Top 5 Mistakes Every New Author Makes

Top 5 Mistakes Every New Author Makes

by T.M. Williams

What right do I have to write an article on what mistakes new authors make when I’m still considered a new author? Well, no one is better equipped to answer that than someone who’s been in the midst of making her way in this industry during the last five years as everything has changed.

I’m fascinated by the stories I hear from veteran authors and publishers about all the Good Bad Uglychanges and how everyone is coping with them – or not. Amazon has changed the face of the industry – making it so that just about anyone can publish just about anything, and unfortunately they do. There seems to be a rift between “old school,” traditionally published authors and the new, especially self-published or hybrid authors.

The top 5 mistakes that every new author makes is different than it was just a few years ago, and here’s my list. I’ve made almost every single one of these and learned the hard way.

  1. Going with the first publisher that signs them. I did this. I was so excited that anyone was even interested in me that I immediately signed away, thinking if I didn’t, I’d be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Truth is, if one publisher is interested in you – several will be. Shop around and ask a lot of questions, read blogs like this one, and learn as much as you can from other authors and their own blogs.
  2. They don’t market themselves until well after their book is out. Sometimes, they don’t even market themselves at all. Network as much as you can, especially before your book comes out and make friends with other authors whom you can bounce ideas off of. If you’re depending on your agent or publisher to market for you, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
  3. They ignore their instincts. You’re going to get a ton of advice… I mean, a TON of advice. I believe most people mean well, but they aren’t living in your shoes. The only person who knows what the right decision is, is you. If something doesn’t feel right – don’t do it. And, the worst-case scenario is that you end up making a mistake. The world won’t end; you’ll just move on and avoid making that mistake again.
  4. They don’t book events. Events are going to be one of the best ways to get your name out there as a new author. Call programming directors for conventions in your genre, call libraries, book stores, small book stores – and book any and all events you can. Then, when you get to the event – be engaging, smile, and have fun!
  5. They don’t have an online presence. You need to have an online presence and a strong one. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, a website, a blog, or all of the above, make sure you are online marketing yourself and doing it often.

Want more information on how to market yourself? Make sure to check out my new book: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Sales and Marketing. If you’re in the Phoenix area, check out my free marketing workshop on 12/13/14 at the Phoenix Central Library. Reserve your seat on – just search for: Marketing Speak with T.M. Williams

T.M. Williams is a novelist, speaker, and entrepreneur. She has started successful TM Williamsbusinesses, created and sold brands, created training programs for large direct-selling teams, and won multiple awards in sales and marketing. She’s the published author of several books, primarily focusing on horror. She began her writing career late in 2012 when she accidentally discovered her passion for storytelling, earning her nickname: The Accidental Writer. She was picked up by a small press publisher in 2013 and has since gone on to write 7 novels and 6 short-stories, 2 of which became bestsellers. Williams is currently signed with AZ Publishing Services and continues her ventures in the business and marketing world. She resides in Arizona with her husband and son.

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1 Response to Top 5 Mistakes Every New Author Makes

  1. patriciaacox says:

    I absolutely agree with all of these. I am also a “debut” author with my first novel coming out someday soon. I can vouch for number one. I was offered a contract a week after I had pitched my novel’s latest revision to a small press at a conference. After years and years of trying to sell my novel, I was thrilled that ANYBODY was interested. So I signed immediately. As it turned out, an agency (recently declared the No. 1 agency for sales in 2014 by Publishers Marketplace) from the same conference offered to represent me – 3 months later. Too late! My advice is exactly as Ms. Williams’ – if someone is that interested, someone else will be too. That last revision was the one that made the difference but all I was thinking of was years of rejections prior to.

    Liked by 1 person

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