Tag Archives: ask the author

Gaining Respect as an Author

A fellow author asked:

What is the most important thing an independent author needs to do to gain respect as a writer?

Being an independent (or indie) author means you are self-publishing your written work, but the answer applies to all authors. Whether you’re indie or traditionally published; whether your write novels,  poetry, (screen/stage)plays, articles and online content, freelances various writing jobs, or ghost-writing … the answer is the same:

Be professional in your attitude and behavior, and produce quality work.

What does this look like?

On a personal level:

  • Be genuine. No “selling” people on your books (aside from generic marketing). This means, you aren’t pouncing people with “buy my books”, spamming groups, or sliding into their DM’s to pitch them.
  • Interact with people honestly and respectfully on a personal level and they will naturally be curious about your work and your passion (aka organic marketing). They will be understanding of you promoting your work and sharing your work-related content on your profile (not targeted directly at them), inviting them to your like your page or join your group, etc.

On a business level:

  • Build a quality “brand” as an authentic person and produce quality products. This means a properly edited manuscript and blurb with a professional looking interior and cover.
  • Learn the etiquette of contacting and dealing with reviewers, designers, editors, etc.
    Understand that this is a business which requires an investment of both time and money. Don’t DIY unless you are a professional designer, editor, etc. and even then, have someone you trust look over your work.

I’ve come across authors who protest that we should be able to “gain respect” without focusing on the business aspect.

No matter what kind of writer you are, if you want to be respected,  you have to learn the basics, hone your skills, network, market … ALL of it. Even if you’re traditionally published. The business part of it is vital, especially if you’re looking to gain respect. Otherwise, you’re not an “independent author”, you’re someone with a writing hobby.

If you want to be considered an author and gain respect of any sort, you need to work at your career like it’s a “real” job. Because, it is and Writing is Hard. So, be professional and produce quality work.

Top 5 Tips for Writing Short Stories

Author and GoodReads member, Christopher Taylor asked:

What advice do you give a would-be short story writer for crafting their tale?

(Read on GoodReads)

book world | I Am Rosa

Here are my top 5 tips:

1)  A short story requires all the same elements of a full-length story to be successful. This includes a clear beginning, middle, and ending with build and climax. The characters need to be properly developed so they come across as real people with real emotions and motivations.

2)  Yes, your short story can have chapters. Short story just means that your tale can be told in less than 10,000 words. If you need chapter breaks and scene changes to make your story flow, then use them.

3)  “Short story” doesn’t mean “hastily told”.  Address Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How to create a full reality for the reader.  Weave the details into your story.

4)  Avoid an “info dump” or skimping on the “show versus tell” aspect, because you’re in a hurry to get to the “good part” of the tale. If done right, the whole story can be the “good part”.

5)  Lastly, edit like it was an award-wining best seller. Your short story needs just as much attention as a full-length. Give your readers quality writing and they’ll walk away satisfied no matter what your word count is.

If you have a writing related question, please feel free to leave it as a comment below or ask me on GoodReads.

Writer’s Block

Question: How do you deal with writer’s block?

writer's block | I Am Rosa

Answer:  Well, there’s the old stand-bys for writers block: go for a walk, take a nap, have coffee or tea with a friend, run around the house like a crazy-person chasing your favourite child(ren) while pretending to be the Tickle Monster … These are great for times when you just need to get away from the project for a short while.

However, on those occasions when I reach a point where I don’t feel like I’m making progress, I stop and walk away from the project for a while. Days, weeks, months, and some times even years. I always have multiple projects on the go, so I switch gears and tackle something else for a bit. It changes my mental energy and keeps me productive.

Have more questions for me? Feel free to post them in the comment section of the original post on my Fan Page  or in the “Ask the Author” section at my GoodReads profile.


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