Because so many new writers fail…
1. Learn the craft!
Think of writing as a profession like any other. If you want to become a chef, you wouldn’t just open a restaurant with zero kitchen experiences. You would study thousands of good recipes, you would serve as an apprentice with a star cook for years, and you would learn about all the food and spices in this world.
It’s the same with writing.
It’s not enough to have a great story to tell. You also need to learn how to write it in a way that entertains your readers.
2. Get support from other writers!
As a writer, it’s essential to join a critique group. Your critique partners are other writers, not your friends or family. Those people know what to look for in your text. They tell you what’s working and what not.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find writers who already published some books successfully and can help you in more ways than just finding plot holes in your book.
3. In God’s name, edit your book!
Don’t think that your book is ready to be published only because your (author) friends told you it’s great. Your friends will never tell you that your writing is crap. They would rather cut out their tongues, believe me.
An editor may not tell you so either because, frankly, you pay him some good money. But he will polish your writing until it’s free of errors and good enough to go out. You have to invest in a good copy editor! Otherwise you will find your death as a writer.
It’s really amazing how many novels there are on Amazon where you can tell from the first sneak peek into the book that it never saw the red pen of a professional editor.
And while we’re at it, let this copy editor also polish the book description!
4. Format your book right!
If you go indie, your main audience will be the one with an e-reader. Formatting your book takes about 5 minutes and you can read about the guidelines on every retailer’s site. If you fail, your book will be an eyesore. No one’s going to read it if the formatting causes a headache.
5. Hire a cover designer!
A good cover is not simply one picture taken with your smart phone or digital camera. The pictures—yes, it’s plural here, deal with it!—have to be taken by a professional photographer. You can buy every kind of photo from websites like Shutterstock or Stocksy.
If you want your cover to stand out, use more than one picture and create something unique. Stick to the guidelines of your genre but still stand out with what you present. A book will always be judged by its cover, no matter what bullshit everyone tells you.
Find out more about how to write a book successfully here.
You only have this one chance. Don’t mess it up.