1. Insult other authors
You would be surprised at the number of insults that sometimes I see flying between authors. Sometimes this is because personalities clash, other times because one author wants to do something that others feel is inappropriate. The one thing I would say is that if you insult another author, you are not acting professionally. I would say that it is no better than schoolyard bullying – which is unprofessional. This in turn will divert readers away from your work and could get them to buy from those you are insulting. If you don’t agree with someone that is okay – we all have our own opinions – but don’t lash out, just thank them for their comments and carry on / take their advice.
2. Lie to your audience
This can be so easily linked to the above point, but it doesn’t have to be. Lying to your audience is a bad idea. It not only takes away your credibility but also your precious time. I know in theory most authors are telling lies for a career (story writing) but at least tell the truth when talking about other authors, books or what you are currently doing. If you lie too much not only will your nose grow, but your audience will just consider you are calling wolf and never listen to you again.
3. Respond to Bad Reviews
A topic that almost deserves a blog post on its own, responding to reviews, any reviews, is a bad idea. Responding to bad reviews however serve no purpose. For one thing everyone is entitled to their opinion and to comment on their bad review (especially to tell them how they are wrong) is like taking that right away. Also readers just don’t like it and feel like you are big brother checking up on them, which they will remember next time your book is around.
4. Rant on Facebook / Twitter
How many times have I seen this?! I’ve lost count. Remember that everything you produce online is viewable through the search engines. And if a reader finds a rant from you about such and such a reader not appreciating your finer points or even about bad reviews – you’ve created a negative impression to a potential reader and lost sales. Rants are for the bedroom wall if you must or can be emptied with a simple shrug and a half day crabbing / shooting / [insert favourite activity here].
This is probably my biggest error. No-one is perfect (not an excuse I know). Sometimes I rush blog posts. Normally I get my blog posts to a beta reader to check for spelling, but that isn’t always an option. I will do a quick read but the only problem is that I find it hard to spot my own mistakes.
6. Forget the real world
How many of us could actually spend the whole day logged into our facebook accounts? Locked on our books? Too many of us I am sure. The real world is inspirational – it can give you characters, plots and solutions to those pesky problems. So take a walk, go out for a day and get away from the computer and our work. (Yes okay I could be guilty of this too – but I do walk two hours a day).
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