I’m by no means an expert, I’m not at that point where I’m so established that I support myself on royalties, (yet). I don’t have the secret of success, but I do see things that, if they irk me, they’ll most likely irk others. So, to develop a ‘what to do’ list, I’m first making a ‘what not to do list’.
Feel free to make suggestions or comments; I’ll be updating this list as I find more don’ts.
- don’t write a book about yourself! we’ve all got our own shit, why would we want to read about yours?
- don’t write books about writing unless you’re an established writer, (or someone established in the business) – too may posers out there.
- don’t e-publish short stories – put them into a collection, and don’t publish short story collections unless you have readers who want to read them
- don’t serialize e-publish, ain’t no book needs to be cut-up like that – guilty!
- don’t bury a blurb with reviews, before I hear how good it is I want to know what it’s about
- don’t speak directly to the reader in your blurb, telling them about your book, that’s just tacky, and don’t reference yourself in the third person for a book you wrote about yourself
- don’t reference accolades from competitions, blogs, or other authors nobody’s heard of, (or that you made up) or label yourself as a bestselling author, what does that mean anyway? now, New York Times bestselling author might mean something
- don’t break each sentence into a power statement or taglines, in uppercase or bold, with an extra line between each of them to make it seem more important
- don’t cite books yours is like or a combination of
- don’t state that $1 of each sale goes to charity, that’s just pandering
- don’t tell me what I should think of the book, “you’ll find it captivating, mezmerizing, and stimulating!” or by using adjectives like ‘brilliant’ or ‘thrilling’
- don’t give a full summary or large excerpt, it’s just a blurb
- don’t create a book site or have a contest where the sole purpose is to promote your books or yourself
- feed off others’ blogs or tweets to attract attention to yourself, make your own! (i.e. “look at my daily news page on writing, with no original content of my own”)
- don’t give yourself professional accolades having only one self-published book
- don’t ‘fish’ on blogs, twitter, or author sites, i.e. follow someone just to attract attention to yourself
- don’t spend more time in the busi-ness of promotion than you do writing, instead, write more
- don’t put others down, instead, help others up (and in general)
- don’t get defensive, accept constructive criticism; my motto is, “what doesn’t kill the book will only make it stronger”
- don’t get retaliatory, thank anyone who takes the time to read and comment
- don’t be a party to mutual masturbation, i.e., “I’ll give your book 5 stars if you give 5 stars to mine”
- don’t give a review if you haven’t read all of the book, at least not without saying so
- don’t read as a writer; read as a reader or, only if asked to, an editor