Friends, today I'm delighted to have C. Lee McKenzie here to give us advice about what we can do before we're published. Lee's latest book, Double Negative, is available now!
What To Do Before You’re Published
by C. Lee McKenzie
- Have a professional website and/or blog designed.
- Be sure the navigation is easy and the pages easy to read.
- Buy a domain name. Mine’s cleemckenziebooks. I wish it were simply cleemckenzie. The simpler the better.
- Don’t use music. People often browse in public places and music isn’t always appreciated.
- Be sure people can pull up your site on all their mobile devices.
- Goodreads. Even if you don’t have a book, you’re probably a reader, so join in. In fact, this is where I interact more as a reader than a writer.
- Shelfari. You can add in a list of your characters and a brief description. You can write a short blurb, and a longer summary. You can list your chapter titles. And because Shelfari is owned by Amazon, any changes you make here show up on your Amazon book page.
- Facebook. This can be a place to meet more writers who are struggling with the same issues you are. Join some groups. Contribute.
- Twitter. This is a great tool to point the way to your other pages. Join Chats about writing and books. Tweet and don’t forget to ReTweet. I like Tweetdeck (sometimes :-) because I can schedule Tweets days in advance. Planning ahead will be very important after you’re published.
- LinkedIn. This is a community that offers helpful Forums. You can ask a lot of questions and get some excellent answers.
- Amazon. Poke around Amazon and see how it works.
*Understand the pros and cons of KDP Select, in which you give Amazon a 90-day exclusive to sell your book. It has advocates and those who dislike it. Here’s a great discussion by Jane Friedman.
*Find out how to use Tags to your benefit. They’re important and can be tricky. One way to find out about them is to check out the “Also-Boughts" section. Find books like yours and see how authors have tagged them.
*Find out how to get Likes. They add to your chances of being noticed. I don’t do a lot of this, but if someone invites me to like them I do, if their site is appropriate. And I invite them to like me back. It doesn’t take that much time. Sometimes people invite me to a “Like Party.” If I’m in the mood, I’ll jump in, but it isn’t my favorite promotional tool.
*Find out about Lists and how they work to your benefit.
3. Get to know who reviews what and start a list with their links for easy reference. You can find reviewers who have read and reviewed books similar to yours on Amazon.
Fellow writers, what do you think about Lee's list? Have you done all of these things? Most of them? Does the list intimidate you? Anything else you'd like to add to the pre-published to-do list? Please share!
About Double Negative: Sixteen-year-old Hutch McQueen is a smart kid who can barely read. He makes one bad choice after another, trying to find a way to escape his rotten life at home and at school. Each time he gets into more trouble.