Tag Archive for: Ellen Crosby

Five Tips for Debut Authors

by Shari Randall
I just debuted my first novel, Curses, Boiled Again! It’s the first of the Lobster Shack Mystery
Series from St. Martin’s Press. Yes, there is an exclamation point in the
title. That’s how my publisher rolls.
As any author who is lucky enough to hold a copy of their
book in their hands can tell you, the debut experience has been exciting,
wonderful, mystifying, and exhausting. I thought I’d prepared by reading blog after book after blog, and still I went into the whole thing feeling like that
toddler at the beach who rushes down the sand to the water and gets knocked
down by the wave. It’s fun but, whoa! What just happened?
So, I’m sharing a bit of my experience here to help any
other authors anticipating their debut, and I hope other experienced authors
will offer advice in the comments. Because I can sure use it.
Some things I learned, from big picture to small, and Why
Didn’t I Think of That?
1. Pace yourself. Juggling a signing, a library panel, a Facebook
party, and a bunch of blogs in one week taught me my limits. Maybe I’d
overestimated my energy level a teensy bit. Especially when I noticed I was
doing everything except writing. Schedule lots of fun, but make sure to
schedule quiet moments, too.

Donna Andrews, lucky debut author, Sherry Harris

2. Be meticulous about your calendar so nothing falls through the cracks. Nobody warned me that there could be – and there was – a writer’s perfect storm. I was doing promo for Book One, edits on Book Two, and writing,
sort of, Book Three. Having a calendar devoted just to writing goals and events was a life-saver.
3. Ellen Crosby shared that at a book signing, it’s a good idea
to have readers write down on a Post it note the name of the person they want
the book inscribed to – that way you avoid potential Kathy, Cathy, Cathie mix
ups. She also provided the Post its. Thank you, Ellen!
4. Do not look at your reviews. Well, do what I did and
designate a Review Reviewer or Review Buddy. This person (thank you, Charlotte!)
scans Goodreads and all those other sites and reports back on when it’s safe to
take a look.
5. Two quotes became my mantras. One is from Elizabeth Harris
about reviews. “You can have the sweetest peaches in the world, but if someone
doesn’t like peaches, they won’t like yours.” My book won’t be everyone’s cup
of tea. And that’s okay.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” This quote from Theodore
Roosevelt is my mantra as I learn about other author’s sales and reviews. I’m
lucky enough to have published a book and held it in my hands, and I’ve received great reviews and kindnesses from fellow authors. For all that I am so grateful and I can’t wait to pay it forward.
Authors, any advice to share for newly published authors?