Skip to main content

How to Solve the #1 Problem for Indie Authors – Improving the Quality of Your Writing


The process from novel drafting to book promotion can be a long, confusing journey of pitfalls that costs us money, causes us to doubt ourselves, and can dampen the spark that gave us the courage to start in the first place.

Until a self-publishing degree is offered at our local universities, we authors have to educate ourselves on the complexities of self-publishing. There are thousands of self-taught experts writing blogs, selling books, broadcasting, and offering lessons via video to help authors navigate this learning curve. We could spend years  exploring and mining the extensive market of self-publishing information, and I have. The trouble is, when we are surrounded by a plethora of information and a multitude of people pointing us in different directions, we get bogged down with information overload and become mired in indecision.

In my upcoming book, How to Solve the Top 5 Indie Author Problems, I examine the five challenges many indie authors face and provide solutions. In a nutshell, the challenges are:

1. Quality
2. Discoverability
3. Validity
4. Profitability
5. Sustainability

The "Improving the Quality of Your Writing" chapter focuses on the first indie author challenge you will encounter in your self-publishing career and how to solve it.

For a free copy of this book chapter, sign up for my Authorpreneur Post newsletter at http://www.cherylcowtan.com - select "You are a writer" and begin receiving writing and marketing tips right in your mailbox.

You will also be notified when "How to Solve the Top 5 Indie Author Problems" is available.

Get your free chapter now.


Quality Problems

It doesn’t matter how much money you sink into marketing, how much effort you put into networking, or how good you are at establishing your brand if your book is not a quality product.
If readers take a chance on a novice author and the writing is of poor quality, fraught with writing mistakes, this may result in damaging book reviews that will discourage others from buying; they certainly won’t buy another book from that author; which will reduce subsequent sales that are key to higher book sale royalties.
Here are some tips on how to avoid this scenario.

#1: Strive to Improve Your Writing Skills

Writing is a skill that benefits from constant growth and learning. Like any other craft, practice and feedback on your writing is crucial to improving its quality.
Bram Stoker, author of “Dracula” said, “We learn from failure, not from success!” That might have been okay in the 1800s, but I suggest we strive to fail in private and succeed in public.
Enrolling in a writing course at your local college or university, with guidance from an instructor, can be highly beneficial. If you are not able to do this, you can learn from books, articles, and online fiction-writing courses. Here are a few resources that helped move my writing to the next level:
·        NEWSLETTER: The Advanced Fiction Writing Newsletter https://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/
·        REFERENCE: The Emotion Thesaurus https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13554235-the-emotion-thesaurus
·        HOW-TO NOVEL: How to Write a Damn Good Novel https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6524.How_to_Write_a_Damn_Good_Novel
·        PODCAST: K.M. Weiland https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/
The art and science of writing can take a lifetime to master, but every time you learn something new, you improve the quality of your product. I expect to be learning how to improve my writing for the rest of my life.

#2: Learn from Published Authors

Two of my aunts, who are published fiction writers, are often asked at book events what advice they would give to a novice writer. Top on their list is to become a member of a writing organization in the genre you will be writing in. These writers’ organizations provide opportunities for you to network with successful authors and to gain knowledge about the publishing industry by attending panels populated with successful authors, editors, publishers, and agents. Here are a few examples of writer’s organizations that benefit members:
·        Writer’s Relief: Author’s Submission Service: American Associations http://writersrelief.com/writers-associations-organizations/
·        The Writer’s Union of Canada: List of Canadian writing organizations https://www.writersunion.ca/organizations
·        10 Best Organizations for Authors http://www.everywritersresource.com/10-best-organizations-for-writers/
·        Alliance of Independent Authors https://www.allianceindependentauthors.org/

#3: Recheck, Rewrite, Revise Your Manuscript

Before seeking editorial input, many of us do preliminary self-editing checks. These checks can be supported by the software we write with.

Get the rest of the chapter... http://www.cherylcowtan.com

Popular posts from this blog

How to Use MS OneNote to Organize Writing Research and Novel Outlines for Writers

Let’s Get Organized 
Writers take a gazillion notes.I don’t have to tell you this, because you know all about it. You also know how difficult it is to organize notes, search through paper notes, and sometimes even find all the notes you've written. 

In this day and age, going digital is the best way to keep track of your notes. If organized properly, digital notes are sortable, searchable, editable, accessible from anywhere, and light as a feather to carry around.

In this blog, I'm going to show you how to be note-efficient.
____________________________________________________

The following is an excerpt from "Technology #WritingTips for Writers". First 100 subscribers athttp://www.cherylcowtan.comget a free copy at book launch. _____________________________________________________
The first step in getting note-efficient is finding the right software. For writers, finding a software that will meet all of our needs is like trying to pick a toothpick from a sea urchin... …

Evocative Author Interviews - 40 Authors were asked "If your best friend left her diary at your house, would you snoop for writing ideas?" And they answered...

Where do authors get their ideas? Do you have an author friend? Do you ever feel like a science experiment around him/her? Well there might be a reason for that. Most authors are very in tune with people. They might not like them much, but they spend a lot of time observing them. This helps authors come up with characterization for their novels. 

But how far would an author really go? Over 40 writers participated in this question: If your best friend left her diary at your house, would you snoop for writing ideas? The result... Be careful where you leave your diary!

Guess how many would do it... and gladly - anything in the name of idea gathering. Some would just do it for fun!
Author Name If your best friend left her diary at your house, would you snoop for writing ideas?Which of these authors’ novels/writings should you start with?Cheryl R Cowtan



Carmen Madison TL Travis Sheri-Lynn Marean Liz Iavorschi-Brain Vic Watts S.M. Carrière


Celeste Hollister

Evocative Author Interviews - Would You Kill off Your Ex-Lover in Your Novels?

Authors are an interesting bunch. We already know their brains work differently than non-authors. After all they create characters, then throw them into settings and situations that can range from torturous to glorious. And after the characters struggle for a while, the authors decide their fate. 

But what are Authors really capable of? Over 25 writers participated in this question: Would you kill off your ex-lover in your novel? The result... Be careful who you date.

Guess how many would do it... and gladly.
Author NameIf an EX broke your heart, would you kill "the darling" in a novel?Where can you connect with this author?Cheryl R Cowtan Depends on whether he maliciously broke my heart or just trundled on my love because he was ignorant and young, and whether I was a difficult partner. That said... can I think of a couple EXs I want to "put down"? Yeah, maybe... http://www.cherylcowtan.com/ Carmen Madison I guess it would depend on how bad the break up was. htt…