111 Rules of Being an Author

111. Be willing to take on the impossible challenge, while creating the possible.

110. Having a gift to write stories is not enough to have an author career.

109. Delete the word “Very” from every manuscript.

108. A fulltime author spends their day sitting. Exercising is critical.

107. There is nothing wrong with promoting another author. It shows that you are knowledgeable in your genre.

106. Keep book trailers under a minute and thirty seconds.

105. If a solicitor comes to your door, hand them a bookmark.

104. Updates good…advertising bad.

103. Have a special outfit that transforms you into “author mode.”

102. Keep your blogs under 250 words. (I break this rule every week.)

101. There are authors that do market research to find reasons their books are great, and there are authors that do market research to find new opportunities. Be the latter.

100. Never fixate on the career of another author.

99. Are you having a bad day? If so, keep it to yourself. Venting authors are failed authors.

98. Do not write from your heart. Write from your reader’s heart.

97. Literary agents and publishers are not giving you greatness. You are giving them greatness.

96. Master your thirty-second pitch. Those thirty-seconds can land you an influential contact.

95. You need the reader thinking about you, before they will think about buying your books.

94. When introducing yourself to anyone, use your full name, because that is the title of your company.

93. You are the brand. Proceed accordingly.

92. Short burst writing sessions produces quick bursting novels.

91. Never write a post, or blog, stating that you have been away and that you are sorry for not posting something recently. It reminds readers that you have been away and haven’t posted something recently.

90. There is a big gap between you and the all-time bestselling authors in the world. Inside that gap are billions of potential readers for you to go after.

89. Master this thought process: “If the eyes and mouth are closed on the dead body, it is a mystery. If the dead body has eyes open and mouth shut, it is a thriller. If the dead body has both eyes and mouth open, it is a horror story.”

88. The quality of your redrafts will determine how many books you will sell.

87. Replace the word “publishing” with the word “packaging.” For example, “I’m going to package my book for readers traditionally.” Or, “I’m going to package my books digitally for my readers.” Or, “I’m going to self-package my books and print them myself.”

86. Treat other authors as friends, not competition.

85. Spend marketing dollars on filling needs for your target audience, rather than advertising. You are building a relationship with readers, not trying to buy them.

84. Selling 5,000 books in your local area is more powerful than selling 5,000 books around the world.

83. A reader does not need your book. However, if they read your book and love it, then the reader will need all of your books.

82. Learn everything that literary agents, editors, and publishers know.

81. Start a support group, club, or association that fills a need for your target audience. Selling books to that group, club, or association will be the easiest sales you’ve ever made.

80. Even readers have gatekeepers. Their gatekeepers are values, goals, passions, and emotions that influence their daily lives. Understanding and relating to those influences is your key to breaking down their gatekeepers.

79. Everyday, do something as an author, even if you only spend ten minutes on your career.

78. Network, rather than ask for help from those in the publishing business.

77. Keys to a great book title are uniqueness, attention grabber, impossible to copy, easy to say, and risky. (Use that same logic for writing your books.)

76. Take out the word “The” in your title.

75. Work on whatever seems important to you at the moment.

74. WatchDVD’s with the subtitles on.

73. Readers do not care if you are doing your best. You have to do their best.

72. Sell ancillary products to go along with your books, such as T-shirts, posters, and small dollar items.

71. Luck should never play a role in your novels, or in your career.

70. Every single time you write a sentence for the world to see, it should relate, interest, and help your target audience, along with having the chance to be forwarded to others. This especially holds true for social media and blogs. No exceptions.

