A while back I asked some friends and acquaintances this question. What do you wish you had known when you started your writing career?

“The thing I struggle with the most now that I’m a published author is the whole world of marketing and publicity. If there was one thing I wish I would have done more research in, more study of, and further reading on before my first book released it’s this matter of marketing, especially the grassroots approach. Money is always an issue when it comes to marketing so word of mouth is every author’s best friend. It would have been nice to know going into the release of my first novel, The Hunted, some powerful tools to use to jump start that word of mouth.

“Specifically, I wish I would have learned more about developing a website, maintaining a captivating blog, creating book trailers, using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to their fullest potential (I’m still learning about and working on this). These are things most writers don’t think about before publication but they are very important parts of the total package of ‘being an author.’ As time goes on I’m learning more and more about this but constantly feel like I’m one step behind . . . a day late and dollar short.”
Mike Dellosso
Author of The Hunted, Scream and Darlington Woods

“I wish I’d relaxed more during the time of refining my craft until it was at the publishable level. That process took ten years—admittedly a very hard ten years. I kept thinking, “Once I sell, I’ve made it.” Hah. Once I sold, the real work began.”
Brandilyn Collins
Bestselling Zondervan Author

“I wish I’d understood the importance of good writing over good marketing.  I spent lots of money… a major portion of what I earned in advances… on my marketing. I am a firm believer that you must invest in yourself.  But before marketing comes good writing, and that’s a lesson I only learned after spending enough on marketing to buy a new Prius. It’s absolutely essential… the core of our writing lives… to produce a GREAT book, not simply a good one. We need to craft the very best story, the best plot twists, the most compelling characters, the most succinct prose, before we so much as invest in a $0.39 pen or 5 cent business cards. Our writing is what sells, and we must not forget that.”
Austin Boyd
The Mars  Hill Classified trilogy

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Comments
  1. William Simkiss says:

    Thomas! Great quotes! Wisdom indeed.

    I am currently doing marketing research mostly for live entertainment – music, drama, etc. And what you’ve quoted here is awesomely true and helpful. It even broght home to me the need to have an “Active Blog” – which is what I’m reading.

    And what it does for you is turns readers into friends, even colleagues, and cements the ties. Which means when you publish a book, I’m far, far more inclined to buy it, since I know the mind of the author, and can’t wait to see what else he has to tell me – this time through his book.

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