Today I’m excited to welcome Heather Weidner as she shares some great writing tips.
Thank you so much for letting me visit your blog today. Writing (and marketing your book) is hard work. Here’s the best advice that I’ve received from other writers and readers on my journey.
- Find your group of supporters. Writing is often a lonely activity, and you need support and guidance from others. I am so fortunate to be a part of several writing groups and anthology projects. The other writers are so supportive and willing to share what does and doesn’t work for them.
- Be willing to share. Make sure that you’re present and a part of the groups you join. Support and share others’ celebrations.
- Don’t give up. You’re going to get a lot of feedback and negative comments. Make sure you learn what you can from the feedback. Then keep going. Don’t let bad reviews paralyze you.
- Keep writing. If you’re marketing or querying a book, make sure that you’re also working on your next book.
- You can’t expect to sell one hundred books at every signing. If you get to meet readers, booksellers, and librarians, then it was a good signing. Relationships and contacts are important too.
- Know your limits. Know what your budget is for marketing your book and stick to it. It is so easy to fall into the trap of trying everything that comes along. It’s good to try new things, but make sure you know what works for promoting your book.
- Budget for your travel and learning time and money. Know what your budget is for conferences, memberships, and writing workshops. Work on your craft, but remember your primary job is to write your next book. Don’t get stuck in the rut of reading craft books all the time (and not writing).
- Be social. Social media and other marketing are key for authors. It’s expected these days that the author has a key role in this. Just make sure that you balance this with your writing time. It is very easy to get distracted.
- Be professional. Keep appointments, be on time, and follow through on deadlines. If you’re coordinating an event, ask questions about where you’ll be sitting, what you need to bring, and what’s expected. Consider the weather. I’ve done outdoor events in winter and summer. Always confirm with the bookseller or host before the event. You don’t want to show up, and they forgot you were coming.
- Keep a box of books in your trunk. Always have books with you for signings. I have been to conferences and book stores where they sold out of my books. Most booksellers will work out a consignment deal with you.
- Invest in your headshot/author photo. You are your personal brand. Make sure your headshot is professionally done. And make sure to update it as years pass.
- Your website is integral to your internet presence. If you’re not able to create and maintain your website, invest in someone who can. You are your brand, and your graphics, website, business card, and marketing materials should look professional and related. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but your materials need to look polished. And your social media sites should look like they belong to the same person.
- Treat your writing as a business. If you want to be a professional author, you need to think of your writing as a business. That means a business license, sales tax, and tax deductions. I keep all business receipts and record all writing-related mileage. Consult a tax professional for specific requirements of your city/county/state.
Think about the postage. When you do online giveaways, make sure that you always consider the postage. If you want entrants from a specific country, you need to state that in the rules of the contest. Also think about the size and shape of what you’re giving away. Mugs are cool, but they break, and they don’t fit in a small mailer. If you’re mailing only a book, make sure to consider media rates.
Writing and marketing your book is a business, and you need it treat it that way if you want to be a professional, published author.
- What are some fun things you can tell us about yourself?
- I live in Central Virginia with my husband and our two crazy Jack Russell Terriers (Disney and Riley).
- I have red hair and blue eyes like my sleuth Delanie Fitzgerald and 1-2% of the human population.
- My husband enjoys rebuilding classic cars, so that means, I get “volunteered” for some of his projects like bleeding breaks and holding things until he can make them go back where they are supposed to.
- What do you enjoy most about writing?I love the creative process. I love plotting and planning the stories and characters. And I like the revising process. It is such an incredible feeling to open that box of books that has your name on it when you’re done.
- Do you have a dedicated place to write?I write everywhere. I write primarily at our kitchen table, our patio table on the deck, at my desk, and at the lunch table at work. But I carry a small notebook with me. I’m always jotting down neat names, story ideas, cool snip-its of dialog. My dogs have beds u
About the Book:
Private investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in The Tulip Shirt Murders. When a local music producer hires the duo to find out who is bootlegging his artists’ CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, local strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life with more requests. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case. Delanie and Duncan link a series of killings with no common threads. And they must put the rest of the missing pieces together before someone else is murdered.
The Tulip Shirt Murders is a fast-paced mystery that appeals to readers who like a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations such as larping and trading elbow jabs with roller derby queens.
Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, and James River Writers. The Tulip Shirt Murders is her second novel in her Delanie Fitzgerald series.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com
Pens, Paws, and Claws Blog: http://penspawsandclaws.com/
Amazon Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