This is my humble opinion, not by any means the law. You have to make up your own mind what kind of author you're going to be. These are just some of the things I've learned along the way.
2. Edit, edit, edit….and then edit some more!!!
3. Don’t follow the flow of your genre's stereotypes. Be your own person and just have fun with your story. Believe it or not, readers don’t want to read something they have already read 10 times but with just different names and places. They want something different.
4. Promote yourself! No one is going to do it for you. You have to set out and spend the man hours getting your name out there. Contact reviewers and bloggers about reading your book, like pages and help promote other authors and most of them will do the same for you, do giveaways and offer to let blogs do giveaways for you as well. Connect with your readers on all the social media outlets.
5. Book bloggers are a big key to your success. And I’ve met the most incredible people who run book blogs. It’s a win\win situation when you let a blogger review your book. The fact that they are just awesome and sweet and helpful is just icing on the cake. :) Book bloggers ROCK!
6. Most important of all. YOUR FANS ARE THE REASON YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU DO. TALK TO THEM! COMMENT AND SEND RESPONSES TO THEM, ANSWER THEIR EMAILS, DO GIVEAWAYS AND THANK YOUS! SHOW THEM YOUR APPRECIATION. Without these people, you would be nothing and they deserve your time and effort after they have helped support you. This is a job, no matter how fun and awesome writing is, and you have to put in the time. I personally have posted on author's walls and not heard back. It shows me they don’t have the time to worry about me, and obviously don't make their fans a priority, and I never forgot that about them either. Answer your fans in any social media platform that they contact you in. Takes a long time? It your JOB! Make a business day of the week and do it then. It doesn't matter how you do it, but do it. You can't just write the books and that be it, the other part of your job is your social medias. YOUR FANS ROCK AND DON’T YOU DARE FORGET IT!!
7. Learn as you go. It's all a process and it'll be easier with every book release. Don't stress. Stress makes your work suffer and then it all starts to feel like 'work'.
8. Find someone who will read your work, even if it's an online author friend, who will tell you what needs to be done and what parts need work. A critique partner is important. Mine gives it to me straight when a part doesn't flow or work right or if a paragraph just plain sucks.
9. Be professional. On your Facebook, on your Twitter, in your emails, everywhere. It's fine to joke around, but there is a line that should not be crossed. For example: Don't ever bash another author's work, no matter how badly you hated it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but as an author there is a professional line that sits there now that wasn't there before. Remember, once something goes up on the internet, it'll haunt you forever. Plus, it's rude and not a good image to your fans, especially since you yourself doesn't like to get bashed and get bad reviews. Making friends with other authors is a good thing.
10. Don't make unnecessary enemies. Everyone isn't going to like your book and that's JUST FINE. Even the ones who don't like your book, you should thank them for the time they took to give you a chance. Not everyone will love your book, it's not personal. Everyone has books they love that others couldn't stand. There are people out there who don't like candy corn, coffee, or Ryan Reynolds! I just can't fathom that, but it's a sad truth. And there are people who won't like your book. That's totally all right, but the ones who do sooooooo make up for it. You cannot go and approach or rebut to someone who gives you a bad review or says something you don't like. It comes with the territory and you've got to have some thick skin to be an author. Just dwell on the ones who love you and forget the ones who don't.
11. I get asked so often for the sites to where you can publish. So here they are:
Barnes & Noble- http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home
Sony, ibooks and other formats- http://Smashwords.com (Find someone who formats for Smashwords because they are a pain to get it right.)
12. Don't tweet your book link every single day. Don't post on Facebook your book link every single day. Your 'friends' and followers didn't become those to only hear you talk about where they can buy your book. That's a good way to get unfollowed. And don't ever, EVER post your book links on other author's pages or walls. EVER. And don't send them messages asking them to review your book if you don't know them, and don't ask them for swag and paperbacks to give away for the release party of your own book. If you want to give those things away, it's on you. Can't afford it? Then give away copies of your own or do e-copies. Nothing turns me off to an author more than them doing these things listed above.
13. Have fun! Don't post your super-personal, inappropriate stuff on your social medias. Post things that your fans can go back and forth with you about to be fun and light. Just post and talk to them. Don't leave your pages stale for days at a time. They want to hear from you, even if it's just you saying Hi.
14. I know from personal experience what it's like to jump the gun and put out a product that isn't perfect. It matters. It may not seem like it in the grand scheme of things, but it does. I didn't have money for editors and book cover artists and all that when I started, and I did it all by myself. It was all I could do. But if I could go back, I would have found a way to make it happen. Putting a product out with bad editing or a bad cover doesn't hurt anyone...but you. You'll be marked in reviews for that bad editing and those reviews never go away, so even if it's just finding a friend to read them over for you, and getting them as perfect as they can be for your situation, do that.