Advice for the newly published
A top ten list
One: Yes, you have to be your own #1 fan, but don’t annoy people with so much promo (and only promo) that they groan when they see yet another one from you.
Two: Try not to “hang onto” what others think of you. There will be a dozen good things and one bad—but it’s that one bad thing that will stick in your mind. Some people are just mean and don’t deserve your tears. Trust me.
Three: Keep it in perspective. A lot of people helped you get where you are—and will keep you there. No one can afford to be a snob. There are a couple of writers I won’t even share an elevator with, because they act like they’re better than everybody else.
Four: Have fun with your fans. Remember to know you is to love you. Let them get to know you—even if you’re shy.
Five: If you hold a contest in order to get email addresses, be sure to tell people they’re agreeing to receive your newsletter. Nothing is so rude as spam.
Six: Help your fellow authors. They’ll remember it and return the favor when you need one. If they help you first, be sure to say, “I owe you one,” and mean it. If they say, “No,” don’t get bent out of shape. They might be a whole lot more stressed than they look. (We hide it well, and we should! Our job is to entertain the masses.)
Seven: Don’t bad mouth anybody! You never know who’s listening. And don’t take the bait when a blogger or some social media loudmouth expresses an opinion that upsets you. It may be an intentional bid for more comments and popularity.
Eight: Try to set aside a block of time each day to write, even if it’s only half an hour. You might have a job and family, but it’s important to you, and you have every right to ask for that time to be respected. Remember that your best promo is your next book. Don’t spend so much time promoting that you cut into your writing time.
Nine: Love what you’re writing. Readers can tell if you’re just going through the motions. Fall in love with your own hero. Put yourself in your heroine’s place. Tell your story through your characters’ eyes. The closer readers feel to the story, the longer it will stay with them.
Ten: Always try to improve your craft. Read. Take workshops. Ask for critiques (but know it’s okay to ignore bad advice.) Listen to what reviewers are saying. And most of all, keep writing! Everyone improves with practice and experience.