So, you published your book? That is amazing! You should take a minute to revel in the accomplishment. Really. You did something a lot of people dream of doing but never do.
Now, I would take a second to bookmark this page. I’ll wait. Done? Great.
First of all, you don’t need to do everything on this checklist today. I would advise doing one item a day for the next several days.
This is pretty much the list of what I wish I’d known when I started back in 2010. I had to “just figure it out.” There are so many more resources out there now–and so many more doors are open to indie and small pub writers.
Happy Mother’s Day! I have had a fabulous day with my family so far. We meandered the farmer’s market after brunch, and I was inspired by all of the beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables on display. So, of course, I started snapping pictures. Here are some photos that you are welcome to use with photo credit. Have a great day!
Full sized pictures ready for download (below). Enjoy! (more…)
When I travel, I am often seen taking pictures of what must seem like random things to other people. I stand six inches from wallpaper or get down on my knees to catch the perfect angle of a fallen leaf. This summer, I visited Nevada a couple of times. These pictures were taken in The Silver Legacy Hotel & Casino. The Starbucks barista did look at me a little funny when I took a picture of the cup sleeves, but I’m glad I did.
Here is a sample of what you can do with these photos:
I used a fabulous website called Canva to add the text.
Finding good resources that are truly free can be exasperating. I can’t tell you how many times I have clicked on a link claiming to provide something free, but they weren’t actually free. All of these resources are free–no email address required!
Formatting a Manuscript: How to format your manuscript article by Jodie Renner . This will save you (and your editor) time and frustration.
Spacing:How many spaces after a period? Okay, so this isn’t an actual resources, but it will provide you with information about how to space your manuscript.
Book Interior Template: If you are going to be formatting your own book, save yourself hours of grief and write directly into the template. KDP has a wonderful set of free templates (my publisher even uses them). Make sure you choose the size that is standard for your genre. I use the 5.5 x 8.5 template for Young Adult Lit.
Book Cover Template: Generate a free Photoshop book cover template. You need to know how many pages your book will be in order for the spine to be the correct size.
Fonts: Make sure all of the fonts you are using are free for commercial use. Font Squirrel is one of my favorite sites because they are all “free for commercial use.” I also love dafont.com, but you need to be careful, shareware is not always free for publishing/commercial use. If you would like an author checklist that includes fonts to avoid, check out my post, “New Author Checklist: 10 Things to Do.”
Postcard Template: If you would like to make postcards using PhotoShop, then you can download free templates from UPrinting here. They have lines for trim areas, etc.
I am often asked how I manage to write a book (or more) a year with teaching, kids, and a healthy home life. Yes, sometimes I just want to curl up in fetal position and “make it all go away.” Eh, I’m human. But most days I move forward–even with a smile on my face. So this is what I do:
My Words of advice:
1. Write everyday (even if it is only a paragraph).
2. Read, read, and read. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. Know what is happening in your genre–and feed your soul.
3. Guard your writing time.
4. Be consistent.
5. Spend a little time on social media each day. Build a supportive community. Be generous. Build a platform based on you and not a single book.
6. Have your work professionally edited–by more than one editor (content and line-by-line editors). Yes, it hurts spending money, but you cannot edit on your own. I am a professional English teacher by trade and training. I use at least two editors and a slew of beta readers on every single book.
HAVE YOUR BOOK PROFESSIONALLY EDITED–no arguing this point.
Some days you will fail, some you will succeed, and if you keep at it, you will get there. Now go out an write. 🙂
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King
3. Follow people back (the real people, not the robots).
4. Do NOT Direct Message (DM) people unless you have a question specifically for that person–not even to say thanks for following. Thank people publicly (you may get retweeted and pick up more followers, too).
5. Have some “retweet bait.” You need non-threatening tweets that people can retweet while they get to know you: quotes, giveaways, writing advice articles, trivia, etc.
6. Tweet something personal. This does not mean over-sharing (you can keep your toenail fungus to yourself). You should however, share updates on your writing (like your new word count), or if we should go see the movie you just watched. Humorous events are always faves.
7. Use a picture of yourself for your profile. People want to connect with a real person, not an emblem or avatar.
Now go forth and tweet…without offending everyone out in the Twitterverse 🙂