t have to come until further down the road but I say to hell with those people, make it right fucking now.
The longer you have an established website, the more legitimate you’ll appear. And I’m talking about a professional website. Make the investment in it. You’ll pay like $15 for a domain (which would ideally be the same as your social handles and published author name), and roughly $60 for hosting for the year.
Yeah, it’s a little bit of an investment upfront but it’s worth it.
If you can’t afford the extra money, you can use a web hosted domain (meaning it’ll be: yourauthorname.wordpress.com instead of yourauthorname.com). Just know that it won’t look as professional and people won’t take you as seriously.
Harsh? Maybe. But it’s true.
Build your website. Decide what content you want to have on it. These are a few ideas for stuff to keep on your website if you don’t have a book published yet:
- Writing tips
- Book reviews
- Writing motivation
- Writing prompts
- Writing resources
- A page all about you and your writing journey
Basically, you just need to get something on there that’ll let people know who you are and what you do – which is writing books.
2. Get those writer social accounts off the ground
Yes, you need social profiles directly related to your writing. If you don’t want to use your personal profiles, then go ahead and make some new ones. I personally made a brand new Twitter and Tumblr (since I didn’t have a Tumblr before), but I just converted by Pinterest and Instagram to writing stuff.
Try to give them all the same name, too. You don’t want one account with your first and last name and then another with your first and last name with “author” behind it. Try to make them all the exact same so it’s easier for people to find you. You also want to use the name you’ll be published under. Don’t use your real name if you’re going to publish under a penn name.
I was fortunate to have “BellaRosePope” available on literally everything. And since I’ll be publishing under my full name, it worked out perfectly.
You also really need to start posting and working toward gaining a following.
This isn’t to say you should just follow a bunch of people and hope they follow you. Follows for follows are literally pointless. They’re not genuinely following for you.
The way you actually gain followers is by providing value.
That’s really all you need to do. Give them something worth following. You can post the following to do just that:
- Writing tips
- Updates on your own writing
- Motivational writing quotes
- Questions people will want to respond to
Having a social following nowadays is one of the most important things that’ll help you have success when your book is finally done.
3. Start mingling with others in the community
Make some friends! I can say from personal experience that writer friends are some of the best friends. Not only do you already have a lot in common, but they can actually help you when you need it.
You can bounce ideas off one another, gush about your book, get opinions on your writing, and potentially make some solid friendships where you have great CPs you admire and trust.
So get out there and start mingling. Talk to people! Comment on their posts. Retweet, reblog, or repost something you think other people need to see. Support people when they need it. Send encouraging messages.
It’s really not hard to immerse yourself in the writing community.
And the best part?
Writers are also readers. Meaning, if they like you and your writing, they’ll be the ones to buy your book.
4. WORK ON YOUR DAMN BOOK
Need I say more? I realize this is a lot as a newbie, I’ve been there. And while marketing and building your platform is super important, it’ll be for nothing if you don’t have any books.
You can’t just call yourself a writer and then never actually write. Your book is the entire purpose of building this platform and marketing yourself as a writer. So if you don’t work on your book and you never get one done, you’ll just look like a person who wants to be a writer.
Yes, you need to spend time on your platform and building it. However, it should never take more time out of your life than working on your book. Ever. That has top priority. Always.
5. Be consistent
And last but not least, all newbie writers out there, you need to be consistent. This isn’t necessarily something you can do ASAP, but consistency in all of these fields is the key to upping your chances of success.
Post on your accounts regularly.
Get a blog up on the same day every week.
Engage with other people whenever you can
Work on your book every. single. day.
The combination of being consistent in all of those ways will help you both market yourself and build a platform while also getting your book done and published in a reasonable timeframe.
And if you’ve already written a book and are looking to start marketing for it, that’s okay! Just get started on these steps ASAP and build an audience before releasing your book. It’ll sell much better that way.
It can seem overwhelming to dive into the writing world when you’re just starting out. Take a breather, and then start on these things ASAP if you want to find success as an author someday.