My 3rd Novel ‘Life, Slightly’ is published today.
Here’s what I’ve learnt over the past few years.
The move from aspiring author to published author has, at times, been a strange and unsettling one.
It was like poking my head above the clouds I’d spent my entire life climbing towards, only to realise I didn’t actually have anything to stand on when I got there.
So, here’s a small platform of knowledge for you to stand on when you get there yourself : the top 5 things I’ve learned since my debut was published in 2016.
1. Your publisher isn’t going to do everything for you, even if you’re with a Big 4.
If those days when they did ever existed, they don’t now – or if they do, only for a select few.
Publishing is a tough and competitive industry. ALL authors have to fight hard for attention and supplement any work their publisher or agent is doing if they want to succeed.
Your job is not finished when you hand in your final edit – not if you want anyone to know it exists.
2. Marketing your own novels is essential
Marketing your own work can feel like sandpapering your own skin, but it’s necessary. I get it, you sit in a darkened room on your own for a reason, but an amazing book alone isn’t enough in 2022.
You need to build connections with other authors, book bloggers, reviewers and readers. You need to build a profile online and let people know who you are and why you write.
Marketing isn’t just about shouting loudly ‘my book is great’ on every platform and hoping it doesn’t irritate people.
3. Amazon is important, whether you like it or not.
It just is, sorry. It’s important to understand their algorithm, why reviews on there are important and how to get the most out of their categories and top 100 listings. Do your research – again, don’t expect your publisher to do all of this for you. Nobody cares about your book as much as you do.
4. Independent bookstores are important – and they’re your friend.
Local bookstores and indies are SO helpful and kind. Speak to them, court them, give them early proofs to read in the hope they’ll stock you.
5. You don’t have to spend a fortune on social media adverts to be seen
There will be some social media ads in the mix for Life, Slightly… I’m not saying to avoid them completely but if you or your publisher don’t have the budget for them, it’s not the end of the world, far from it. It’s far more important to spend time growing your social media profile and network.
I hope that’s helpful.
If you’re interested in reading Life, Slightly, it’s available in the usual places (Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop.org or ask your local indie). Links to all of these can be found on my author website here.
It’s out today, did I mention that? 😀
About The Author
Nigel’s debut novel Beat The Rain was a semi-finalist for Best Debut Author in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016. His second novel The Pursuit of Ordinary was a finalist in the People’s Book Prize for Fiction 2019. It was also one of the 8-12 titles ‘called in’ for the Man Booker Prize, a first for his publisher. It was also long-listed for The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize. His third novel will be released in September 2022 and is now available for pre-order. Nigel brings his own experience of the trials of getting published, building an author profile and marketing his own novels to AuthorSpark. As well as co-founding AuthorSpark, Nigel co-founded digital marketing agency and employee advocacy platform We Are Togethr alongside Andrew, alongside online content sister company Togethr Lab. Prior to that he was a newspaper subeditor and a writer and editor for Channel 4 Interactive.