Author Do’s and Don’ts and Why You Shouldn’t Try to Please Everyone

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Do this! Don’t do that! With so much conflicting advice, it’s easy for authors to feel discombobulated

There’s a lot of advice going around the blogosphere from people who are more or less experts on the subject of writing. For an upcoming author, this can be a little overwhelming especially when the advice isn’t congruent. I know, I know, I’ve posted my share of author do’s and don’ts, but for the record, I’m pretty consistent with my advice. No one’s perfect, I get that, but here are some pointers and their counterpoints that are driving me nuts!

  • Do write a book with the reader in mind. You’re not writing the book for yourself.
  • Don’t expect anyone to read it.

What the heck! Isn’t that the whole purpose of writing, to share it with readers?

  • Do invest in quality covers and professional editing. Don’t skimp on quality.
  • Don’t charge too much for your book. Give it away for $.99 or less. It’s not about making money.

If making money isn’t important why are we trying to entice readers with fancy book covers? If the reader doesn’t want to pay for quality, they shouldn’t expect quality. The costs of publishing should be factored into the price. Why not? Gasoline, groceries, and every other product in America factors these expenses into the price of the good. Why can’t authors? The cover designers and editors don’t consider our low profits when setting their rates, yet we still pay them for the quality of their work. We’re expected to pay out, but heaven forbid we hope to make a profit. It’s rubbish. Author’s, stand behind your product! It’s worth more than $.99!

  • Do your own marketing. Utilize social media.
  • Don’t market on social media, especially not on your author’s platforms. Don’t pay for advertising either.

I get it, no one wants to get spammed with advertisements on Twitter, but there are people who unfriend authors simply for sharing a positive review here and there. Picky, picky.

  • Do create a writer’s platform to promote your writing.
  • Don’t talk about your writing.

What is the point of meeting new people if you can’t tell them anything about yourself. Yes, one should not monopolize the conversation to be all about them and their writing, but to make the subject practically taboo is insane.

Okay, I’m done ranting (for now), and here is my final thought: you can’t please everyone, so don’t try to. Seriously, it’s that easy. Create your author’s page the way you want it to be. Talk about your book, share snippets of writing, or what have you. Share your successes on social media, your failings too. And if people unfollow you, let them. They probably aren’t the kind of followers you want anyway. Learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Most importantly, just be true to yourself and your brand and things will turn out for the best.

Well, I hope this was helpful to you, or at least entertaining. Do you agree with what I’m saying? Or not? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Have a wonderful weekend! See you again on Monday!

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5 thoughts on “Author Do’s and Don’ts and Why You Shouldn’t Try to Please Everyone

  1. I agree. We have to do what’s right for us. Otherwise we’d be all Linda Blair and our heads would spin! The marketing one is a fine line. We obviously need to mention our book from time to time, but we also have to make sure we’re not turning people off with too many promotional tweets, updates, etc. The goal should be interaction. Plus, that’s much more fun. 🙂

    • I’m so glad you agree. It’s such a tight rope we walk between getting the word out there and being a pain in the butt. Haha. I think you put it best: the goal should be interaction. That keeps things real.

  2. I completely agree. There’s so much conflicting information out there it really can drive you nuts. Particularly that first one. If I’m not writing the book for myself, what’s the point of writing it in the first place? I write stories that I want to read. That’s my whole reason for writing, so that’s what I concentrate on. The discombobulated photo is great. I feel like that sometimes.

    • I’m so glad others agree. I was starting to think I was just going nuts for no reason. Haha.

      I’m like you; I write stories I want to read, but I’m also writing stories I want to share with others. I want to entertain readers and make them laugh and think a little. If I don’t accomplish that, it’s a little disappointing. I don’t see the purpose in putting art out there if you don’t want it appreciated. Otherwise we’d just shove them into binders somewhere to enjoy on our own time. IDK, maybe that’s just me:)

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