By no means am I saying my series is a success or I am some seasoned pro, but these are some things I have learned along the way and some pitfalls that as a new author you should watch out for.
#1 - Don't be a Diva
#2 - Learn to market Your Book as well as Yourself
#3 - Make Author Friends
#4 - Try New Things
Go to other author's sites, see what they do. Ask other authors. You'll be surprised, most will gladly share info and aren't the douchebags you expect.
#5 - Do a Blog Tour
Book bloggers are the same. Granted, they don't typically buy your book, they may get a free ARC copy, but this is how you are going to get the word spread. You want an audience, these people already have one. Don't be a butthead to the bloggers. When they take the time to review your book or post a cover reveal or anything else - SAY THANK YOU. Be grateful and gracious to them. Expect their perception of you to factor into their review.
#6 - Grow a Thick Skin
Initially, my reviews were shining. For weeks one review after another popped up online talking about my unique take on the genre, my wonderful protagonist, etc. Smoke was flying up my rear. Then out of the blue, I'm ego-googling myself (I'll admit, I do this!) and this review pops up. 2/5 stars. The person who posted hated my book. Wrote a scathing review of it and didn't just stop there, she basically insulted everything I've ever prided myself on... my intelligence, my moral compass, my creativity. I was livid. I looked her up, became obsessed with why someone would be sooo mean! If you don't like something, does it really take paragraph after paragraph of slamming it to make your point? Who does that?
I'll tell you who... just random people. And these random people will most likely pop up and say horrible things about your book too. The lady who left the hateful review of my book was 20 years outside of my target audience range and was anything but how I envisioned my readers to be. It just wasn't for her. Granted, she didn't have to be a total skank about it online, but it happens. You get over it. And it helps me to think like Katt Williams. Bookmark this page, and when that bad review comes in read this quote from Katt:
What do you think a haters job is... to hate. If you have someone hating on you right now, you better think of how to get five more people hating by Christmas. You need haters to make you stronger. Without haters most people wouldn't try to become better. Just tell them "B*tch, you just hate me because you can't be me..."
#7 - Constantly Work
No one warned me that the writing was the simplest part of the process. Editing was a nightmare, then came all the publicity that seemed never-ending. I was so overwhelmed with my first book, that I had to stop, take a breath and realize that the process could actually be fun.
With any job, there are things that you won't like as much as others. Maybe you aren't a people person, yet you still have to go out there to signings and appearances. Maybe you aren't at all computer savvy and you have to learn how to work on your website and use social media. Regardless of whatever parts you dislike, this is a job where you can focus on the things you do and the ones you just can't seem to master, don't have to become chores.
As I'm sure many of you computer geniuses can tell, I designed this website myself. I don't mind telling you my laptop barely made it through the process (it was slammed numerous times onto my bed) and there were some tears and not-so-nice words involved. I begged my techy son to help me, but he had no interest. I honestly thought I'd never get it up and found it more than difficult. If you've followed my posts, you know how many updates and revamps this website has gone through, hopefully to look a little better each time. I figure a year from now, this site will be awesome. I learn more everyday. It didn't get this far overnight and it has a long way to go.
I'm constantly reading articles on how to gain interest in my novels, looking up places and events I can attend to get new readers, better ways to market the book, searching places that would be interested in reviewing my book, blogging, tweeting, facebooking, offering giveaways, doing interviews, writing guest posts, etc. You get the idea. Downtime is practically non-existent. Yet, I enjoy it. I've found that each part of the process can be fun and is what you make it to be. If I don't enjoy doing something, I quit. What's the point? If this is an accomplishment you want, have a good time with it or find something else to do.