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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 - 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.

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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
·        REFERENCE: The Emotion Thesaurus
·        HOW-TO NOVEL: How to Write a Damn Good Novel
·        PODCAST: K.M. Weiland
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
·        The Writer’s Union of Canada: List of Canadian writing organizations
·        10 Best Organizations for Authors
·        Alliance of Independent Authors

#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.

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