The first thing I learnt after self-publishing my short story was that I hadn’t worked out how to get my short story out there. I had been so busy focusing on the writing that I didn’t make time for anything else. The last three weeks have been a steep learning curve during which time I have started to focus on social media and trying to make a brand for myself. I have connected with groups, some more than others and found that it is something I have enjoyed. I went from 69 Twitter followers to 564, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to sales. I have a website that is growing which I am quietly pleased about. I have set up on WriteHere, Google+, Goodreads and Amazon Author. I have learned to do visual displays, PowerPoint videos and pictures. I will never set the world alight with them, but they do get noticed.
I have been bombarded with private messages desperately begging me to click a link, buy a book or whatever else, and I have to say that desperation is off-putting. I can only hope my posts don’t come across that way. I have also linked up with some genuinely nice people who have shared their experiences and tips and with whom I too have shared mine.
Everyone has said how fast this month is going but for me these three weeks have been rather surreal. It feels as though it was six months ago that I realised “As Dreams Are Made On.”, but maybe that is because I have been so busy.
I would like to reiterate the need to thank all the people who have supported me; whether that be because, they bought a copy, read, reviewed, shared it or just sent me encouraging words. I have to say that I hadn’t realised how much of an ask it is to get someone you know to read and review your book. I would appreciate honest feedback though, positives on Amazon and Goodreads please and anything else in Private Message.
I have, when time allows, been working on short story number two, “A Lifetime or a Season.” I have a better idea now of what to expect and what I need to focus on.
Anyone who thinks that writing is easy, think again. You do it because you love it, but it is like any other job. There are aspects you dislike, bits you would rather not do, times that you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. People who you may not wish to have interaction with and those that it is a pleasure to communicate with.
So if anyone is reading this is an aspiring author who may tread a similar path I would advise them to build their networks first. Enjoy the process, it is, after all, a means to the end, and the end is your dream. Get someone to read over your work, someone who can be objective, make it clear you won’t be hurt by constructive criticism, better from them than when you publish. Description is great, being overly descriptive bores the audience. Describing the same things in two different ways is just showing off our knowledge of words it does nothing for the story.
Feedback I had from a good source:
I had written something like “pulled into the horror of a nightmare.”
Don’t treat the reader as though they are stupid, they know the definition of a nightmare, so the word horror is surplus to requirements.
If you can’t get someone to do it, then try to do it as objectively as you can, trying to change hats and be an editor, not an author.
As in all things, sincerity and honesty come across even in the widest arena we have which is the internet. We are lucky to have these tools at our disposal nowadays. If you have a low day, allow it, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and continue on with renewed vigour the next day.