Of course I’m a good writer….why would I invest three years of my life trying to get my work recognized,…spend several thousand dollars on “training”……and sell eleven books?

Well, I’ll tell you why; I was a novice to this industry and didn’t know the difference between excellent packaged hustles, and sincere, reasonable, guidance with no strings attached. I just knew I could write and was anxious to prove it.

 And then, I ran into Smashwords founder’s philosophy on preparation, setting expectations, giving back to fellow authors, and giving the reader a professionally written piece of literature.

The price tag on this common sense approach… $0.00. That’s right, zero. 

2 Organizations for New Authors

1.) Smashwords

A brand new author can go to Smashwords and sign up for free. You have broad access to thousands of books that are free to browse and, from the founder Mark Coker, “how to” books on every aspect of writing, publishing, and marketing that cost nothing. You’re encouraged to download them for free and pass it on. The commitment to authors, readers, and retailers, is equal. If I could pass on anything to new authors, it would be to join Smashwords and put on your learning hat.

2.) The Alliance of Independent Authors  (ALLi)

Another organization that you can count on to be for real is, The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLI) https:/www.allianceindependentauthors.org. 

ALLI is a Global Non-Profit Association for Self-Publishing Authors. They also ride herd on the industry and won’t hesitate to point out a bad publisher, etc.

A few benefits:

  • Trusted Self-Publishing Advice                    
  • Speaking and Feature Opportunities
  • World Class Advisors
  • Your Questions Answered
  • Legal and Business Advice
  • Global Connections and Promotion
  • Speaking and Feature Opportunities
  • Self-Publishing Guides
  • Self-Publishing Resources
  • Blog and Podcast Opportunities

So, I’d like to pass-on some pitfalls that can besiege a new author to the industry. Sometimes, good training in any field should start with what not to do.

Tips for New Authors

1.) Avoid high-priced package deals

Don’t fall for high priced package deals that take you from what kind of book cover you need, to publishing..to best seller status. There’s not one package deal that has a final price, it’s all up-sell on the next step…”upgrade now for $97.00, this is where the real action is.” 

It reminds me of the old comedy routine that Rowan and Martin used to do; An older man’s wife had passed and he was making the final arrangements at a funeral home. Of course he was still weepy about her passing. The funeral arranger was going through his casket selections and pointed out one that he suggested might be very respectable for his wife. The gentleman nodded his head still sniffling and said that would be nice. The arranger asked if he would like to upgrade to the matching flower sprays on either side of the casket for “X dollars” and the gentleman said yes that would be nice. And then the arranger asked, “and would you like a lid for it?

       Well that’s about how it feels when you think the package price is the final cost. You’re going along with the course and invariably the up-sell is presented like, well you bought the package when your were a rookie, but now you’re on your way to rubbing shoulders with the elite. So it’s time to really get serious..go ahead and click, “upgrade now.”

 I read somewhere that the miners digging for gold during the California goldrush weren’t the ones making the money…it was the ones selling them the shovels, tents, food and whiskey, that made the money.

2.) Embrace the internet

All that aside, it is the greatest time ever to be an author because of the tech age that we live in. The internet is magical in a variety of ways. Where else could you publish your book and on that same day have it appear in 50 countries, including the United States and Canada. And with a touch of a button a reader can download your hard work and begin the journey of being a loyal fan of yours. The trick to making that happen is to give this “fan in the making,” an excellent piece of literature…something you would buy. Yes, the reader is a mirror of you. Talk to your readers senses. He’s no different than you. He wants to read and you want to write.

3.) Tap into your passion

What’s your passion…? What makes you laugh/ cry/ feel proud/ feel humble ..makes you want to forgive someone, or make someone accountable.

It’s not just about words and paragraphs ..It’s about the passion..how do you connect with people..how do you reach out and get a response…how do you engage with friendly fire..ie challenge a person..to make a decision, to commit to making a difference.

When you identify your passion…then you get into the mechanics of making sense to a reader with what you know. If you know about space ships..then write about space ships and challenge the reader to know more by giving him more.

Until next time..

Joseph Woodward  Author

Checkout my website for free books.   www.josephwoodwardstories.com

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