Monday, 27 June 2016

4 lessons I've learned in 3 years of being published!

It's been a whole three years since The Forgotten came out! 

It's been an interesting journey since TF's release, and now I look back at the book, I can see it's rife with problems. But it's still dear to me because it's my first release, and because I love the characters. By this time next year, The Lux Guardians series will be complete, and the gang's journey will be wrapped up. You can expect more news on the last two books in the coming months.

Here are four lessons I've learned since publishing The Forgotten. Bear in mind this only relates to my experience as an indie author, and I can't speak for everyone.

Never NEVER announce the Big Shiny WIP

Chances are you won't finish it, and that'll be on the internet FOREVER, looking at you every time you go on Goodreads, wondering why you haven't finished it yet. (I really am going to work on it soon, though.) Don't ever post a cover, mock-up or otherwise, anywhere before the book is fully written either. I wait until I have a solid first draft that I am absolutely sure is going to become a published book before posting it anywhere online. (Series are a little different - if you've written the first book, it's a safe bet you're going to finish the series, so announcing those books or adding them to GR is a little less risky. For a larger series, I'd still wait, personally, until you've written 2 or 3 books.)

Blog Tours don't necessarily = readers and sales

Sure, you get some readers but I got maybe three sales from my last paid blog tour... In no world would I call that a success.

It's impossible to know what will = sales

I thought having THE BEAST OF CALLAIRE on Netgalley would generate interest in The Legend Mirror series and would lead to sales. I did get 10+ reviews but those reviews don't seem to have had any lasting affect. Netgalley exposure really works for some authors and some books. Blog tours really work for some authors and some books. You can't predict it in the least, and while that's frustrating (and costly!) you kinda just have to accept it and keep trying new things. At some point, somethings gonna work.

Keeping a record of writing progress leads to productivity

Now, this could be just me, but since I've started keeping track of my daily writing/editing/revising etc on a spreadsheet, I've had a much bigger output. I've gone from writing 20K or editing 200 pages a month to 40K and 500 pages. It's useful, and encouraging, to see your achievements laid out. Of course this works in reverse too - have a bad week and you have to look at it for a while and feel crappy. But the good outweighs the bad, and I'm more motivated and productive now than I ever was.


These lessons have made me a smarter author and a more efficient writer. Some things will never change (I'll always be impatient to announce what I'm working on) and by the time my fifth year as a published author comes around, I expect I'll have five more lessons to tell you. I'm constantly learning (as, I think, all authors are) and I'm interested to see what happens next.

You can download The Forgotten for free at all good online retailers!


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