I thought when I became an author that I would sit at my desk and write one brilliant book after another. I had no idea how much marketing and publicity were involved. Then there are royalties, contracts, tax implications, and sales tax that make your head spin. I quickly learned that as much as I loved books and writing, this was a business, and I needed to treat it as such.
1. Know when to consult lawyers, CPAs, and tax professionals. Make sure you know about your tax bracket, deductions, business licenses, and sales tax rules.
2. Get a professional headshot. It's an investment, but it shows that you are serious about your writing.
3. Get an author website. Make sure that it has your biography, photo, link to your books, and a way to contact you.
4. Be prompt when responding to emails and phone calls. Publishers, publicists, agents, and book store owners expect to be dealing with professionals.
5. Always meet your deadlines and commitments. This goes for volunteer work too.
6. Thank people who help you, provide good reviews, and share your social media.
7. When you contact booksellers, reporters, agents, publishers, etc., be prepared. Make sure you have a polished biography, synopsis, and links to your social media sites.
8. If you're going to create a blog, website, or social media sites, make sure that you post regularly. If the content isn't fresh, visitors won't come back, or they'll drop you.
9. Proofread your stuff. Make sure that your sites, emails, and marketing materials are organized, easy to read, and current. You really only do get one shot at making a first impression.
Best wishes with your writing. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.