Indie authors, listen up!

Authors are offering advice in ‘What I wished I’d known before I published’ all through January

Part One

Before publishing I wish I had known about self-publishing and the many great programs that can be used to do so. There are pros and cons to using a publisher, it can get costly and frustrating with the time consumed in the communication during the process. – Anna Othitis

Don’t rush to get out there. First impressions are everything. Cover, blurb, opening pages.
You only get one chance at a first impression so make it count. Also, don’t
think that just because trad books “have a few typos” that it doesn’t
matter if yours does too. It does
Debbie Bennett 

Agreed, don’t rush, get someone else to edit for you and get
beta readers! Then, listen to other writers and use the common information they
are giving you before pushing that publish button. In other words, do NOT do
what I did! LOL – 
Linda Zukowski 

sure your book blurb is the best it can be before you press publish. It goes
without saying that editing, formatting, cover and presentation is as good as
it can be too. – 
Pam Howes 

I wish I had been told, sternly, that a social media platform
is essential for building your author brand but you have to discipline yourself
in ring-fencing time to continue writing creatively. – 
Ruby Barnes 

I wish I’d known that by reading a printed proof I’d notice
literally dozens of errors that I’d missed on-screen, despite reading the
electronic document many, many times. – 
Peter Reynolds

Don’t write for money, fame, or accolades. If you do, you’ll
be disappointed. Write because you love it.- 
Simon Parkinson

Focus on writing more books. You don’t realize how much having a second book helps until you have a second book. Promotion is helpful, but if you spend more time promoting than writing your next book, you’re not spending your time well. –  RJ Crayton

Matthew Wayne Selznick – A month of planning before you type “Chapter One” will save reams of paper and hours of editing after you type “The End.”

Rachel Eliason –  Publishing your first book is the beginning of the process of becoming an author, not the end of it.

Jolea M Harrison – Don’t rush to publish. It’s easy to do when the thrill of finishing a book is swimming through your head. After you’ve finished that final edit, step back at least two weeks, then reread.

Mandy White  – 1. Ebooks are where the money is. Ebook first, print after, not the other way around. Only do the print version AFTER it’s been edited by a professional.
2. Don’t waste money ordering a zillion copies in print of a book that you haven’t even seen yet. There WILL be things you want to tweak before you distribute it to friends, family and local readers. Take your time and make sure it’s perfect. Your credibility as an author is at stake.
3. Readers can and will judge a book by its cover. Make sure your cover is a good one.

4. Understand that other writers are busy with their own projects. If someone offers to use their valuable time to read your work or offer advice, express your appreciation.

Deb Nam-Krane – 1. I want to take off on what Mandy White said: order a print copy of your book BEFORE you publish the e-copy and read it through. Plan on doing it twice, because you’ll find things you’ll need to change, no matter how many times you and your editor looked at it. Make the changes to the e- and paper-versions, then put them up for sale. I cannot tell you how much less angst I had with the second than the the first doing it that way rather than publishing the e-version and then going through the print.

2. Outsource anything you can’t do well yourself (for most of us that’s the cover and for all of us that should be the editing), but if there’s something you *can* do yourself, do it. Learning to format your own book can save you money as well as worry if you want to make small changes.

Mandy White What Deb Nam-Krane said is also true – to proofread a print copy because the book will look different on paper than it does on the computer. You will see typos that you missed on the computer. The reason I said ebook first, print second is that I skip the paper-proof step by reading it on my Kindle. I find the Kindle works just as well as a paper copy and it costs nothing to put my book on it.

More author tips all through January on WWBB in ‘What I wished I’d known before I published’.


