Your Best as an Author

Unfortunately, authors can never say, “Well, I did my best.” Readers, reviewers, literary agents, and traditional publishers do not care about your best. They want to read an entertaining book.

What if in the beginning of your novel, you added an Authors Note: “I really hope you enjoy my novel. I just wanted to let you know that I did the best that I can.”

Two things are wrong with that statement. First, it sounds like the author is giving an excuse on why the book is sub-par. Second, nobody really cares about an author’s personal life. In short, they do not care if you did your best.

Let me tell you the hard truth. Your best is not good enough. You can always do better.

Here is an example. If you self-published a book and sold a few copies, then read back over it, did you find areas on where you could have done better? Of course. Any author that re-reads their finished manuscript should always find ways to improve.

Here is another example. If you sold only six books this year, then you are clearly not doing your best.

Maybe you could just write as a hobby. But I know you. Writing as a hobby will not be good enough. In four weeks, you will be at it again, so don’t bother wasting the time.

There are two areas that you need to do better. 

  • Your next book needs to be improved.
  •  You need to sell more books.

Let’s break that down.

Improve your book.

  • Storytelling
  • Writing Mechanics

The quickest way to improve is to read more and write more. If you are writing more than you are reading,then it will be hard for you to do your best. You need to read more than you write. Most authors disagree. “Authors need to write books!” No, authors need to write entertaining and marketable books. The only way to learn how to do that is to read entertaining and marketable books.

In the long term, you need to go through growing pains through reading/writing, and have someone critique your work so you can improve.

Once you have improved writing the books, it will be time to improve your book sales.

The fastest way to grow your sales is to enhance your…

  • Research
  • Marketing.

Just as reading is more important to the growth and maturity of an author, research is more important to selling your books. If you spending time/money on marketing without doing enough research, then you are not doing your best.

There are two kinds of research:

  • Target Audience
  • Story Ideas

If you are coming up with plots, characters, and stories, before knowing your target audience, then you are not doing your best. The most successful authors know their audience and write the stories accordingly.

In the past, authors had spent massive amount of time on the road, meeting their audience like a politician running for office. You should still do some form of that, but now, you can use social media to study and reach your desired audience.

Once you know what your audience wants to read and you know how to reach your audience, you can spend your time/money on marketing.

Read to improve your writing.

Research to improve your marketing.

Then…do your best.

Ron Knight

Ron Knight

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