You’ve published your first book. But be careful! Here are five ways you can ruin your writing career.
1 Stop Writing.
You’ve published your first book. You expected to sell thousands—but you didn’t. There’s that voice in your head, (You know the one.), “You’re not good enough! Give up.” Will you listen to it and stop writing, or will you pick yourself up and try even harder?
Louisa May Alcott was told to stick to teaching. Rudyard Kipling was told he didn’t know how to use the English language. Scores of famous authors had their works rejected.
Don’t give up. Keep writing.
2 Oversell Your Book.
You’ve published your first book, and you’re so proud. On all the social media sites, you post about your book several times a day, day after day, week after week—and then you wonder why your book sales haven’t picked up.
Overselling can overwhelm potential readers (Think about those annoying ads that pop up on your favorite web sites. You just wish they would go away.)
Think beyond endless posts showing your book cover. Post a great review. Feature an interesting character. Be creative about garnering the interest of your audience. And don’t post too often.
3 Pester an Agent.
You’ve published your first book. Yea! Your agent pitched your book and got you the best deal—but it was a long road to publication. You wonder: if you had called your agent, texted, emailed and kept after him/her more often, would your book have been published sooner.
Think realistically. It takes time to pitch a book and find a publisher. Be appreciative that your agent placed your work. Along with being appreciative, be a team player. Be nice. Listen to your agent’s constructive criticism, and take it well. A good client/agent relationship leads to publishing more books.
4 Annoy an Editor.
You’ve published your first book—but the editor at the publishing house suggested tons of changes. You questioned most of them and even wondered about the editor’s competence. You preferred that every word stay exactly where you put it!
A first-time author’s first experience with an editor is humbling. It’s an editor’s job to make your book the best it can be, and there will be changes.
Changes fall into three categories.
Why didn’t I think of that?
It really doesn’t matter to me.
No I don’t want to do that!
Learn to accept all changes in categories 1 and 2. If accepting a change ruins your vision for the book, (#3), then have a conversation with your editor.
5 Become Overly Confident.
You’ve published your first book, and now you’re an author—like Nora Roberts, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Michael Connelly. The title “author” means you’ve entered the publishing world, and you’ve nowhere to go but up.
Overconfidence can ruin your writing career. Your second book should be better than the first. Work at managing your ego. Keep learning. Even the most famous authors know there’s always room to improve.
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