So what are we left with? New Year, a celebration that to me always seems like such a disappointment. There is hype, there is excitement, there are parties prepared and which cost a couple of hundred book sales to attend. Not since the turn of the millennium have I 'partied like it's 1999', and that night ended up with a house full of people, one damaged carpet, a few broken glasses, and a very sore head the next morning.
So left with the prospect of resolutions I steer well clear of the personal type. I will not join a gym in January, I will not start running again because everybody will consider it a resolution, even though my foot is better and I can wear heels again, and I will not resolve not cut down my caffeine intake even just a little bit. But I will make a plan for the year ahead when it comes to books, and reflect about what I have learnt in the last six months.
·The advice you hear at the beginning is good. Take it.
I am not a natural follower of advice. Generally I know best (or at least pretend to) until proven otherwise. Sometimes that’s good, but many times that can be bad. I heard lots of good advice at the start of my publishing journey and decided I could do things differently. I should have listened. Learn from people who have been there and done that. It helps.
·Remember your best friend is a designer.
My first cover was published before I had taken any advice. In hindsight I knew it lacked oomph, but what to do? My second cover I still did myself, but after a month of learning how to use GIMP, and trying over twenty ideas, hiring in the professionals is a much better use of my time. In a month I could have 2/3 of a book written. I'm a writer, not a designer.
·Edit, edit, edit, edit, edit.
I read it once, I read it again. I read it a third time and asked my friend to edit it before I read it again. What are you left with? Mistakes, that's what. Learn to be patient, and don't release it until you know as faithfully as you can that you did everything to make it perfect. Why? Because mistakes result in 2 star reviews, even though somebody liked the story. How do I know? Just check my Amazon page. Wasted opportunities are a harsh lesson to learn.
So these are my three lessons that I take into 2013. I will learn other others along the way and will remember the most important one of all. Just keep writing books. It's the best marketing that I can do.