#WednesdaysAreForWriters and Tips

This week, Author Nicole Collet shares some tips with her fellow writers. 

Five tips for new writers

It finally happened. SOOP published my novel Red today! Am I ecstatic? Absolutely!

I have come a long way since I wrote the first sentence in RED: A Love Story, and in this post I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned in the process of becoming a published author. So without further ado… Ta-ta!

1. Be social and build a platform. Everyone says that for a reason. The ugly truth is a good book without a reader platform can sink like a rock, whereas a mediocre book with a decent platform can thrive. When it comes to social media, here are some informal pointers:

  • Personal blog. Have one to express your thoughts in fascinating posts. Hosting guest posts is a good idea to generate more traffic. I found that having a blog allows me to express things that wouldn’t fit in my fictional writing, so it’s all good. In addition, I noticed is that blogging on a regular basis and promoting your posts eventually pays off. Have guest bloggers and write guest posts to increase your network and exposure.
  •  Twitter. Start asap on it, because the learning curve can be a bit steep. At first you will feel like you’ve landed on an alien planet with a mysterious code of conduct and unfathomable hashtags. The first time someone favorite a tweet of mine, I panicked because I didn’t know what I should do. But eventually I learned, and so will you. SOOP provides an excellent series of articles to help you get started.
  • Facebook. It’s our good old social media of choice. Build your author page, feed it, get into groups relevant to your genre and you’re good to go. A fellow author also mentioned she had great results when advertising her book on Facebook.
  •  Goodreads. It’s the Facebook for people who love to read, therefore it’s the place to be for writers. Connect with readers and authors, join groups! Spread the word about your existence as a writer! I entered the author program on Goodreads and just started a giveaway, which apparently is a “greatway” to get your book noticed in the community. I’ve learned that, contrary to what Goodreads advises, it’s best to offer fewer books to a wider audience (that is, the entire world) and have multiple short giveaways rather than a long one.
  •  Wattpad. I’ve been on Wattpad since 2013. It’s the largest online reading community in the world, with over 100 thousand new stories or chapters posted every day. Only 10% of users provide content, tough, which means 90% of wattpaders are readers. It’s an excellent platform for finding a readership and testing the waters for your work. You’ll get instant feedback from readers all over the world, and Wattpad offers many to writers such as contests, writing and promotion support, forums for writing advice and help, and conferences around the world. However, since Wattpad is about free reads, it’s unlikely to bring you a penny unless you’re accepted in their Star program or manage to bring your platform to the outside world. There are ways to do that, and you can find advice on the Web.
  • Pinterest. I plan to get started on it with amazing teasers for my book—someday, when I have time! A good idea is to post book teasers with beautiful images featuring embedded quotes.
  •  Instagram. I don’t have time for that now and probably never will. There is so much social media a poor author can handle. Maybe one day, when I am stinky rich and able to hire an assistant. Or maybe when human cloning is widely available and I can clone myself 🙂 Now seriously, Instagram can be great for promotion and reaching an audience under 30 years of age.

2. Write your synopsis/blurb. It’s hard! It’s a 90,000 word work (more or less) that needs to be summed up in an elevator-pitch fashion. How can you explain your novel in a concise, enticing way? Yet that’s paramount because it’s the calling card for your book. So do your research and brace yourself. It’s tricky but eventually you’ll get there.

3. Don’t forget your beta readers and reviews. You can join book clubs on Goodreads and request them there. Search for blogs in your genre to request reviews too, keeping in mind that you should research each site to know what the review policies are—and now that amazing blurb you wrote will come in handy to get people interested in reading your book.

4. Make a book trailer. You can post it on Youtube and other sites, and it can also work as a calling card for your book: it’s easier for people to watch a short trailer than to read an excerpt. Make your trailer under three minutes and avoid the mistake of delivering a power-point presentation of your book synopsis. That’s boring and doesn’t take advantage of the visual medium. Remember to use copyright-free images and music, and credit them properly (music meaning a copyright-free composition and a copyright-free performance). Resist the urge to use that copyrighted popular song and clips from famous movies, as it can get you into serious trouble. You can find free music on the Internet. Now please note: there are many tutorials on how to make a book trailer. I used Windows Movie Maker, since I already knew how to use Apple’s Final Cut Pro and that made things easier. But Movie Maker can be learned without much pain, so don’t be discouraged. The results will look more professional than if you used basic tools like Animoto’s.

5. Use short stories to promote your work. If you have short stories ready to go, you can turn them into swags: post them on your blog for free samples of your work and also print them out to give away to people attending your readings or other promotional events.

Good luck and happy writing!

Nicole Collet is a Brazilian-born writer and translator with degrees in journalism and cultural management. She has edited and translated works from authors as diverse as Ken Follett, Nora Roberts and Machiavelli. Nicole’s writing explores why people fall in love and what it takes for them to stay in love. Her plots invite readers to think outside the box, merging story with psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, music, and literature. Her debut novel RED: A Love Story received over two million hits on Wattpad and was released by Something Or Other Publishing on March 2016. It was endorsed by Debra Pickett, former columnist of The Chicago Sun-Times and contributor to CNN, as “an intriguing first novel—a thinking woman’s Fifty Shades of Grey.”


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