The internet is drowning in advice for emerging authors. Blogs, articles, Twitter threads, Facebook…all overflowing with commentary on how authors need to ‘be’.

Be active on social media, but not too political or opinionated or personal or frequent or sporadic or promotional.

Don’t read reviews, but include them in the promotional posts you need to put out there on a continual, but not constant, basis.

Never interact with reviewers or bloggers but acknowledge you appreciate their positive feedback.

Build your brand, but make sure you keep it ambiguous in case you switch directions in your writing.

Stay on top of the latest issues in your genre and show your support, but don’t pick a side in case it’s the wrong one by next week.

And don’t get me started on the conflicting advice out there regarding the indie/traditional/combo mine field.

Needless to say, there’s a good chance I’m authoring wrong.

My social media is a mess of promotional posts, cats, regional and international politics, teaching commentary, proud mom stuff, and screaming koalas.

And yes, I break the cardinal review rule. I read them, I repost them, I tap the heart or the thumb on the good ones. The low ones? They happen. That’s part of putting your work out there. Some of them make valid points and I squirrel those comments away for the next manuscript.

As for interaction…I suck at it. I’ll like the hell out of posts, but if I comment, they might respond and now I have that ‘is it rude to just like this? Do I need to reply? Like and reply? WHAT IS THE PROTOCOL’ problem.

Politics and controversy are huge warning flags in author articles. After all, authors could alienate potential readers.

Dude.

There are red hat wearing Species Purifiers by page three of CONNECTION. Anyone taking a peek before buying is going to know exactly where I stand. They might as well know early while I continue to boost visibility for the issues I care about.

And yes, I’m a book page folder. There’s my controversial take on this week’s thing. Don’t like it? I’ll send you some bookmarks.

Which leads to that last disaster in my authoring.

My brand.

A huge portion of my life has involved doing my thing, just humming along before looking up and realizing I’m not always on the same page or in the same room as everyone else.

I’m cool with that.

My brand is “sarcastic mom of three kids and two cats with a penchant for grunge and 1980s pop icons who wears Slayer shirts and collects skirts while writing fight scenes for mythological creatures and pushing against the alt-right narrative”.

I could probably refine it, but

So here’s my addition to the authoring advice we newbies devour as though it’ll pave the way to global domination of our genre.

Do you and don’t be a jerk.

That’s it.

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