In this series Lessons from the Desk, I’ll offer insights into what I’ve learned about writing and publishing while on my journey into indie publishing. Today I wanted to reflect on what I’ve learned about writing since getting one book out into the world and working on my next.
1. Writing a series is hard!
Writing that first book is a challenge in itself and when you get to the end it’s a big accomplishment, however, there is a real struggle in writing the second – particularly if you’re picking up from where you left off. The story’s no longer something new, instead, you’re already knee deep in a story and you’re bringing it to its next phase. It’s easier when the story is new and shiny but how do you get through that initial slump to get going on the second book?
For me I found having a clear plan on where you’re going helps the most, and outlining the second and even third book will help you see the course for your story and characters. It will also show you what you have to look forward to writing in a world you already know and have established.
2. Your book won’t sell unless you make it work
You’ve got your book out on Amazon, great! Those first few days the book is selling then things may start to die down, a few months later it could go completely quiet, particularly if you’re not pushing it. Which is why it’s so hard to do with just one book. I put one book out there and knew I should have waited till I had three. Now I’m working on those books and my first book is quietly sitting there till they’re done. While I’m happy about this, for now, it may leave you impatient if you have different goals. If you want to have steady sales it’s always best to have more than one book and a good marketing plan to get your book moving.
3. Author Platform
This is something I knew about before publishing and it’s so much more than just a website, yes you need to create this for your readers, but a platform is a lot more. It’s about having a presence and an audience to launch your book to, having this will make selling the book easier and have longevity, but don’t fear, you can build a platform after publishing, but it’s always best to start as early as you can.
So there’s my top three lessons I’ve learnt, what lessons have you learnt from publishing?