This is the first Rapid Fire episode, that’s where I take multiple questions that don’t take a full episode to answer and, well, answer them! This time around we talk about how to write an author bio, if KDP Select is worth it, to share or not to share first drafts, marketing, and the editing process!
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As always, below is a direct copy of the show notes. They were written before the episode was recorded but are here for reference and SEO.
Topic: Evergreen Stories and Stale Stories
- What is the correct way to write an author bio? Is Amazon KDP Select the way to go? Should you share my first draft?
- I am your host, Jeremy Collier, and today’s episode is the first Rapid Fire episode of The Authorpreneur Mindset.
- A rapid-fire episode is when I answer questions that don’t really require a whole episode to talk about in itself.
- Before we get into the topic, I wanted to talk a bit about our Patreon page. I mentioned it last episode, but I wanted to go into more detail on what exactly we’re offering on there, and how you can get a bunch of extra content for only $1 a month right now.
- The first 25 people who back the podcast on patreon will actually get the $3 level for just that, $1. You get access to future patreon-only content, the ability to listen to the Authorpreneur Mindset early, a Patreon only form to ask questions, and access to our very exclusive Discord server.
- We offer different things at different rewards levels, but let’s be honest, the $1 a month level is really all that matters right now.
- So if you’d like to show some support and get access to all that, and more as we hit our goals, head over to Steampowereddreams.com/patreon.
- With that out of the way, let’s get into our rapid fire questions.
- The first question comes from Masha Leyfer who asks “How would you recommend I write my author bio?”
- There is no one right way to write an author bio. Most authors write it in third person as if someone else is talking about you, but that’s not for everyone. Some people get right to the point and talk about their books, while others give some backstory to their lives. The important thing is that it is both professional and personal.
- To give you an example, I’ll read mine
- Next question from Diane DeMuth who asks “Is Amazon KDP exclusive the way to go? Is it better to be on all e-reader sites? What are the best ways/least expensive ways to market?”
- Amazon KDP Select can bring a lot of value, especially to new authors, but it means potentially losing out on income from other sources. I’m a firm believer in going wide…eventually. What many authors do, and something I agree with, is, if you’re just starting out (or starting a new series) to put your books into KDP Select for a month, or two, or even three, and then once it has somewhat of a following on Amazon, take it out and go wide. This helps it get a jump-start, while still allowing you to make sales elsewhere.
- As for best ways and least expensive ways to market, this is an ever-changing answer. Facebook ads, if done right, can be amazing, as can Amazon ads. Both of these methods take a lot of patience and a fair bit of luck but make sure before spending even a dime to do your research, maybe even take an online class or two.
- My favorite method, and by far the cheapest because it’s free, of marketing is social media. Now, I’m not telling you to throw it into people’s faces, because that will backfire, but to join writing/reading communities and talk about your writing, and share your knowledge. People will ask you about your books and you will get sales. Find groups that allow for weekly advertising, but avoid groups that are all advertising. Have friends and family promote your books, read your books, and review your books (just remember: anyone with your last name cannot review your book on Amazon! It’s an odd thing, but can lead to problems.)
- Next question is from Al Sanchez who says “I’ve read that many established writers frown on sharing 1st drafts. Opinions?”
- Sharing your first draft is purely a personal choice. Many established writers frown upon sharing their first drafts to those who they cannot trust, but you’ll find that almost all of them share them with at least one person. If you have a loyal writer friend or reader friend who doesn’t mind that the story/characters/etc. Maybe really poorly laid out, it’s not only fine to share with them, but it’s very important to so that you can get their feedback.
- With that said, my advice is to share your second draft. That is, write the first draft, read it over and do a full edit once, THEN share it with a trusted friend or family member. You’d be surprised how much a single edit can change your book!
- The final question is from Daniel Cornett who asks “How many edits/drafts do you go through? I am waiting on my first draft edits back and I need to know how many edits are in my future.”
- This question has many parts to it and the answer will change for every author. Some of the most prolific and famous writers go through 10 to 15 edits or even more, while others only 2 or 3.
- For me personally, I do 1 full edit after the first draft, 1 spot edit after beta readers, and finally a full edit after my copyeditor (this is generally a quick read with very little changes though). Sometimes I do a full edit after the beta readers, but more often than not a spot edit will be enough.
- But if we talk about average rounds of editing, I’d have to say it’s 5+. I’m not sure exactly what you mean by waiting on your first draft edits back. I don’t recommend hiring anyone to edit your book until you have polished it up as best you can. Not only will you have a better book, but it’ll cost you a lot less. Of course, if a traditional publisher picked up your book and that’s what you’re doing, it really is up to the editor. You may have to do 2 edits or 20.
- I’m sorry my answer isn’t more specific, but every manuscript is as different as every author and every editor.
- That’s it for our first Rapid Fire episode.
- I want to thank everyone for the questions.
- If you have a question, or 10, head on over to steampowereddreams.com/authorpreneurmindset and click on Ask A Question, or join our facebook group at facebook.com/SPDwritershelpingwriters
- You can also find me directly on:
- Facebook at facebook.com/jeremylcollier
- Twitter at SoulScribbler,
- and finally on Instagram at authorpreneurmindset
- Until next week, I am your host Jeremy and don’t forget to keep moving forward.