• Shani Mixon, Author

"Five Things" I wish I would have done when I published my first book

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

It was a childhood dream of mine to write a book. I had tons of notebooks tucked away in my dresser that birthed wild characters and plots with twists. No one knew I had them. They were my little secret and I dreamed of one day sharing them with the world when I was ready.

Fast forwarding to the present, I have four books that I have published and each time I crank out a new one, I learn something. I mean, I know that writers perfect their craft over time. I am talking about the whole process. Trust me, if I would have known what I know now, my roll out plan would have looked a lot different.

So, here are five things that I will share with you. If you're an aspiring author or a newbie, here is a list.

1. Invest in a graphic artist.

People are visual. Your cover has to be outstanding. What grabs the reader when they're searching to find a new author? If your name isn't known in "Book Hollywood", then you'r cover should speak volumes. Choose a cover that gives life to your literary masterpiece. I can't tell you how many times I didn't give a book a second look because the cover didn't "reach out and tap me on the shoulder". A graphic artist with a portfolio, can give your audience a shoulder tap and your literary work can do the rest. Research the graphic artist and see if that person can work with you to produce the very first thing your reader will see. See my book covers below: (credit to KILA Designs)

2. Run Social Media Ads to Build an Audience for your Book and Grow your Followers

It is so important to build past your current friends and family on your personal social media page. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are just a few choices. There are so many.(Side note: By now, you should have a business social media page. If not, create one. Your personal page is just that...personal. You want to reach an audience that extends past friends and family. Running an add is simple and affordable. You are the captain of your ship. Drive that thing! By this I mean that you can set your price, your target audience, and how many days you'd like to run your ad. Your ad allows you reach potential customers that you may not have been able to reach simply in person.

3. Create book teasers and book trailers/video

When I prepared for my first stage play based on my first book, Cracks in Her Foundation, I was getting tired of reshaping the same flyer and I'll take a "guesstimate" and say so was my audience. So, I needed to communicate the same idea, but in a different way. Book teasers grab your audience. Teasers give your audience a glimpse of what you have to say (BUT NOT TOO MUCH). They can include short excerpts from your book. If you're looking for free ways to create your trailer, consider using Canva. Seriously, Canva is my BFF! This tool gives you everything you need to create a clean polished a professional look without the extra cost. Don't forget about book trailers. Above is my trailer for Cracks in Her Foundation. Book trailers also give sneak peak, too. If you have a camera and an editing tool, you can do it yourself. (Youtube credit to Fly Heavy Media)

4. Get your book reviewed.

Truth is that you love your book. You have to love your book. It's your baby. Congratulations, you made it! Now, the question is who else loves it. Have trusted people to review it on Amazon. Some people need a bit more convincing when looking for books to read. Let their audience see who you are. It's also a plus to have an influencer speak for you. An influencer has a large following. If you gain the influencer's vote, then you can leave an impression with their audience.

5. Research book clubs and find out how you can get your book into their hands.

Books clubs are great. It means these people love to read. If not, then they wouldn't have formed a group dedicated to countless hours of reading. When a book club reached out to me for the first time, I was speechless. What really got me excited was when the club president invited me to speak to their group. I was like WOW! They had questions and I had answers. Book clubs can be your biggest supporters. If they like what they've read, then they'll be lifelong supporters.

I hope that you enjoyed this Blog

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