Starting out in any new business or career is difficult. As a teacher, you are assigned a cooperating teacher for two semesters before you graduate or receive your certification. You work with one teacher twice a week during your practicum semester. The student teacher moves on to working daily with the cooperating teacher before becoming a certified teacher with a career. Then they receive a mentor teacher for their first year.
There are mentors in football. The team spends millions of dollars to the veteran players just so they can mentor the up and coming star rookie. What mistakes can this one avoid, how to speak to the media, what should one expect on this journey?
The self-publishing business is just that, self. I made a decision to jump off a cliff and hope for the best. I did not have a cooperating teacher, I did not have a veteran quarterback. The glitz and the glamor of writing a book are exciting, but from the inside, there are so many aspects I did not foresee.
It is imperative to find others that know tons more than you. The experienced authors that have been through the ups and downs of the business know what they are talking about.
I have bought ebooks, read blogs, have gone to webinars, and have signed up for offers online with experts. Some I believe in, some I do not agree with everything they have said. I have also been misled by a few of these ‘experts.’
Every new author needs someone to believe in, look up to and follow for expert advice. I have various experts I read on a regular basis, but the blogger I read more than others is Vania Margene Rheault. I consider her my self-publishing mentor (I appointed her my mentor without telling her….ssshhh!).
Vania Margene Rheault is a blogger/ author that has been extremely helpful with my learning process. The latest blog post has tons of information and links to books that can send a newbie author closer to understanding the tips she briefly discusses (I clicked on one book, and it was free for kindle unlimited). These links are from other experts, not her…this is helpful.
Vania comments on questions to explain anything I don’t understand. As a newbie author and blogger, sometimes I get confused, or I am not familiar.
There is a difference between being on an email list and having a relationship with the writing community. Many of the webinars and articles I have seen online have been helpful, true, but it is crucial for a new author to create relationships with others that are in your community.
The other day I came across an article Vania Margen Rheault wrote called Basic Rundown of Terms and What They Mean.
I commented how much I appreciated it and I thought it was important to mention it on this blog. Quite honestly, many terms are still confusing, at times. I spent more time Googling terms than reading articles in the first month of my Growing Pains journey.
This article breaks down the basics of the online book publishing confusion. I was confused with IngramSparks and CreateSpace up until last week. Three weeks ago I found out (through my own experience) CreateSpace and Amazon are related, I simply didn’t know the logistics. I needed this article before publishing, but the blog was released before I thought of offering my work to the public.
If you are a newbie author or blogger, please find some more experienced authors/ bloggers and follow them. Ask questions on their comments, read some of their older articles.
Try to find a ‘mentor’ that is in your genre (if possible, but not deal breaker), more experienced (that should be obvious), mentions other trusted author/ bloggers, includes links to other authors’ works when relevant, answers your questions in a timely fashion AND is not rude while responding.
I mention the other work for a big reason. This person you may trust, but it is pertinent that you have more than one point of view on marketing and publishing. We need to find other points of view to learn our own way, eventually.
Learning from the mentors will help us grow, but we can’t rely on every single word they say. As great and as helpful as my mentor (I know, I should tell her) is, I need to think for myself. We all do…BUT… we are new to this, and we NEED someone to help us. We need someone to show us what the heck is going on.
Anyways, newbies… I hope you find a mentor as fabulous as you!