Welcome to an entire month of Top 5 Tips for Authors!
Every day this month my friends and I will bring you a new set of Top 5 Tips to help you along on your author journey. 2017 was a year of change in the Indie author world for sure. So many happenings. So many new things to learn. So many old things that didn’t quite do what you’d hoped. Well, every day is a new day. And every year is a new year. So we hope that this month’s worth of tips will get you the kick start you need to make 2018 your best yet and please feel free to ask questions and leave comments.
My guest blogger today is Lilia Moon! You know you, you just don’t know you know her. Sexpot in pajamas by day, erotic dreamer by night. She thought she knew who she was as an author, and then one night she sat down at her computer and Emily and Damon showed up.
START OVER WITH A PEN NAME
::waves at Julie’s readers again.:: This post is likely going to bore you to tears. My books won’t, so I have free copies of the first book in my Fettered series here for you. Happy holidays. J
All right. Back to not-boring for authors. There’s a reason most of you have never heard of me. Lilia Moon is a new pen name I launched last fall. She’s not my first pen name and likely not my last. Here’s what I’ve learned in that process of starting over.
1 Be humble
You’re going to feel horribly like a newbie. Deal. It will be worse if you change genres, but Lilia is wide and my previous pen names weren’t, and that had me stumbling around in the dark. Seven years into my career, I found myself asking the same kinds of questions I asked back in my earliest days.
2 Love the freedom
Success as an indie author comes with reader expectations and a brand to support and a release schedule to keep. Lilia started as a side project – a book that totally didn’t fit my current work but sounded like so much fun to write. And it was fun – zippy, effervescent writing sessions where I felt energized instead of drained, and where I got words on the screen twice as fast as normal. Being an indie author is a serious, professional job, but sometimes it’s amazing fun to break loose from all that and just write the story that wants to be written.
3 You get to start over
Do it the way you want to. Do you. Be smart and put together some kind of marketing plan, but do you. Scheduling, releases, length of books, POV, cover style, genre, reader contact – so much is wide open. Take a look at everything you do and ask if you want to change it. Lean on your strengths. You know what they are. Unlike the first time you started out, you know a lot more about what you’re good at now, as a writer and as a publisher. Craft your pen name to fit what you do well – and what you want to do.
4 Don’t compare
This is a new thing. Let it off the hook of being compared to its older-sister pen name. Your reasons for your new pen name are probably not just financial. I make less money at the moment than I once did, but I’m writing books I love to write and my bills are still paid. Measure this pen name against your goals for this pen name, not against how you did last month or last year writing as someone else.
5 Make a plan and be ready for it to change
A lot. You’re bringing your experience in with you, but a lot of what works for an established author in 2017 isn’t all that helpful for a name that’s just starting out. Fortunately, you’re new and you can be nimble, but it’s an interesting head game, kind of like the one that happens when baby number two shows up and isn’t anything like your firstborn.