Pearls of #Literature on #Marketing, #Blogging, #Community & #Support, Pt. 10 #RRBC #RWISA

During our 4th Annual Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, I was scheduled to present a session on my “15 Pearls” of Literature on Marketing, Blogging, Community, and Support.  

This session on my “PEARLS…” will be shared here for all our members, in hopes that it will help in our quest to become more successful and better at marketing our work as we make connections that will benefit us professionally as well as personally.  These will be posted in separate parts.

Welcome to Part 10!

ALWAYS BE WILLING TO GROW AND BECOME BETTER

To date, I am a published author with several books under my belt. As a new author, back in the early part of 2012, it took me only 17 days to pen “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS!” I was so excited about it, I went back and forth over it with a fine tooth comb. Then, I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could write a novel.  You see (in my mind), the only way to prove that you are a really good writer, is to try your hand at Fiction because that’s where the real creativity comes into play.

Well, I did write that novel, and it was pretty good – or so I thought. Fast forward a few years with a lot more literary knowledge and writing skill under my belt, and I looked back over both books and cringed.   Yes, I wanted to hide my face in disappointment and shock, so, putting a bag over it so no one would know me while I was rushing over to Amazon, was what happened in the end.

The novel, although a really good story, fell short in my expectations of what a well-written story should look like.  Although it had a myriad of 4 and 5-star reviews, I pulled that book down from Amazon over 4 years ago and it’s not back up yet.  And it won’t be until I have had the opportunity to re-edit it and make it (almost) perfect based on my skill and knowledge of today.

One of the many reasons I’m glad to be a self-published author, is that we have the ability to improve on our work at any time – we can pull our work down from Amazon and other retailers and make corrections or changes on a whim, which I know some traditionally published authors aren’t afforded the luxury of doing.  To me, this is a major asset in our field.

I am a stickler for (almost) perfect writing.  I know, I can hear some of you saying out loud as you read this, “But there’s NO such thing.” Wait a second, I said (almost) perfect writing.  No one is perfect, I’m aware of that – but let me tell you, I strive for it in everything I do. And when you strive for that which some say is unattainable (I beg to differ, by the way), you set yourself apart from the others who would be just like the masses … purely regular. I don’t ever want to be known as just regular. I always want to stand out, be known for the un-norm, because, why would you want to be just like everyone else? Where’s the fun in that?

If you are a follower of mine, you know that I speak (a lot) about this market of ours being flooded with junk. Well, let me tell you where junk comes from. Junk comes from the writers who publish work that needs major attention in the editing and proofing department – they are aware that it needs major attention, yet, they leave it out on Amazon for purchase anyway. Is missing out on a couple of bucks really more important than your professional reputation as a writer?  You will never get another chance to make a great first impression.  I have come across tons of these kinds of writers; some who I have even taken aside to share that it would be in their best interest to take their work down and clean it up a bit, or to even start over from scratch.  Yes, I’ve seen some books so bad that they should have been scrapped long ago. 

Some have taken this advice and have “cleaned” up their mess and turned their messes into something amazing; something worth me spending my hard-earned money on, and something worth reading.   The others who can’t be ‘advised’ … well, you can spot them a mile away.  These are the ones who don’t take critiques very well and will defend their junk to the end –  and to those I say, “Why don’t we just talk about the weather,” as I refuse to spend my time trying to convince someone that they are truly adding to the litter that’s flooding the market, if you know what I mean. 

Always being willing to make your work better and better, and always looking for ways to improve on your writing, are the strategies that will separate you from the masses. If you want to be {average} just like everyone else,  or sometimes considered even worse than that, then go on and hit publish and send your junk out into the airwaves, in hopes that someone will accidentally trip over it and buy it.

But, if you want to be taken seriously as a writer and if you want to be known for putting out THE ABSOLUTE BEST WRITTEN WORK, then always be willing to listen, heed the advice of those with very skilled eyes who are willing to advise you, and never sit back and rest on your laurels, playing the wait and see game – waiting to see if your book is going to sell.  You see, I don’t write for me. I write for the world, in hopes that my books will forever grace the bookshelves (virtually or otherwise) of those who collect and appreciate the classics, along with good, strong (clean) writing.

After many a “take-down” and “put back up” of some of my books, if someone shared with me today that they found one comma out of place (and please do tell me if you find such horror in one of my books) I would take them down again in a heartbeat just to make them better for you, my readers.

It’s OK to always want to do, and…

So, there you have my two-cents on ALWAYS BEING WILLING TO MAKE IT BETTER AND BETTER. You can take my advice or you can leave it, but don’t expect me to run out and purchase your work if you don’t care enough about me as a reader, to want to continually improve upon it. Again, that’s just my two-cents, and in some places, it’s worth a whole lot!

***

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Looking to belong to an awesome community of support where HONESTY and DECENCY in all things are strongly encouraged and highly valued?  Then, JOIN the Rave Reviews Book Club where you’ll never feel alone on your writing journey, the place always feels like home, and your professional reputation doesn’t decline by association!

 

8 thoughts on “Pearls of #Literature on #Marketing, #Blogging, #Community & #Support, Pt. 10 #RRBC #RWISA”

  1. Great advice, Nonnie! And one of the reasons I went from traditional publishing back to Indie publishing. I took down and revised all five of my books, and threw out all the paperback copies I’d purchased to sell. It was not wasted money at all. If we don’t grow in our craft, we stagnate. I truly appreciate my critique group whose advice is invaluable in my new WIP. Thanks for these precious pearls!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Nonnie,
    Thank you for your openness. This is the best piece of advice you can give any author. I will never forget my very first critique by another author and writing coach. It made me cringe inside of myself. But after three days of sulking and shedding a few tears, I looked at what I had written again and saw that what she said was right. She also trying to help me. We have become close friends. That experience helped me take another look at advice or critiques given to me by people who know what they are talking about. It also calmed me because I realized that authors who are widely read don’t write the first copy perfectly. It’s a draft and that’s all. The story evolves through the edits. I have learned to treasure critiques since then. I still get shaky when I see a bad one, but I read it still. There is always something that I can gain from it. It doesn’t mean I am going to change my style because my style has a lot to do with my writer’s voice, but I will listen to see if it has any merit.
    Once again, thank you for the great post.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your advice is spot on, Nonnie! As we grow as authors, we become better. Part of becoming better is recognizing when our previous works need revisiting and then doing the hard work in improving upon those earlier works. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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