FRIDAY SF & FANTASY – The Realm Wardens Series
Advice you would give new authors?
Oh there is so much to say to new authors, I’ll try and keep it limited. My advice is to remember that most people out there are not competing with you. What I mean by this is I encounter a lot of new writers who feel that helping another author with marketing or spreading the word about their book will take away from their own sales. When that just isn’t the case.
The writing community as a whole is a very supportive and loving environment. Yes, you will encounter some who feel it necessary to tear you down and your work apart because they are insecure about their own position in the world. But for every one of those guys there’s twenty that will jump over the moon to help you. So ask for help.
My second piece of advice, know that your first book or short story isn’t going to be great. Okay, well that’s not necessarily true either, some writers are naturally amazing and hit the mark right out the gate. But the mass majority of us(myself included) our first books are stinkers. And that’s okay, because as a writer you should always be learning and improving. Sending that stinker to beta readers that know what to look for, who are writers themselves can give you some valuable information on how to improve.
My last piece of advice. Don’t be in a rush to publish. Learn from my mistakes. I was in such a rush to publish my book that I didn’t get an editor, my cover art was done by people who didn’t know how to make cover art, and were terrible at what they did create. Take your time, learn how to do self-editing, find trustworthy and knowledgeable betas (NOT your friends and family. You want people who are going to be honest with you.) Then find an editor with more than a couple years’ experience, have them do sample edits, don’t look for the cheapest but you don’t have to hire the most expensive either. Find a great cover artist that is familiar with your genre.
If it takes a year or two to save up for these things, then take that year or two to save up. The instant you put something out there, you will never truly be able to take it back. So don’t put out lackluster work with the “intent” to fix it and re-upload. Trust me, word spreads fast about bad work and you will do more harm than good. So slow down, don’t be in such a rush.
And my absolute last piece of advice, speaking from experience of a beta reader, don’t edit your work while people are betaing it or editing it, don’t argue with the betas or the editor on their notes. Their notes and comments are merely opinions and suggestions of your book, if you don’t agree with them then delete the comment and move on. Don’t send a long winded email explaining why they are wrong for thinking what they were thinking. Instead take a day to absorb their thoughts and see if after some time you understand where they are coming from. Good beta’s and editors are not out to get you, they only want you to succeed and create the best work you can.