Alisa's Tip on Writing
Your Author Rock Star Team - How to put one together by Cameron Skye
We all know there are major perks to being a self published author. However, with those perks come additional responsibilities some of us just didn’t expect. Some of those responsibilities include writing a quality book (of course), but we often forget there’s also editing, formatting, cover design and marketing.
While we as independent authors don’t have the same level of support as those traditionally published, we can get just that by carefully constructing our own rock star support team.
Now you maybe asking who should I have on my team, and that’s a good question. For me, the necessary members should include but are not limited to:
You the writer
You are THE most important person on your team. Never forget that. You can have the best editors, cover artists and publicist and still get drawn and quartered by the public if your story is not good.
Make sure the stuff you are putting out is that of quality and something someone would truly want to read.
The second most important person on your team is your editor. Remember that drawn and quartered thing? If your story is wonderful but is full of grammatical and spelling errors, readers are going to let you know. Be it through reviews or lack of sales. No matter what you will get told.
When looking for an editor it is extremely important to find someone that specializes in your genre. An editor that has experience in paranormal may not understand all the intricacies of an erotic romance.
Also, make sure to ask for samples of their work. That way you can verify they are good at catching things such as spelling errors, grammar mistakes and consistency.
A great way to judge their work is to ask them to do a mock copy edits for your manuscript.
No matter what, people judge a book by a cover. It’s important that your cover catch the reader’s eye. I’ll admit I’ve picked books to read just by there cover and not their blurb. A hot cover can and will draw people in.
Before you hire a cover designer, again look at samples of their work. Also cheaper doesn’t always mean better. I get it, there isn’t a lot of money to hire someone in the beginning. However, you’re going to have to pay for quality work. Do not skimp here people. The pay off in the end will be huge.
Formatting and Conversion
And speaking of not skimping…formatting to me is just as important as editing. I have actually stopped reading a book on numerous occasions because it was hard to read. All due to formatting.
If you’re tech-savvy formatting a book for upload should not be an issue. However, if you are not or do not want to waste the time it takes to actually format your books, it’s best to hire someone.
When picking someone to format your book into the various formats (mobi, epub) make sure to pick someone that has done books similar to yours.
Again, it’s appropriate to ask for samples of their work. Also, make sure they are known in your genre. If you have a lot of graphics, some may not know how to format those for upload.
While some authors are really good writers, some are really bad at self-promotion. If you decide to outsource your marketing, please make sure you first have a marketing plan to share with them. This allows for your publicist to know what your goals are and helps them target their approach.
Some authors might want more readers for their book and don’t care about sales. If this is you, it would be useful to hire someone who has experience in creating campaigns around book giveaways and has demonstrated experience in gaining new readers.
If you’re trying to increase your social media presence it’s important to hire someone who can successfully do this for you. Before you hire someone for social media, make sure you check their social media. It’s one way for you to know how they handle it quickly.
Also, be sure to come up with a payment plan whether it’s 15% up front or 50% up front. Most will already have a payment schedule in place, so ask for it upfront.
So there you have it. My idea of who should be on your rock star team. Remember at the end of the day it’s your book and name on the line. Your team is a direct reflection on you. Make sure to put together one that shines not only for themselves but for you.
Excerpt from “Fallen Angel Book 5”:Reaching the top of the stairs, he asked the rest of the girls to leave the room. She was sitting in front of the mirror, putting on blood red lipstick. Catching his reflection in the mirror, her eyes filled. She got up to hug him.
“How you been, bambino?”
Jess giggled. She always giggled when he called her bambino.
“I’ve been perfect.”
“Oh, Angel.” She sighed. “One can never be too thin. Model, walking hanger, remember?”
“Fuck being a hanger. I could give a rat’s ass less if you’re a model or not. Come on, you’re going to eat something.”
“I’m honestly not hungry. Besides, Nick’s here isn’t he?”
“I’m not playing whatever the fuck game is going on between you two. I’m so over the both of you. Come with me now, or I will pick your skinny ass up and carry you directly to him.”
She knew she wasn’t going to win this round, following him to the bar. Going behind, he pulled up a bag. Taking out a bowl of strawberries.
“How did you know I love strawberries?”
“It’s part of my job to know you, Jess.”
“Scary job, huh?” She sighed heavily.
“Nah. I’ve grown to love your crazy ass.” He softly touched her cheek, smiling at her with so much care and affection. He truly was her knight in shining armor.
She smiled back at him, but her smile was short lived.
“Angel?” Nicks voice bellowed from the background.
“At the bar. You need to see this.”
“Don’t you fucking dare call him.” She pleaded, almost becoming hysterical.
“Not playing the game remember, dearest?”
Nick came around the corner. Stopping when he saw her.
She was nothing but skin and bones. You could count her ribs and see her spine running down her back. His throat squeezed shut, not only because of how she looked, but at the fact she was no longer his.
He missed her, craved her….loved her.
And wanted to beat her ass for how she had let herself get this way.
“Look at me.”
“I said look at me.”
She turned, her eyes fixed on his face. Crossing her arms over her chest defensively. She tried to hide them under make-up, but he could see the dark purple circles under her eyes. Her face gaunt from the amount of weight she’d lost.
“Jesus, Jess.” Nick’s voice a hoarse whisper. Filled with hurt and concern.
Every emotion she tried to kill for the past four weeks, came back in at once. Hitting her so quickly she felt she couldn’t breathe from her lungs seizing up.
Her heart physically hurt, breaking at the sight of him.
She started trembling, trying her damndest not to cry.
“You aren’t working. Carry her to my office.”
“You don’t get to order me around anymore remember?”
“How could I forget that fact, Jess. But the fact this is my club and I’m your boss, overrules any boyfriend, girlfriend bullshit. You’ll do as I say, and I said you aren’t working. There’s no debate on the subject. Angel, pick her up.”
Buy Links for FALLEN ANGEL:
Thanks Alisa, for dropping by and sharing that great tip.
Don’t forget to check back next week for another tip or tweak.