This week we asked our community on Facebook to answer this question: What advice would you offer to new authors just getting started? Here’s what they had to say:
Stephanie Chandler: Start now! Build a marketing plan before the book is finished being written and you will be ahead of the game!
Marie DeHaan: Never give up.
Joel D Canfield: Write for love, not money, but understand the business so you know what you’re doing and why.
Use your name, not your book name, as your website URL.
Marie DeHaan: Joel D Canfield, I love the first sentence you wrote. That is absolutely great advice. As for the second sentence, no one knows who Marie de Haan is, but if people search “cancer” or “funny” on Google…they will often find me (“Cancer Is a Funny Thing”). I’m curious why you recommend using your name. I can see if Joel Canfield writes several different books in different genres, he would want joelcanfield.com as his website and then promote all of his books. 🙂 Is that your reasoning? (This is NOT meant to be contrary…I’m truly interested in your answer.)
Joel D Canfield: I am so glad you asked, Marie. Your brand is you, the author. It’s easy to build all that other SEO friendly content into your site so folks will find it anyway.
Also easy to have multiple names point to one site, so it’s not an either/or situation. If you own the domain cancerisafunnything.com and it points to the same website as mariedehaan.com that’s an excellent situation. And when you write another book (your book’s best marketing is your next book) you can buy that domain name and point it the same place.
Finally, marketing is about relationships. Your book cannot make a personal connection with your readers and potential readers. You can. Everything you post on social media comes from Marie DeHaan, not from your book. It’s you talking, and that’s what people will connect with.
I do write in multiple genres and music as well, but my fans are fans of Joel D Canfield, not of any one particular work. In the long run (marketing is the epitome of a long run) they’ll connect with a person, not a book.
Mike Loomis: Don’t get frozen by “Marketing block.” Marketing is telling a story to people you want to help.
Sales is introducing them to something that will help them.
Our goal is NOT to “get 1000 subscribers” our goal is to help 1 person. If our words help one person, they can help 1000 people. And if our words help 1000 people, we’ll sell 100 books. – Mike Loomis, Author Coach www.MikeLoomis.CO
David Evans: One of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started writing was assuming that, if a person is a writer, he or she will ,of course, be planning to write a NOVEL. That is completely untrue! You may have tremendous writing potential and talent and never write a novel. So my advice is to explore the various, very different writing forms and see what form speaks to you. One of my own favorite forms is greeting cards. I’ve written over 6,000, that have sold over twelve million copies! And I still haven’t written a novel. Find out where where your real talent and passion lies! David Evans, Psychology Today blogger, “Can’t We All Just Get Along?”
We want to hear from you! Share your own answer in the comments below.