by Matthew Turner (@turndog_million)
Matthew, a marketer and novelist, is a frequent visitor to the blog. He last appeared here as the author of Creating an Author Brand to Boost Your Platform. Now, after a lot of study and preparation, he’s a published author. Here he passes on some of the lessons he’s learned along the way.
Self-Publishing . . . isn’t it amazing/awful/everything in between?
It has so much potential and holds so many opportunities, yet at the same time keeps you at arms length and practically invisible. We’re thrust into a large pond with many big fishes devouring all of the delicious readers.
Writing in its own right is hard, but being visible is a complete and utter nightmare.
I, like many modern day writers, began this journey with very little knowledge. Beyond Parallel had potential but nothing more. It’s now available for the world to love/hate/feel everything in between.
I still have much to learn, but here are:
10 Self-Publishing tips I’ve picked up along the way
- Read A Lot
I don’t care how well read you are, you can always read more, and if you wish to become a writer by trade, your reading list needs to expand.
It doesn’t stop at quantity, but range. Devour any genre you come cross and consider what you can learn from it. Join a Book Club, a Goodreads Group, or ask your friends to recommend their favourite reads. In general, have an open mind.
- Amazing People Surround You
I’ve been amazed by the people I’ve come across in the last year. Online, offline, bloggers, authors, reviewers, and readers, they’ve all guided me to where I am today.
Be open to possibilities and let other people enter your life. They are generous and have much to share with you. Some will be your competition, but don’t look at them like this. They’re your peers and you can help each other flourish. Be cut-throat if you like, but I doubt you’ll enjoy it.
- Give Before You Take
Generosity is the single biggest aspect that modern society has. The Internet seems to give people the platform to give before they take. Isn’t that lovely?
I know it’s tempting to sell and ask for the world, but don’t. Give more than you take and be generous with your love. You’ll be amazed by what you discover along the way.
- Layout & Design Is Important
As a writer your words are vital, but the visuals that surround them are just as important. Whether it’s on your blog or within your book, make sure you take design seriously.
As Joel can appreciate, your font, front cover, and layout all play a vital part in your success. Don’t leave it until the last minute. Make it part of your journey and love the process as much as you love your writing.
- Platform Is More Than Marketing
When I first learned about an author platform I figured it was marketing through and through. It isn’t!
It covers EVERYTHING. Marketing plays a part, sure, but your platform is far greater. If there’s one piece of advice I can offer, it’s this: don’t consider your platform and writing as separate entities. Make your writing part of it. It’s an important aspect, of course, but not the only thing to focus on.
- The Importance Of Book Reviews
It’s hard to understand just how important reviews are until you see it first hand. They are the guiding light to readers and writers alike. They’re a writer’s best friend.
More importantly, book reviewers are amazing folk. I’m not talking about the high paid journalists, but the ones who do it to a few people at a time. These folk read hundreds of books a year, spend hours writing, and help connect writers with readers. They can be the difference between being visible.
- Online Communities Are A Godsend
Online communities can come in many shapes and sizes, but they all offer something important to their members. Not only is it a great place to share your work, but the tips and tricks you pick up are incredible.
I’ve learned so much about writing, publishing, sharing, and connecting with others via online forums, blogs, and communities. Every writer should be part of a select few. We live in an amazing time and are very lucky.
- You Can’t Think Like An Indie Author
You have to take yourself seriously. You need to call yourself a writer and be proud of it. Some people will focus on the self-published aspect, but does it really matter? Really?
Don’t be in awe of traditionally published authors. Stand tall and be proud of what you do. It’s amazing how people react when you show confidence in yourself, even if you are a nervous wreck on the inside. :)
- You Need To Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to be cheeky. Ask questions and reach out to people; no matter how big or small they are. The worst thing that can happen is no reply at all, but you’d be amazed at how many people will speak to you.
I’ve met some inspiring people and I’m so glad I took the chance. Nerve-wracking as hell, but totally worth it.
- Write Every Day
It doesn’t only improve your craft, but changes your entire mindset. When you write every day – be it a blog post, fiction, non-fiction – you start feeling like a writer. The self doubt slowly recedes and the good days become more prominent.
Write every day and be proud when you do so. It feels amazing and keeps you moving in the right direction.
It’s A Journey
This is what I’ve learned SO FAR, but I have a long way to go. I’m far from at the end of my journey, in fact, I’ve only just begun.
My debut novel, Beyond Parallel, is now available for the world to read. I couldn’t be prouder/scared/every feeling in between.
I love learning new skills and expanding on old ones, do you?
What have you learned so far on your journey?
Share your biggest lesson learned in the comments…
Matthew Turner is a writer from Yorkshire, England. His debut novel, Beyond Parallel is out now, and if you like coming-of-age tales, it’s the perfect book for you. In the same mould as Sliding Doors, Beyond Parallel flips between two parallel tales. Grab yourself a copy and be part of an emotional roller-coaster that everyone can relate to.