As an author, there are a lot of things to think about before you hit publish on your book. These days, there's a lot more to the publishing process than just writing a great book. You have to think about things like marketing, distribution, and publicity.
But don't worry, I've got you covered. I've rounded up some of the best author testimonials on things they wish they knew before publishing.
These tips will help you in your quest to get your book out there and into the hands of readers. So what are you waiting for? Get reading!
- 1. Self-Publishing Is A Viable Option!
- 2. The Writing Part Is The Easy Part...
- 3. Know Your Audience
- 4. Self-Belief
- 5. Knowing When To Use A Pen Name
- 6. All The Aspects Of Publishing A Book
- 7. Build Your Audience
- 8. Drafts, Edits, and More Drafts and Edits!
- 9. Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help
- 10. Everybody Judges A Book By Its Cover...
- 11. ...And Its Title
- 12. Push Through The Sleepless Nights
- 13. Make Sure the Book Cover Matches the Genre
- 14. Promote, Promote, Promote!
- 15. Get a Professional Editor
- 16. Be Patient
- 17. I Wish I Joined a Writer's Group Sooner
- 18. Read Books in Your Genre
- 19. Set Realistic Expectations
- 20. Take Your Time
- 21. Get a Professional Cover
- 22. Hire an Editor
- 23. Ask For Reviews
- 24. Add An Author Page
- 25. You Will Get Better
- 26. Think About Who Is Buying Your Book And Why
- 27. Never Stop Marketing
- 28. You'll Make Some Sales...But Probably Not As Many As You'd Like
- 29. You'll Be Rejected...A Lot
- 30. There Is No Magic Formula For Success
1. Self-Publishing Is A Viable Option!
"I always knew self-publishing was an option, but I thought it would just be for wannabe authors who haven’t made it yet. It turns out that there are tons of successful writers using this route and they all have their own unique voices!"
2. The Writing Part Is The Easy Part...
"You know what? The writing part is easy. Marketing, not so much! I wasted a year throwing money at every endeavor that came up and barely sold any books; then one day on Facebook (of course) someone suggested checking out Publisher Rocket and suddenly that everything changed for me..."
3. Know Your Audience
"If you're hoping to make a career out of your writing, it's essential that you write about topics and genres that you love. However, before you publish anything, it's important to do some research to make sure that there's actually an audience for what you're writing.
Different types of writing can be successful with different audiences, so understanding how successful different genres and topics are can help guide your marketing strategy. By taking the time to research the market before publishing anything, you can increase your chances of success as a writer."
"If there's one thing I've learned in my years as a writer, it's that you have to believe in yourself. It's easy to get caught up in self-doubt, to question your talent and your abilities.
But if you want to be a successful writer, you have to trust in your creative brain. The writing process is a solitary one, and it can be easy to feel like you're all alone. But remember: you are a writer. You have something special and unique to say. So trust in your creativity, and believe in yourself. The world needs your story."
5. Knowing When To Use A Pen Name
"It would have been incredibly useful if someone would have told me that when writing across genres to use a pen name. I write women's fiction under my own name and chick lit under a pen name.
It's so important to use a pen name when you're writing in different genres because you don't want to confuse your readers. A pen name gives you the freedom to write whatever you want without worrying about what your fans will think.
I would also have appreciated it if someone would have explained the reason to write a series. Series are so popular right now and they're a great way to build an audience. Each book in a series introduces new readers to your work and keeps existing fans coming back for more."
6. All The Aspects Of Publishing A Book
"Before I wrote my first book, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought the hardest part would be getting the words down on paper, but I quickly learned that writing is only a small part of the publishing process.
Editing is where the real work begins. You have to be willing to make changes to your story, even if it means cutting out entire chapters or reworking your ending. And querying and pitching is a whole other beast. You have to be prepared to face rejection after rejection, but you can't give up."
7. Build Your Audience
"When you start writing, you need to start building. That means creating an audience for your work. You can do this by posting on social media, blogging, and interacting on groups that focus on your genre.
That way, when you are finally ready to publish, your audience is waiting. But don't just create an audience; build a relationship with them. Let them get to know you as a person, not just as an author.
