Everyone has advice to follow of how to become the next successful writer. Stephen King obviously has ideas on what you should or shouldn’t do. A good friend of mine, Martin Crosbie has really good ideas of ways to go about getting your book out there and noticed. Go on amazon.com and just type in How to Publish and you will see hundreds if not thousands of books giving you advice, ideas and in some cases, lectures of what to do and what not to do. Everyone of these authors has found what works for them. Trust me, it works really well for them. The thing most fail to realize is that you have to find what combination of the “success formula” works best for you! Is it a bit of Stephen, a dash of Martin and a little Matthew Davenport for good measure.
All of the ideas and plans used by these folks are all good and work. The key is finding what works best for you. Stephen King says cut out tv and write in a room with no distractions. Terry Brooks, from my understanding writes in silence as well. Others, like to write with a cat on their lap, like the one that is on mine now, helping me type. Others want noise, tv going, kids playing, music playing, or any of the above and more.to help them get into the writing zone. Some say you have to get the whole thing written in no more than 3 months time otherwise you will lose your flow of the story. Some people crank out stories in several days, weeks, or like me, some of our stories have taken over a year to complete. Some people write daily, and they say you aren’t a true writer unless yo do write daily. That, again is not always true either. Sometimes life happens and doesn’t allow you to write daily.
Online marketing is another little nightmare that can be hard to figure out and many have an opinion on. The thing most need to know about, remember and just plain relax on is this. Experiment with things, facebook, twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, or the hundreds of other sites that you frequent. Test the waters there and see what kind of reaction you get. Avoid the “Buy my book” angle though. It can be hard, but it is doable. Are there going to be things that just don’t work for you? Heck yes! not very good with Twitter, that’s o.k. Don’t have a clue as to how to work Goodreads. That’s perfectly alright as well. There are plenty of people out there willing to help you out and teach you how to at least get a basic working knowledge of it.
A good friend of mine, Cassidy Frazee writes like a machine! She blocks everything out, is organized and knows how she wants the story to go. Me? I am a fly by the seat of my pants writer. I have a general idea of the story but when I’m writing it, I often get surprised by a turn of events I didn’t plan or see coming. Others jump around in their stories writing this part, then going back to that part. That would drive me nuts!
A good friend gave me a bit of advice a long time ago that I still use to this day. “Everyone has advice on life, raising babies, how to publish, etc. Take the advice you want or works for you, use it and throw the rest away. It’s the same with publishing. When you aren’t selling millions like Stephen King, “But I followed his advice to the letter! but I did notice that part worked some for us” Or you aren’t selling thousands like Martin Crosbie, “Again, I followed his book and did all the homework! but that bit on the facebooking and the places to get advertising worked pretty well.” That’s o.k! you just need to find what works for you and your book.
You aren’t Stephen King or Martin Crosbie or even Cassidy Frazee. Take what is working for you, make it better and keep exploring and trying new things. One day you will notice that you are doing exactly what you are meant to do and what works best for you. Just as you have to keep your voice in the story, you have to write and market in a way that works best for you and your book.
Keep learning, keep growing, find new ways and ideas. If it doesn’t work, that’s o.k just move on to the next thing and take note of the things that do work for you. The thing to remember is to keep going, keep writing and don’t stop learning.