Saturday, July 25, 2015

40 Things an Author Absolutely Must Do To Succeed

1. Facebook. Get on there, get 5,000 friends and post every day. ‘What are you reading and why?’ ‘What is your protagonist’s worst attribute?’ ‘How do you edit?’ Be sure to post photos of a little girl in a tutu. Any little girl. People love that.
     2.  LinkedIn. More professional. Post every day. ‘Got a good response from my critique buddies on chapter three.’ Speaking of that,
     3.  Join a critique group. Online or meet at Starbuck’s for a seven dollar chocolate whipped coffee. Keep the receipt, deduct it when the book sells. Where to find critique friends?
     4.  Join a writer’s group. Meet once a week, listen and smile while Nancy gushes that she wrote her first romance, pitched it to one agent and has sold five thousand copies.
      5.  Attend a writer’s conference. Dress for success, put together a perfect pitch, rehearse it a thousand times, then tweak it so it doesn't sound memorized. Rub elbows with other writers. Smile at dinner while Stephanie gushes that she pitched her novel to one agent and he’s got her lined up with Harlequin. But don’t just attend…
     6.   Teach a class at a writer’s conference. Put together the ‘Rainbow Story Arc.’ Weave the colors through the tome. Red represents anger, Blue depression, Purple epitomizes passion and yellow, pleasure. Figure out what orange represents. How can you teach?
     7.  Join Toastmasters. Learn to speak in public with conviction and ease. And who knows’? Perhaps a fellow Toastie will read and critique your work. Then,
     8.   Find speaking engagements. Rotary Club, Lions and anywhere else where people will listen to your story. Come up with something clever to speak about.
     9.  Shop at Barnes and Noble. Watch people shop and see what they pick up in your genre’. Marvel at the myriad books in your genre.’ Speaking of what people are buying,
     10.  Check out Amazon. What’s selling? What are your competitor’s reviews looking like? Oh, speaking of that,
     11.  Write reviews for your critique and writer’s group friends. Oops.
     12.  Read books for your critique partners. Don’t like sci-fi? Read it anyway. It’ll broaden your horizons. Oh, and
     13.  Read books. Read in your genre. Read classics too.
     14.  Put together a killer website. You’ll probably need help on this too. Don’t go cheap. Keep it fresh. Videos are big too. So,
     15.  Get a YouTube account, make videos that support your work. Speaking of that,
     16.  Put together a trailer for your book. You might need help on this so,
     17.  Find an expert to put together a trailer for your book. Be sure to put puppies in it, even if there aren't any in your story. Puppies sell.
     18.  Figure out Hootsuite. Cool! Now you can post once and send it everywhere. Except Goodreads. Oh, that’s right,
     19.  Join Goodreads. Make lots of friends. Keep them apprised of what you’re reading. Participate. If someone disses your buddy, stand up for him. Be brave, but don’t overstep and alienate your followers.
     20.  Get going on Twitter! ‘@B&N cheking out thrillers. Lite traffic 2day. #B&Nlitetraffic.’ Tweet a lot. Follow. Follow more. Follow a lot.
     21.  Find a graphics artist for your cover. Don’t go cheap or your best seller will look cheap and won’t be a bestseller.
     22.  You're supposed to write what you know. Don’t know anything about Maine and lobster for your breakout? Get out there. Be sure to wear the bib.
     23.  What are you thinking? You've missed so many social sites. Join Pinterest, Google Plus+, Tumbler, Instagram and Flickr. Don’t be a social site outcast, get in there! Be faithful, you don’t want to lose your followers.
     24.  Buy and read the book by the agent you met at the conference. ‘Being a Connected Writer.’ Be sure to post a nice review of it.
     25.  What? You haven’t gotten a blog built yet? Come on! Make it fresh, post faithfully and keep your followers interested. You need to stand out from the 150 million other blogs. If you don’t have 5,000 followers, a publisher won’t even glance at you. Speaking of publishers,
     26.  Pitch that book! Knock out some query letters, get those submissions going.
     27.  What? Sure you’re on Facebook, but you don’t want to look like a rookie. Set up a professional page. Send your followers over there. Keep it fresh and catchy.
     28.  Get that computer fixed up. Bring it in and get those five thousand viruses taken care of. Speaking of that,
     29.  Clean up the junk in it. Old pre-edited works, photos, abandoned blog posts and goofy ideas. Ideas?
     30.  Make a file of great story ideas. Need help organizing it? Set up an Evernote account, study how to schedule, make notes and organize contacts.
     31.  Keep a journal. You’re a writer, correct? You need to document insights, thoughts and emotions. You should do it every day.
     32.  Set up a professional email. Come on, isn't going to cut it.
     33.  Get a professional head shot. You aren't going to impress potential agents and publishers with that selfie of you with the pink boa. Put it on all the social sites, the blog and the website. Now you’re branding!
     34.  Find a good editor to clean up your work. Yes, Aunt Jenny taught second grade English, but you've seen her Christmas letters. Be honest, it’s not going to work.
     35.  Shop for e Magazines that fit your work and offer to write articles for them. Send a sample article. Send another. Okay that’s enough, you’re becoming a stalker.
     36.  Find a buddy and offer to guest write on her blog. One hand washes another, right?
     37.  You haven’t posted anything on your writer’s group’s Facebook page! Stick SOMETHING in there, or they will forget you exist. Add some comments on others’ posts. Be clever. Someone posted on their blog? Read it and comment. Speaking of that,
     38.  Check your blog for comments. Reply to them. You don’t reply, people assume you’re dead.
     39.  Get to the weekly writer’s group meeting! Listen to others read their work and struggle not to grimace. They don’t grimace at your work.
     40.  Check FB posts. Connie Blair commented two days ago, come on! Are you there? And look at that post! The one below the kitten wearing the tutu. ‘Scientists find that sniffing rosemary can increase memory by 75%. Be sure to remember- somehow- to get rosemary.
     Oh. Yes. And write. 

(This tongue-in-cheek piece was originally posted by author Kevin Parsons on AuthorCulture.)

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