Be vulnerable. Share your story. And most importantly, listen to theirs. Because when you have a relationship with your audience, they will be there for you through the ups and downs of your career. They will be the ones who buy your books, leave reviews, and recommend you to their friends."
8. Drafts, Edits, and More Drafts and Edits!
"It takes a lot of time and effort to write a book. In fact, before a book is ready to be published, it usually goes through about ten drafts. This can be a lot of work, but it's important to make sure that the book is the best it can be before putting it out into the world.
Of course, not every writer goes through exactly ten drafts, but it's definitely not uncommon. So, if you're working on a book, don't get discouraged if it takes a few rounds of editing before it's perfect. It's all part of the process."
9. Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Before you publish your book, it is important to get as much feedback as possible. This can be difficult to hear, but it is essential in order to produce the best possible product.
Ask your friends and family for their honest opinion, and don't be afraid to take constructive criticism on board. If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of online resources that can help you to get feedback on your work.
Once you have taken all of this into account, you can then make the necessary changes and be confident that your book is the best it can be.
10. Everybody Judges A Book By Its Cover...
It's amazing how many people think they can skimp on cover design and still get their books noticed. Unfortunately, in today's market, that simply isn't the case. With so many books vying for attention, a poorly designed cover is likely to deter potential readers before they even take a closer look.
In fact, many people judge a book solely on its cover before deciding whether or not to give it a chance. Given the importance of a book's cover, it's important to invest in a professional designer before publishing.
11. ...And Its Title
"Before publishing my book, I didn't put much thought into the title. I just wanted to get the book out there and didn't want to spend too much time on something that didn't seem important.
Unfortunately, this turned out to be a mistake. The title ended up being confusing and it didn't really capture what the book was about. As a result, potential readers were turned off and I didn't sell as many copies as I could have.
If I had just taken a bit more time to come up with a better title, I probably would have had more success. Lesson learned!"
12. Push Through The Sleepless Nights
"There were many times before I published my book, that I nearly gave up. I didn't think I could do it. I wasn't sure if it was worth all the effort. But I'm so glad that I didn't give up. Because finally holding my finished book in my hands was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. All the late nights spent writing, all the early mornings spent editing, all the hours spent promoting...it was all worth it. Seeing my book out in the world, knowing that it's helping people, that's what matters to me. "
13. Make Sure the Book Cover Matches the Genre
"If you want your book to be successful, it's important to make sure that the cover design matches the genre. For example, a romance novel should have a different cover than a self-help book.
Your book's cover is one of the first things potential readers will see, so you want to make sure that it accurately reflects the contents of the book. If you're not sure how to design a cover, there are plenty of professionals who can help you.
Don't skimp on this important step before publishing!"
14. Promote, Promote, Promote!
"One of the most important things I've learned before publishing is that promotion is key. Just because you've written a book, doesn't mean that people will automatically find out about it and start buying it. You have to put in the time and effort to promote your work if you want it to be successful.
There are many ways to promote a book, but some of the most effective include social media, blog tours, and giving talks or readings. If you want people to buy your book, you have to let them know that it exists!
Don't be afraid to get creative with your promotion and think outside the box."
15. Get a Professional Editor
"One of the best pieces of advice I can give before publishing is to invest in a professional editor. A good editor will help to improve your writing, catch any errors, and give you constructive feedback.
While it's possible to edit your book yourself, it's not always easy to be objective about your own work. A professional editor will be able to help you take your book to the next level and make sure that it's the best it can be before you publish.
It's worth spending the money to get a good editor before you self-publish."
16. Be Patient
I remember when I first started working on my book. I was so excited to get everything down on paper and see my story come to life. But the reality is that writing a book takes time. There are endless hours of planning, drafting, and revising before you can even think about publishing.
If only someone had reminded me to be patient! I might have saved myself a lot of frustration. But I’ve learned my lesson, and now I know that being patient is essential to the writing process. So if you’re working on a book, or anything else for that matter, just remember to be patient and trust that the right words will come at the right time.
17. I Wish I Joined a Writer's Group Sooner
"One of the best things I did around the time of publishing my second book was join a writer's group. I was part of a supportive community of writers who provided feedback, offered encouragement, and helped me to improve my writing.
I wish I had joined a writer's group sooner! It would have made the whole process of writing and publishing my first book much easier. If you're thinking about joining a writer's group, or starting one of your own, I would highly recommend it."
