Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Some Practical Advice for Debut Authors

A year ago I was gearing up for the release of my first book which would come out on May 7th. Being a complete and total newb, I was playing it by ear. I was super busy, to say the least. And during this past year, I have learned a few things, but I'll admit that I still HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING! 


But let's pretend for a second that I might have a little advice to impart to you awesome debut Fourteeners and beyond. Here are a few practical tidbits.


Be it a signing, a book festival, or a conference, these things can be nerve-racking. But you're a professional now right? *snort* So, I'd suggest putting together a table kit. In your kit put some little things you've had made up, if you can, like bookmarks or buttons to hand out. Things that have the title of your book on them because people might be interested in your book but they might not want to buy it that very day. And everybody loves freebies! A bowl of candy probably wouldn't hurt your chances of selling a few more books either.

Also, have a couple copies of your book. A seller, like B&N, might be at whatever function you're going to and you've been told that they will have stock of your book. But that seller could be on the other side of the area. And people will come up to you going, "So what did you write?" In my experience, people remember the cover better than they remember the title so having a couple of your books with you will give them a picture to go along with the title.

Everyday Authoring

Please, don't make the mistake I've made. Get some business cards!!! I don't know how many times I've been in some random place and wanted to kick myself for not having a business card to hand out to this librarian, book shop owner, professor of specific field who I could ask about things for future book research, etc. 

Blog Tours

If you do a blog tour, I'd recommend creating a stock answer document because you're going to get asked the same questions. Everyone is going to want to know how you came up with your idea, as they should, it's a great idea that got you published! But, when you go to answer that blogger's questions, don't just copy and paste from your answers sheet. Personalize it somehow, add something extra and unique. These bloggers are taking the time to do this for you and your book. But having an answer sheet will save you time and it'll make each interview seem less intimidating, I think. Put that document in a file that also has your author picture and the cover of your book so they're easy to find and so the blogger doesn't have to go hunting for them.

One last thing...

As I said earlier, appearances and stuff can be nerve-racking the first go around, so own your nervousness! Face it, deal with it, then let your excitement kick it in the ass! The you'll be free to have fun and make new friends!

So, good luck you awesome present and future debut authors! 

Do you have any other tips to add? Or any questions? Let's discuss in the comments!

2 secret replies:

  1. Love the idea of the answer sheet! I'd add to have a stock sheet of the blurb, buy links, and your author bio as well, for inclusion with every guest post/set of interview answers you hand in.