As with anything, being a new author means making a few mistakes. With the help of the people in the NaNoWriMo group on Facebook, I’ve compiled a list of things new authors shouldn’t do.
- Publish a book too soon. Just because you want to get something out there doesn’t mean you should rush. If self-publishing, take the time to make sure that your story is ready. If putting out a sequel, make sure that it’s really at it’s best, and that you’re not just pushing it out there to appease fans.
- Never talk religion or politics on social media unless it directly relates to what you write. There is a fine line between supporting gay rights and posting incendiary comments and arguing with people. You don’t want to turn people off from your story just from some stupid comment on Twitter that they disagreed with.
- Another one on that front, never respond to a one-star review. Or a two-star review. Or any reviews, unless it’s to say thank you for the review. Never get into an argument with a reader over your book, even in private. You don’t want to be accused of attacking a reader, because that will inevitably turn readers off from your work. If someone gives you a bad review you don’t deserve, rant to your loved ones in private and keep it at that.
- Don’t criticize other authors. I have broken this one by ranting against Stephanie Meyer and E. L. James, but Stephanie Meyer will never see my posts again The Host and E. L. James is a bitch to her fans. If you must speak out, make sure it’s something you can stand behind. You don’t like their book? Do not slam them over it. They plagiarize and bash fans who give one-star reviews? I personally would not engage, but if you must say something, be sure to stress the fact that you don’t condone their actions.
- Never describe eyes as “orbs” unless they’ve been removed from the person’s head.
- Never beg people to buy your book. If people know you have a book out, don’t shove it down their throat. People will be annoyed if you see them as a dollar sign.
- Don’t follow every blog you come across. Sure, some of them might follow you back, but does that matter? Sure, follow writing blogs, author blogs, publishing blogs… but fashion blogs? Gardening blogs? These kinds of blogs follow me all the time, and that’s the end of their interaction with my blog. I don’t care about followers, I care about the people who actually read what I post and talk with me. I care about the people who also post relevant posts that I can continue the conversation with.
- Do not start or end the book with a dream sequence. That’s lazy.
- Don’t let yourself get distracted by talking writing. You can blog and hype your book all you want, but unless you actually write it, nothing is gonna get done.
- Don’t give up. Never put yourself down. No one can tell a story like you can, so be motivated! The world needs your story!