I was talking to Allena Tapia (www.freelancewrite.about.com) yesterday. We were talking about common mistakes writers make early in their career. Here's a summary of some of the points I discussed referencing my experiences.
When I published my first book, I was so caught up in the excitement of the process that I didn't look at it like a business. I've since learned from that experience and recommend that writers treat their book and their careers just as its a new/emerging business. What I failed to do with the first book is 1. Plan for marketing before and after publication. Getting the word out about my book was my responsiblity. Noone would learn about my book by just having it sit on a website online. I recommend creating a marketing plan that includes several resources so as not to put all your marketing into one source. Spread the word with email blasts, online networking sites, press releases, readings at local sites that pertain to the material, and attend events. 2. Budget for ALL aspects of the business. My first book was a self-published venture. I budgeted for the publishing package, but didn't anticipate the "extra" costs that came up when I needed layout work or wanted changes made to the format. I also didn't budget for marketing collateral, travelling costs to promote the book, advertising, etc. These are things to keep in mind for both traditional and POD publishing. 3. Decide on TIME Committment - How much time can you commit to marketing your book? When I published my book, I did so at a time that made it very difficult for me to do all of the above. My book was published two weeks after my son was born. I was an unknown author with a first book and it was self-published...that combination meant it would take double or triple the work to get noticed. But again, I was swept up in the idea of seeing my work in print. So, I made some mistakes. And to be honest, I'm happy I learned all those lessons with my first book, because now I'm one step closer to creating a winning strategy for my next book. And I'm confident that this one will get the attention it deserves.