21 June 2012

[Guest Post] What I Have Learned As a Writer

Today's guest post is brought to you by Michelle Grogan, author of the book Forbidden Love

In the short time I have considered myself an Indie Author, I have learned some very valuable things in that time.

Find a Good Editor BEFORE Publishing

This is a lesson I learned the hard way. I guess I originally thought that going it on my own, self-publishing my first novel, that I wasn’t going to have the same kind of backing and support that someone connected to a publishing house would have – i.e. a marketing team, design team, and editors. Being that I had worked with my debut novel, Forbidden Love, for so many years I thought I would be able to edit and catch all the
typos myself…that was not the case and I learned it the hard way.

After reading over Forbidden Love so many times I could quote most of my own lines, I uploaded it to Amazon to be published for the kindle and sent it out into the world. I was excited and proud of myself for accomplishing a dream I had been working on for so long! And when the first few reviews started coming in, I couldn’t be happier. As I learned the ins and outs of self-promotion and marketing (remember, no marketing team at my back…) I started looking back at my newly published work, pulling quotes
and such and was devastated to find so many typos and grammatical errors! I didn’t know what to do. So, I let it go. No one else was really saying anything about it, so if I didn’t make a big deal out of it, maybe no one else would either. Wishful thinking on my part.

I’m not going to get into the grisly details, but once it became apparent that others were noticing the errors, I knew I had to do something about it. That doesn’t mean it didn’t upset me – because it did, but I didn’t let it get me down for too long. On the advice of my fiancĂ©, I logged into ELance and found myself a free-lance editor whose turnaround time was faster than I expected and who did an amazing job!! After going through the errors she had found – and laughing at myself over how ridiculous is all was, I made the fixes she recommended and a few days later I had the new and improved version back up on Amazon, ready to sell.

So, my word of advice: find an editor, someone unbiased – who doesn’t know you personally – not a family member or friend, and make sure you are putting your best possible work out there!!

Write Everyday

In all of my research on being an Indie Author, the one piece of advice I had seen the most is to write every day. Easy enough, right? Not really – unless you are fortunate enough to be writing full time, writing every day is not always feasible when you are holding down a full time job that takes up most of your waking hours, particularly during the week. But the more I think about it, I realize that more and more I was making excuses for not doing – too tired to think and be creative, too much on my mind and so I on and so on. But when I write – even if it’s a blog or a journal entry, I find that I feel so much better. So, keep writing. Write every day.

Connect With Your Readers/Potential Readers

As a published writer…as an Indie Author…I have learned that connecting with my readers on the various social media platforms has been a great experience. Not only to do I have my regular Facebook profile, I now have an Author’s page, a page for Forbidden Love as well as my Twitter account, a Pinterest page and so on…it’s a lot of work, but well worth the effort in the long run.

As an Indie Author, Connect with & Support Other Indie Authors 

I have learned so much from other Indie Authors, everything from marketing, branding and promoting to twitter etiquette and so on. I don’t think I would be as successful as I feel I am if it weren't for the wonderful people I have met and learned from. I have learned that as a self-published Indi Author, I am not really on my own…not when there is a whole community of Indie Authors out there helping each other out.

Reviews – Everyone is Entitled to their Opinion

I have to keep this in mind when someone rates my book a 2 or 3 out of 5 stars, especially when they do not leave feedback as to why. I have had a couple of reviews that really hurt, although they turned out to be constructive in the end (although in my personal opinion they could have been phrased differently). But the most important thing to keep in mind is that if you receive a negative review, there is nothing you can do about it – DO NOT get involved in a back and forth with the reviewer…this will not solve anything, least of all change the other person’s mind. Just keep in mind that everyone is entitled to their opinion and move on.

I have been an Indie Author since September 25, 2011…and in that short time I have learned so much and still have so much more to learn!!!

Forbidden Love is the story of Jessica Alvarez, a young woman determined to take control of her
life from a father who spent who has protected her and shielded her from the dangerous world he inhabits. It’s about Jake Rousseau, a man who does what he does out of loyalty; a man who isn’t ready to give his heart to another woman after losing the one he thought he would spend the rest of his life with. It is about Luis Alvarez, a father intent on keeping his daughter safe at all costs - even if she hates him for it. It is the story of a man willing to do anything it takes to wrest a small town from the clutches of organized crime.

In this modern play on William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, one young woman will be forced
into a tug of war between the man she loves, the father who wants to protect her, and the man who will do anything - anything - to get what he wants . . . no matter the consequences. But in the end, will she succumb, much like her Shakesperean counterpart, to the ravages of two warring families, or will she rise above it all in order to have the life and love she wants?

Special thank you to Michelle for stopping by my blog! Make sure you check out her Facebook page, her book's Facebook Page, her Goodreads Profile, and her Twitter account. 


  1. Fabulous post, and great advice. I'm a huge Elance fan myself. I've been working on the writing every day thing, I really need to do better on it.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  2. Great advice. I'm still amazed at the amount of typos I find even when I've copy edited it to death! It's crazy how our minds work against us and "fill in the gaps".

  3. This is great advice! And indeed, we need several pairs of eyes to read our manuscripts. It is easy to miss mistakes because we are close to our work. Editing is a tough job! And it is so vital!

  4. Great post. Thanks for sharing what you learned.


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