18. Read Books in Your Genre
"I should have read more books in my genre before publishing my first book. Reading is essential for any writer, but it's especially important to read books in the genre you're writing in.
Reading will help you to understand the conventions of your genre and give you ideas for your own writing. I didn't do enough reading before publishing my first book, and I definitely paid the price for it. So if you're working on a book, make sure to do plenty of reading in your genre!"
19. Set Realistic Expectations
"One of the most important things I've learned before publishing is to set realistic expectations. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of writing and publishing a book and forget that not everyone is going to love it.
It's important to remember that your book is not going to be for everyone, and that's okay! Not everyone is going to like the same books, and that's what makes reading so great.
Don't expect your book to be a bestseller, and don't get too disappointed if it's not. Just enjoy the process of writing and publishing, and trust that you've created something special that someone, somewhere will love."
20. Take Your Time
"One of the most important pieces of advice I can give before publishing is to take your time. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of finishing a book and want to rush through the editing and publishing process.
But it's important to remember that rushing can lead to mistakes, and you want your book to be the best it can be before you publish. So take your time, enjoy the process, and don't rush! You'll be glad you did."
21. Get a Professional Cover
"One of the best things you can do before publishing is to get a professional cover. A professional cover designer will be able to create a beautiful, eye-catching cover that will help your book stand out from the rest.
Your cover is the first thing potential readers will see, so it's important to make a good impression. A professional cover designer will be able to help you do just that. So if you're thinking about publishing, make sure to invest in a professional cover!"
22. Hire an Editor
"If you're serious about publishing your book, then you need to hire a professional editor. A good editor will help improve your writing, catch errors, and make suggestions for improving your book.
It's important to remember that editing is an investment, but it's one that will pay off in the long run. A good editor will help make your book the best it can be, and that's worth the investment."
23. Ask For Reviews
"I thought I would just naturally get reviews when my book was published, but that wasn't the case. If you want reviews, you need to actively seek them out.
The best way to do this is to reach out to bloggers, book reviewers, and anyone else who might be interested in reading and reviewing your book. Most people are happy to help, but you need to ask!"
24. Add An Author Page
"Particularly for a non-fiction book, if you have the credentials or the platform to do so, consider adding an author page.
An author page is a great way to build trust with potential readers and show that you're credible on the subject of your book. If you can add an author page before publishing, it's definitely worth doing!"
25. You Will Get Better
"You will become a better writer the more you write. It's important to remember that your first book is not going to be perfect, and that's okay!
Use each book as an opportunity to learn and grow as a writer. With each new book, you'll get better and better, and before you know it, you'll be writing amazing books!"
26. Think About Who Is Buying Your Book And Why
"It's important to think about who is buying your book and why before you publish. Are you writing for a specific audience?
Are you trying to appeal to a wide audience? Knowing your target audience will help you market your book more effectively and make sure that you're reaching the people who are most likely to buy it."
27. Never Stop Marketing
"Marketing doesn't end when your book is published. In fact, that's when the real marketing begins!
You need to continuously market your book if you want it to be successful. There are a lot of ways to do this, so get creative and don't be afraid to try new things. But never stop marketing, because if you do, your book sales will suffer."
28. You'll Make Some Sales...But Probably Not As Many As You'd Like
"It's important to manage your expectations before publishing. It's easy to think that your book is going to be a bestseller, but the reality is that most books don't sell very well.
If you're lucky, you'll make a few sales here and there. But don't expect to become a millionaire overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and luck to sell a lot of books."
29. You'll Be Rejected...A Lot
"If you're planning on submitting your book to agents or publishers, be prepared to be rejected. A lot.
It's not personal, it's just the way the business works. The vast majority of submissions are rejected, so don't take it personally when it happens to you. Just keep trying and eventually you'll find someone who is interested in your book."
30. There Is No Magic Formula For Success
"There is no one right way to publish a book. Every author has their own unique process, and what works for one person might not work for another. Don't get too caught up in trying to find the perfect way to do things. Just focus on writing the best book you can, and the rest will fall into place."
Do you have any tips for first-time authors? Share them in the comments below! And if you're a first-time author, good luck with your book! I'm sure it will be great!