Tag Archives: Rachel Thompson

ARE YOU A WRITER? THEN WRITE!

Great to have BestSelling author and social media expert Rachel Thompson as a guest on DyingWords. I follow Rachel on her sites, BadRedHeadMedia and Rachel in the OC, and love her No-BS style. She generously agreed to share some thoughts on writing.

Rachel1AI noticed an extremely talented writer friend hadn’t blogged for awhile, so I checked in on her last night. She decided to take a break due to some harsh comments from those supposedly ‘in the know,’ and was taking time to lick her wounds and hadn’t written in months. I am a true fan, and was shocked to see her so affected. But I could relate. 

Been there, done that. I gave her this advice: ‘Screw ‘em. Trust your voice. They’re jealous of your amazing talent, and by silencing you, they are somehow feeling better about their lack of it.’

Write, my dear friends. Ignore what THEY say. Trust your voice, believe in yourself. You are amazing.

‘YOU CAN’T WRITE’

Rachel2AI’ve been there. Someone I respected, who was ‘in the know,’ told me that my work wasn’t ‘ready for publication, was boring, that nobody would read it.’ So, I walked away from that situation. Doesn’t matter who that person is. What’s important is that I listened, I let it affect me, and I crawled into a dark, gray hole. For a nanosecond.

SO I WROTE ANYWAY

Rachel3And then completely ignored this person’s advice, wrote Broken Pieces, the book this person said nobody would read, because I trusted my voice. And it not only changed my life, it also connected me to so many amazing survivors, writers, readers, bloggers, reviewers…to PEOPLE I likely would never have otherwise met.

LET PEOPLE HELP YOU

Your first draft is going to be awful. Terrible. Shit. So what? You’re no different than…

Ernest Hemingway: The first draft of anything is shit” or

Rachel 4BAnne Lamott: “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head.”

I personally refer to my first drafts as ‘word vomit.’ The problem, I’ve discovered, is that most new writers try too hard to make their writing perfect on the first try (impossible, I tell you!), so that when they receive criticism (and they will), they crumple. I was no different. So…what to do?

Blogging helps. Share your writing.

Rachel5BBut when it comes to getting ready for publication (no matter which direction you take), hire a writing coach, or a professional editor, someone who knows about writing and does this for a living. Not your Aunt Edna who used to correct English papers back in the day.

You are too close to it to edit your own work. And by edit, I do not mean grammar and proof — no, no, no. I mean structural edits — looking at the entire content and seeing what flows, what fits, what doesn’t, what needs revision, what needs to be cut.

BUT I HAVE NO MONEY!

Rachel6AGosh, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this, I’d be rich by now. I get it, I do. I’m there, too. But guess what? Your book will not sell if it’s riddled with errors. You cannot afford not to hire a professional. Would you do your own heart surgery? No.

Besides, there are terrific options now: crowdfund using Pubslush (a crowdfunding platform just for book projects), look at Bibliocrunch (find quality professionals for your book publishing needs within your budget), barter services, whatever! Make it happen.

Point is this: writers write.

Don’t let anyone influence you about you. Trust your voice. Protect it, above all else.

Figure the rest out later.

 “Express yourself, don’t repress yourself” ~ Madonna (Human Nature)

*   *   *

Rachel7Rachel Thompson is the author of the award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published and represented by Booktrope.

Rachel9She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors, and Rachel in the OC where she gives writing and marketing advice.

Rachel10Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington PostThe San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, bitrebels.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Rachel1Rachel is the creator and founder of #MondayBlogs and #SexAbuseChat and an advocate for sexual abuse survivors. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Watch for Rachel Thompson’s new book, Broken Places, which is being released shortly.

HOW TO SELL YOUR BOOK

This is from a rant that Rachel Thompson posted on Facebook and let me re-publish. Rachel is a BestSelling author and Social Media Consultant at www.RachelintheOC.com  and www.BadRedHeadMedia.com.

Rachel ThompsonI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: ONE thing will not sell your books. It’s a combo of:

1.  A spectacular book (professionally edited, formatted, designed, and proofed).
2.  Reviews. (minimum of 25 within the first few weeks.)
3.  Beta or ARC readers before you release.
4.  An optimized website (professional graphics, social media icons, keywording, HTML, CSS for faster loading, etc…all to increase your SEO). Look it up.
5.  An active blog. (once weekly minimum).
Social Media6.  Interactive social media. (not spammy) At minimum Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ (important for your Google ranking), following readers, book bloggers, book reviewers, and book clubs.
7.  Groups. (important to establish connections with peers).
eBooks8.  An eBook version (duh). I don’t care if you hate eBooks. What do your readers want?
9.  A virtual blog tour. It won’t necessarily sell books, but it DOES increase visibility, SEO, reviews, connections with readers and bloggers, and Google Ranking.
10.  Google AdWords. (get advice on how to do it correctly, study and research, or pay someone to do it for you).
11.  Book clubs.
Book Signing12.  Book signings.
13.  Swag. (bookmarks, pens, postcards, etc)
14.  Guest blog. Guest blog. Guest blog. (and not only about your book and how wonderful your toenails are).
15.  Interviews.
16.  Give back, for fuck’s sake. Stop talking about yourself all the damn time.

Bitch and moan that you’ve done EVERYTHING (bet you haven’t), and still haven’t sold any books. I don’t believe you. Sorry.

When you’ve done ALL of the above in great detail, and I mean everything with a concentrated effort and still haven’t sold any books, then guess what? Maybe you need to rewrite your book, or write another.

Sell BooksIt typically takes FIVE books to start making a living on your work. FIVE. (Says who? Almost every writer who is making a living on their books —Steena HolmesBette Lee CrosbyRyne PearsonLiz SchulteHugh Howey, and on it goes).

So stop with the whining about how Amazon sucks or blah blah doesn’t work (nothing is magical), pull up your big girl and big boy pants, and spend that effort writing your next blog post, book, or tweet. Or yell at me for bitching at you. I don’t care.

I’ll be writing my next book TOUGH LOVE FOR WHINY WRITERS. ha.

_____________________________________________________________________

Thanks to Rachel Thompson for posting this excellent, no bullshit advice on Facebook which allowed me to steal and shamelessly plagiarize it so all writers can benefit. I later felt guilty and turned myself in to beg for permission. Not only did Rachel forgive me, we’ve become friends and I often beak-off on her sites.

Rachel is a BestSelling author and a Social Media Consultant based in California. You can find Rachel at:

www.RachelintheOC.com

www.BadRedHeadMedia.com

@RachelintheOC

@BadRedHeadMedia