Questions for Authors

Here are questions that every author should ask themselves. Maybe some of these will help spark ideas for your career as an author. What I really hope is these questions will open up your mind to never-ending possibilities.

I’m going to personalize this blog. Author = You.

Also, if you are not the type of person that likes the answers to tough questions, please stop reading and wait for my next blog.

Why do you have a gift? Sometimes you may wonder if you can make it as an author. Reach farther down in your heart and find out why you have that gift in the first place. All will be revealed.

What is success? This is a cliche question asked by business grad’s.  However, what would it take for you to feel successful as an author? If today you felt great about writing 1,500 words, was it a successful day? Or do you need a $50,000 advance from Random House? Success will be up to you.

What  have you done today, to achieve your goal as an author? Remember, today is not over yet. Authors can always do something for their book, even if that is thinking about a great plot or fantastic character.

If you could not fail, what would you do as an author? Think carefully about this question, because it will become your ultimate vision. If you had the resources, money, and connections, how would you handle your author career? The answer to this question, is the direction you should be heading today, no matter the time or cost.

What is getting in your way of your vision as an author? Lack of money? Not enough time? Monthly rejections? Lack of support? No confidence? Go back and read your answer to, “Why do you have a gift?” Then proceed accordingly.

What can you do over the next four months? Three times a year you can make short-term goals, for long-term results.

In what areas can you improve as an author? Mechanics of writing are just as important as a great plot. Figure out some areas you need to improve, then when you accomplish that, improve in other areas. There is always something an author can work on. Examples are public speaking, networking, marketing, industry knowledge, writing mechanics, storytelling, speed in both reading and writing.

How are you perceived by the public? As an author, you have to care about what other people think about you. If you are perceived as romantic and write horror novels, that may not work. If people feel you have a dark personality and you write children’s book, it could slow down your goals. If others feel you complain a lot and you write inspirational books, that could hinder your performance. If people feel your conversations drag a bit, they may feel your books do the same. Authors are in the public eye and perception is everything.

How do you WANT to be perceived by the public? Authors who are honest with their writing and their personality, can improve everyday. If you want to sell 50,000 books a month, you will have to be perceived by the public as an expert in your profession. Your books, emotions, and attitude must reflect your passion as an author.

How can you help another author today? Inspiration is the kindest gift any author could receive. “Hey, just wanted to send you a quick message and tell you to keep up the good work.” That can go a long way for another author’s confidence. When you need the same, they will be there for you. You can write testimonials for authors. You can put their link on your web site. You can promote them in a blog. You can read their work and give constructive feedback. The reward will come back to you a thousand times over.

(Marketing questions.) Who is your target audience? Where is your audience? How will you reach them? What benefit will they receive from your book? What will you say to your audience, so they will purchase your book? Answer these questions and your marketing plan will take shape.

What is the first line of your book? This should be the most powerful sentence in your manuscript and grip the reader from the start.

Does your first chapter get into the plot? Readers do not want to wait three chapters before you catch their attention. If fact, you will be lucky if the reader will wait three paragraphs. Get into the action and do not stop.

Do you use the five senses in your book? The more the author can hear, taste, smell, touch, and see, the more enjoyable your story will be for the reader. Try to incorporate the five senses as much as possible.

Why can’t I get my big break? The most important thing is to remember that you have a gift that no one else has. That is a “big break” in itself. The other thing is to remember when the time comes for your big break, it will happen. Who will turn down a talented author, with a good book, a growing audience, and a motivation to keep improving? If you are doing those things, big breaks follow.

What kind of realistic chance do you have of getting paid to be an author? I don’t know you that well, but if you are here, then that means you are willing to learn, improve, and you are motivated. I would say that your chances are pretty good.

There are so many authors. How will anyone notice your book? Because, no one else can write like you can.

What if you are not ready to be an author? Too bad, because you are an author.

Ron Knight

Author of “2-10”

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Ron Knight

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