Based on the collected wisdom from experienced authors, some helpful advice emerges over and over again. Here is a distillation of some of the most important pieces of advice from experienced authors.
Thick Skin People are going to criticize you. They are going to say that your book is terrible, and some of them might even attack you personally (over the Internet, probably not in person). Every author has a time when he or she just wants to turn the computer or TV off to stop hearing the criticism, but the truth is that you need thick skin. It’s OK to think of your book as your baby, but understand that your baby has faults (just like any real child). Some people might love the plot, but others will say that it’s inconsistent and boring.
It’s much easier to ignore these criticisms and just keep telling yourself that your book is perfect, but the point of having thick skin is so that you can take this criticism and apply it to your book. Maybe the plot is wrong. Don’t take it as someone attacking you. Look at your book and see if it really needs to be changed. This can be a perfectly good learning experience that you’d otherwise pass up if you keep trying to convince yourself that your book is perfect.
Sell a Sentence People have notoriously short attention spans. However, it makes sense when it comes to buying books. Why should someone waste time seeing if your book is any good when there are hundreds or thousands of other books on a similar topic? Many experienced writers say that you need to sell your book in a sentence. If you can’t do that, then you won’t be able to sell the book with a larger blurb, synopsis or anything else. Brevity is a virtue when it comes to the publishing world.
Don’t Follow Trends The best (or at least, the most popular) writers make trends, they don’t follow them. Remember when Da Vinci Code was really popular? How many other books came out in the following weeks and months about a researcher finding out secrets about art or historical figures? Or, what about Harry Potter? How many writers had wizard fever? There’s a reason why these books didn’t sell well. The writers were following a trend.
However, the truth is that readers are always looking for something new. You don’t need to reinvent the market, but you should give people something fresh and new to read. Speaking of that, it’s also a great idea to stop censoring yourself. Are you worried about what your mother, child or friend will think of your book? While you shouldn’t purposely go over the top (unless it fits your book), you should never censor yourself. Create your book the way you see it.
Conclusion It’s always a good idea to hear from the old guard. If you want to be successful in the writing world, then you need to grow a thick skin, make your own trends and sell your book as quickly as possible. If you can do that, you increase your chances of publishing success.
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