69. Do not just read a book, study it.

68. Patience is good, motivation is better.

67. Actually, forget about patience. Take control of your career!

66. Gaze at books on store shelves. Wisdom will follow.

65. Do not add fluff so you can add word count.

64. Show interest in others, rather than begging for their interest.

63. Place value on every minute of the day.

62. Keep putting yourself in a position to succeed by excelling in everything you do as an author.

61. Authors cannot start a new book, until the first sentence is written.

60. Authors cannot finish a new book, until the last sentence is written.

59. Television is the destroyer of authors.

58. In your stories, every sentence spent on description is another chance to lose your reader.

57. You have to write at least nine novels to understand what it takes to write a great novel.

56. No one becomes a CEO in their first year. No one becomes a successful author in their first year.

55. Everything your write should benefit others.

54. Libraries and bookstores are the best places to hangout.

53. Research your genre and story ideas to the point that no one in the world knows more about it than you.

52. Lack of money is not an excuse to fail as an author.

51. Try not to write paragraphs over seven sentences.

50. Write about things that your reader never heard of before.

49. It only takes one brilliant novel, marketing plan, or idea to become a successful author.

48. Family and friends are kind; agents and publishers are honest.

47. Purchase non-fiction books at garage sales, Goodwill, and in bargain stores. Non-fiction is the gateway to great fiction.

46. One conversation with someone in the publishing industry is equal to reading ten books on the subject.

45. Think of yourself as an entertainer.

44. Do not bang on doors at publishing houses, or literary agencies. Just ring the doorbell and see if anyone answers.

43. In writing and marketing, show, don’t tell.

42. Act like no one in the world is going to help you.

41. Give away your books until readers are committed to buying your books.

40. Expand your knowledge in reading, storytelling, writing mechanics, marketing, and publishing.

39. Describe your ideal reader in detail.

38. Write and market fiction novels using non-fiction methods.

37. Characters tell the story, not authors.

36. Promptly stay away from “LY” words.

35. Building relationships trumps marketing plans.

34. Other authors are friends, not competition.

33. You are fifteen months, or fifteen years away from being a successful author. It is up to you.

32. Be the best seller of your books, instead of claiming your books will be bestsellers.

31. Experience produces opportunities.

30. Swing the odds in your favor by doing more of everything.

29. Surround yourself with the right people.

28. Share knowledge with other authors.

27. Write books that will be popular five years from now.

26. Simplify your writing. Simplify your marketing. Simplify your ideas.

25. Giving up is insulting to you and everyone that believed in you.

24. Do not let one person steal your joy of being an author.

23. Imagination can be used for both writing and marketing.

22. Study psychology and learn how to manipulate the readers mind.

21. Never put a character’s name in the dialogue unless it is absolutely necessary.

20. If trying to decide between marketing and researching, always choose research.

19. Success is measured by how many days you spent as an author.

18. Describe your book in twenty words or less.

17. Describe yourself in twenty words or less.

16. Be the expert in your reader’s life.

15. Readers do not change. Author’s change their knowledge of reader’s.

14. Ten million people want your books. Find them.

13. Use your narrative influence to control the reader.

12. Self-Discovery is crucial, but rarely mentioned.

11. Live the dreams of your family as well, instead of them always living your dream.

10. Humbling moments will point you in the right direction.

9. Change the way your readers view the world.

8. Stalker: “Someone who follows, trails, hunts, shadows, and chases others without them knowing.” Author: “Someone who follows, trails, hunts, shadows, and chases readers without them knowing.”

7. Short chapters keep readers longer.

6. Go after the target audience that hates to read. If you find a way to get them, you will control the publishing industry.

5. Most of what readers think is done unconsciously, which is the exact reason you should entertain their subconscious.

4. Do not let one idea for a book travel with you to the grave.

3. Break tradition. Untraditional Publishing is the new way to Rise UP.

2.Reading is more important than writing. If you do not fully understand how a book should read, then you cannot possibly write a book.

1. Break every single rule to entertain readers.

Ron Knight 


Ron Knight

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  1. I only had time to get through the first 20 or so – but they are excellent tips. I’ll bookmark this page and keep coming back to it until I finish.

  2. Thankyou for such valueable advice here…….more valueable than gold……knowledge is education…education a great asset……..thankyou…….

  3. Ron, this article is a keeper. I’ve singled out nine that I like more than the others (I almost said “really” like and then realized I had used a -LY word). My favorite, of course, is number one. To rule 109 (delete the word “very”), I’ll add the word “indeed.”
    I’ve tried to post here before, but to no avail. If it doesn’t post, I’ll put it on your FB wall.
    Thanks for what you do. Slán, Erin