IWSG: Advice on Writing, Publishing, and Marketing

This post is part of  the Insecure Writer's Support Group

Writing - Make it a Habit and Keep Yourself Accountable
Twitter and cat videos can be fun, but they don’t get any words on a page. Setting daily goals, making writing a habit and keeping yourself accountable are all keys to getting where you want to be. The goals don’t have to be huge, your habit doesn’t have to consume your whole life.

Start small if you need to. Get up a half hour early in the morning and tap out 500 words in one go, or snatch them whenever you can. Get in the habit and write down your accomplishments.
Tangible evidence will always help spur you on to your next day’s goal. Keep these notes in a spreadsheet or in a journal. Make lists or write out what you wrote and how those scenes made you feel.

Publishing - Always Do Your Research
Publishing a book is a job. You want to do it right – the first time. Whether you’re taking the traditional route through an agent, or wading into the murky water of self-publishing, you need to do your research.

With the traditional route you need to make sure you’re looking at (and potentially signing with) the right agent. This applies to two things. 1) making sure you’re subbing to reputable agents who will steer you in the right direction, and 2) finding the right agent for you and your book. Not all agents are created equal. Sometimes an agent is amazing… but not the right one for you.

When you’re diving into self-publishing, you have to do more work. Now you have to research platforms and cover artists and editors and formatting – or you have to research how to do all of that on your own which is even more of a daunting task. You have to research target audiences and release strategies.
Take the time and get it right.

I suppose you could write the book, slap on a cover and throw it to the proverbial wolves. But lighting strikes aren’t something you want to count on.
Marketing – If You Don’t, Who Will?
This is perhaps the most daunting of all the aspects of being an author. Getting the word out there. If you’re like me, you love writing and telling your stories… but the idea of being in the spotlight has you searching frantically for the nearest shadow.

Unfortunately it has to be done. You have to step out into the light and tell people what you’ve done. If you don’t, who will? No one is going to be your advocate (unless you pay them or they’re your mom) and no one is going to know your stories as well as you do. You have to do the leg work.


  1. Hi AB! I'm visiting today as one of the IWSG co-hosts, and I found your post very informative. I'm not sure I could type out 500 words in an early half-hour ~ but you make an excellent point. I'm aiming for two hours a day for at least four days a week. That has definitely helped me along as I write my first book! It's inspiring just to look at your list of books. Good luck as you continue your writing journey!

  2. Marketing is the bane of my existence.

  3. Thanks for commenting on my blog, and I agree with you and Andrew: Marketing would probably stink, but it's a necessary part of being an author. Hope you have a great day!


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