Pam Howes

Oddly enough I never intended to be an
author. When I began to write it was never meant to be fiction. I thought I
might do articles based on the 60’s music scene in my home city of Manchester and try to
sell them to Mojo magazine or the NME. I’d always had a creative bent and spent
a long time running my own Interior Design business. But a change of lifestyle
and circumstances in the mid-nineties kind of threw me in the direction of
writing and once I started I found it hard to stop. But the factual music-scene-book
I’d thought myself destined to write actually turned into more and characters
began to develop. Suddenly I had a tale flowing and the more I wrote the more I
enjoyed the process of weaving a story around fictional rock band The Raiders,
and their lives and loves. That original story Three Steps to Heaven was
re-written God knows how many times until I was happy enough to let people read
it. The trouble is it was hard to class it in a genre.
It wasn’t really a family saga, although it
featured families and it was a saga! It wasn’t, strictly speaking, romance,
although there are romantic passages throughout, nor could it be classed as
historical, as the sixties isn’t quite that yet, or so I’m told. It could be drama
– well maybe, there’s plenty in it and I’m told it would make good TV viewing.
It wasn’t chick-lit, no fluffy girls in it, just rock chicks! And although
there are a few sexually explicit scenes between the drummer and his girl, I
wouldn’t describe them as erotic. So what the devil to class it as? It was
certainly a problem. Then it struck me – I’d have to invent my own. And so, the
genre of Rock Romance was born.
Amazon, of course, doesn’t recognise it as a genre, and my books currently sit
in sagas and romance, but it’s how I promote my work. I now find it easy when
someone asks me what type of story I write. It always provokes a question and
answer session and with most people having a feel for a bit of nostalgia for
the sixties, I can usually make a sale or two.
Since that first novel I’ve written two
further books in my Rock’n’Roll Romance
and am about to publish the fourth in December. I love writing in
this made-up genre. I love my music and my fictional band. I’ve really been
able to get involved and create lives and ongoing happenings for all my
characters and I’ve taken them from late teens to men just bordering sixty
years old. They’re still rocking and romancing the ladies though. There’s
little slowing down with my lot. Love and romance is not just for young
characters. Middle-aged guys like to enjoy life too and so do their ladies.
Last year I had a slight change of
direction and wrote a sensual romance based on a true-life love story. This
also had a music theme. I’m looking forward to expanding this series of sensual
romances next year.
I totally enjoy writing, I’m lucky enough
to be able to do it full time and it’s taken over my life. My head is
constantly filled with scenes and conversations, sometimes to the point where I
wish they’d all go home for the night and leave me in peace! I don’t think I’d
ever want to do anything else now though.

Twitter | Website | Find Real Romance on Face Book 

Pam Howes was born in Cheshire. She is a retired
Interior Designer who loves creating stories, but only started writing
seriously about fourteen years ago. 

The idea for her first novel, set in the
sixties, came from her time as a teenager, working in a local record store and
hanging around with the musicians who frequented the business. That first novel
evolved into a series. Three Steps to Heaven, is the tale of rock’n’roll band,
The Raiders, and their lives and loves. The sequel, ‘Til I Kissed You,
featuring the same characters, is set in the eighties. This book sees the reformation
of The Raiders after a spell of retirement. The third novel, Always On My Mind,
set in 2001, is now available on Kindle and in paperback. Pam is a big fan of
sixties music and it’s this love that compelled her to write the series. 

stand-alone sensual love story, Fast Movin’ Train, set in the nineties, was
published in early 2012. Pam is mum to three, grandma to seven and roadie to
one musician partner. She still lives in Cheshire and also writes short
stories, which have appeared in charity anthologies and online e-zines, and
poems, many of which are published.

Join up to Real Romance

Just in… a new FB page for writers/readers of romance.


This is an open book group for independent female authors of romantic or contemporary fiction and the heavier end of chick lit. 

Authors: Discuss and promote your book with us.
Readers: Discover new books worth reading.

This group is strictly for contemporary romance/modern fiction for women.

Sorry NO historical, science fiction, fantasy, crime or thrillers. No Harlequin romance or Mills & Boon, cowboy romance or erotica/porn. No paranormal, vampires, YA, children’s. No non-fiction or biographical.

Anyone posting inappropriate material will be removed from the group.

Join up to Real Romance