1. AUDIENCE Selling your work relies on producing suitable content to the highest possible standard, for exactly the right audience. Always write first and foremost for your own pleasure, but have a very clear idea of your readership and tailor your work accordingly. Whatever you write, pour your heart and soul into it. Believe in your work, and so will your readers – and making money means appealing to the widest possible audience. Read widely, join book clubs and talk to people. The more research you do, the more you’ll find out what people enjoy reading. That is what sells.
2. HELPING HANDS: Find yourself a successful mentor, preferably through your local creative writing group. You need someone who will be honest about your work, and suggest ways you can improve. If you can’t find any face-to-face guidance, go on line and check out popular writers whose work you admire and see if they’ve produced any guides to writing that will help you. Kate Walker’s 12 point Guide to Writing Romance and Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance are both brilliant, and will take you step-by-step through the process of crafting the novel of your dreams.
3. THE WORD ON THE STREETS: Once your book is published, the hard work of marketing and selling begins. Word of mouth recommendations drive the majority of book sales, so think creatively when it comes to getting your books into the hands of willing readers. If your book is good, they’ll spread the word at no expense to you. Offer free copies to your local libraries, donate books as prizes on your website, during blog tours and to your local fundraisers – raffle prizes are always in demand, especially approaching holiday seasons. Be generous, and make sure everything has your contact details on display – you want repeat purchasers to come straight back to you.
Above all, enjoy your writing and remember – success isn’t only measured in financial terms. To have completed a book you’re proud to have written is something few people achieve. It’s a triumph in itself.
What’s your top tip for writing success? There’s a signed copy from my backlist on offer for a comment picked at random.