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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Keys to Being a Successful Author

Keys to Being a Successful Author
By S.E. Smith
 
I recently gave a presentation at the Romancing the Capital Convention in Ottawa, Canada that helped to re-enforce what it takes to be a successful author. The Keys to being a Successful Author are a little more in-depth than what I’ll be posting in this blog, but they are the essential foundation to being a successful writer. I’ve had many people ask me what I did to be successful. Hard work, research, learning, some really great stories, and luck some more are just a few things that helped me be where I am. Most authors would tell you they are already doing this! But, it also takes a few additional strategies to become successful. I’m not going to go into great detail, but I will share what I told those who attended my workshop what I believe are the Keys to being a Successful Author.

 
 
Stories Ideas are unique and should be! I'm not in the business to tell other people how to write their stories, just that if they do make sure they grab the readers attention. You want to make sure that you are writing in a genre that shows your passion for it. It will come through in your writing. You also need to make sure that your characters, good, bad, or ugly, fit the story and balance each other. Finally, if you are writing a series, start out simple. You do not have to build the entire world in the first book. Whatever rules you put in place need to make sense down the road. Build your worlds slowly, let them grow with your characters.
 
Write a great story that captures your audience's attention. You need to balance your scenes, descriptions, dialogue, and characters to do that. There is a fine line of giving too much or not enough. I recommend listening to your story being read back to you (you can use the speak command in the Tools if you are using Microsoft Word to do this). It will help you pick up flow issues, too much/not enough information, stilted dialogue, and more.
 
Use trusted Beta Readers to help you. They love to read and they do it very, very well. They will let you know if something doesn't make sense or if you have 'holes' in your story. The key is to trust them, listen to them, and appreciate their experience as a reader.

 
This is the business end of being a writer. You are the publishing company. Think smart, look at advertisements on TV, in the papers, in magazines, and think 'How can I do that?' You'll begin to immediately identify different companies branding. You need to think of branding yourself and your books! Also, remember that this is an ongoing experiment. Even the big companies don't have all the marketing answers. That is why they are constantly changing their ads.
 
 
Think long term when you start writing. Just like you hopefully don't plan to write one book, it will take time to build your reader base. Slow and steady, using organic growth, is the best way to build and retain your reader base. This is the group that falls in love with you, your characters, and your stories.
 
Use Social Media! Yes, in this day and age, this is the best way to get your books out their. Look at your own list of 'friends'. Now, multiply that list by having ten other people who 'Like' you. They like your books, your stories, your characters and they are talking about it to all their 'friends' who enjoy the same time of books. Slow and steady is a very good thing.
 

 
Remember, I didn't go over everything I presented, but just a few of the basics. Look at your set up as an author and compare it to what I have written on this few slides. If you ask me how I have become successful, here it is. Keeping it simple helps to keep it manageable. There are a lot of sub-categories for each of these and I went into more detail, but if you review your own structure you will see the foundation of what it takes to be a successful author. It takes a lot of hard work, research, learning, some really great stories, and just a bit of luck.



 
Part of my branding is in my book covers, in my name, how I do my business cards, even down to the colors I use.
 


 

About S. E. Smith


S. E. Smith is a multi-listed New York Times, USA TODAY and #1 International Amazon Bestselling author who has always been a romantic and a dreamer. A prolific writer, she has spent years writing, although it has usually been technical papers for college. Now, she spends her days and weekends writing and her nights dreaming up new stories. She enjoys camping and traveling when she is not out on a date with her favorite romantic guy.
 
Look for Viper's Defiant Mate: Sarafin Warriors Book 2 coming the end of May 2015.
 










 
 


2 comments:

Michelle Howard said...

Awesome info as always Susan

Jessica Hale (Parsons) said...

:)

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