10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being An Author I Didn’t Know Before

I’ve been professionally writing for approximately a year and a half now. I assumed that writing “professionally” would be as easy as writing for pure enjoyment.
Three words: Color me wrong.
Here is a list of the Ten Things I Wish I Knew About Being An Author I Didn’t Know Before:
 1. Your computer/iPad/phone becomes another appendage 
As an independent author, social networking is paramount. I’m rarely without some form of electronic device to answer e-mails, post blurbs and yes, I’ve even been known to stop in the middle of the grocery store, frantically writing out a scene on my iPhone Notepad before it disappears into the abyss of my mind.
2. The book is written. Now I can relax, right?
Wrong. You’ve written your book and now the second part begins. It’s the part where you spend hours blog hopping, Tweeting, connecting on Facebook, writing blog posts…need I continue? Writing the book is the easy part. Trust me.
3. I can take my time writing my second (or third, fourth) book
Again, I was wrong. If you’ve developed a fan base, they want your next book. And they will want it soon. So between #1 and #2, you’ll need to be writing your next book.
4. Uploading a book to Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble is quick and easy.
Don’t be fooled by the author that tells you it’s a walk in the park to upload your book to the above mentioned sites. Be ready to meet formatting requirements that at times – well, at times it makes you feel like you need a degree in computer science to accomplish the upload. It does get easier with time, but it’s no walk in the park.
5. How to emotionally handle negative reviews.
You’ve poured your soul into your book. You’ve cried, you’ve spent hours sweating and proof reading your manuscript. It’s published and available for purchase. Then it happens. You get a negative review.
How did that happen?
Anytime you put yourself out there artistically, you’re going to have people that love your books. And you will have those that will hate them.
The worst thing you can do is let the review personally affect you. It’s an opinion – and we all have them. The second worst thing you can do is to take it upon yourself to respond to the reviewer…or throw gas on the fire by sending in your fan base in to let the reviewer know how wrong they are in disliking your work.
It’s taken awhile, but I’ve learned to take those bad reviews with a grain of salt. I try to learn from the negative and use it as a positive for the next book. And besides, you’ll never make everyone happy anyway.
6. I can still have a social life as an author.
That sounds like such a bold statement. I still have a social life. I just have to be selective about how I spend my time since I have so little free moments. Writing is a full time job for me – and in addition to writing, I’m a stay at home mother that homeschools my daughter. I still go out to dinner with my friends. I still go on vacation. I just have to manage my time wisely.
7. You have to fully plot out your storyline before you write your book(s) or it will never work
I was under the understanding that it was imperative that your fully write out an outline or storyboard for your book prior to writing it.
Yeah, that doesn’t work for me.
I do roughly outline each chapter. However, I let the characters guide me through the book. Some of my best writing has happened when I dared stray from my outline.
My advice: write however works best for you. If you need an outline, write one out. And if writing by the seat of your pants works best, go for it. There are no true rules of writing.
8. I have to work on getting the “big” book deal. Then I won’t have to work so hard
Another myth that has been exposed as I connect with other authors, some of which have contracts with a publishing house. Sure, you have a book deal.
But they do little promotion for your book. That’s still up to you. See #2.
9. Being a published author is glamorous.
It may be a lot of fun, but it’s far from glamorous. I’m a jack of all trades: a publicist, PR rep, personal assistant and a Mom.
10. Writing would be one of the best experiences of my life.
I’ve rattled off a lot of negative things about being a writer, but it’s almost been one of the best things that happened to me. I’m able to create worlds and plotlines, I happen to have some of the most wonderful fans in the world and I get to do what I love: Write.
No one could have prepared me for the amount of self-pride I’d have when I saw my first book go live on Amazon and B&N. Or the moment I held my paperback in my hand. It was a beautiful, humbling experience to see my words on paper, bound in a pretty package.
And I’ll take the good with the bad. And I’ll keep writing.
Alexandra Anthony is an award winning independent Author of two romantic, erotic book series: The Vampire Destiny Series and The Dark Hart Chronicles. Both feature sexy vampires to die for, steamy love scenes and follow the twists and turns of her character's many adventures.  Her books are not for the faint of heart.
She was most recently featured in USA Today in an article by Joyce Lamb titled, "It's time to put some Paranormal Activity into your Reading" and was featured under Self-Published/Indie Authors for the release of Ascend (The Vampire Destiny Series Book 4).  Her book, Tempted: The Dark Hart Chronicles Book 1 won the 2013 Orangeberry Hall of Fame Award for Best Erotica.
Ms. Anthony is from the Midwest (Ohio to be precise) and was bitten by the lure of the vampire at an early age.  She chose to take up writing and put her own twist on these mysterious immortal creatures...making them day-walkers that could easily blend in with their human counterparts.  She also enjoys weaving Old Norse and Greek Mythology into her stories, adding a bit of realism into escapism.

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