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For Writers

Here you’ll find my top recommendations for how to grow your author business.

So you’re a writer, and you want to be an author.

Good for you! You’ve found a dream to pursue.

Now, how do you live it?

I hope you didn’t think it’s as easy as sitting down on a computer, plucking the keyboard, and throwing up that story in your head. There’s A LOT to do. Including:

⚔️ Learning the craft
⚔️ Growing your fanbase
⚔️ Showing people you exist
⚔️ And ultimately, keeping yourself motivated.

This page does not in any way contain everything you need to know for success. Being a professional writer is a life-long journey full of life-long lessons. BUT this page has something for everyone: from the beginner to the intermediate to the experienced.

With over twenty years of writing experience under my belt, I decided to make a condensed page to share all I’ve used to grow my business. It’s my hope that sharing my insights will help direct you on your path.

I will update this page periodically as I continue to grow, because I’m always learning, as I hope you will always develop yourself as well.

Now let’s get to it.

Full disclosure: I receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, and I assure you, it will buy me lots of coffee so I can continue making great stories for you and sharing my insights along the way.

Content in this article:

Better Your Writing Craft
Grow Your Fanbase (Platform building)
Learn the Business/Marketing
Personal Development

Better Your Writing Craft

What I tell everyone is that writing is a craft. It’s something you learn and get better at as you do it. My favorite analogy is an artist: to be an oil painter, you have to learn how to use oil paint. To clean your brushes in this case, you don’t use water, but a chemical thinner that’s poisonous if the painter doesn’t know how to ventilate the room properly.

Just as there are so many layers to mastering painting, there’s a myriad of layers to mastering writing.

Besides reading in the genera you write (which is so important because it helps you know what your reader is expecting from your book) you must study the craft. In this section, you’ll find my top favorite “how to write” books.

My Top Writing Development Recommendations:

Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

1 Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

If you’re asking, what does ‘save the cat’ mean? It’s a saying in the writing community first created by Blake Snyder (a screen writer). In short, let’s say you have a nasty main character who nobody would like. It’s important to make him likeable to your reader or they won’t root for him and therefore, will give up on your story. So, have this unlikable character save a cat from a tree. Instant likeability.

That is pretty much what ‘save the cat’ means, but it does not in reach the depth of how awesome this book is. Jessica Brody is a multi-time New York Times best seller. And in this book, she teaches pansters (those who write without a plan) and plotters (those who write with a plan) how to write a novel that will steal their readers hearts every time.

If you read nothing else on this list of mine, author friend, read this book. It will make writing 100x easier!

The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass

2 The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass

This book will take what Jessica Brody teaches you in “Save the Cat Writes a Novel” and add that final layer. The Emotional Craft of Fiction will help you make your reader cry when you want them to cry, laugh when you want them to laugh, and fall for your character without fail.

For every book I write, I reference Jessica Brody’s book above and then listen to this one with my audible account. By incorporating both books, I know my stories are deep and emotional in all the right places!

Other recommendations:

The Abby Arthur YouTube Channel

My YouTube Channel The Abby Arthur

You knew I’d have a selfless plug in here somewhere, right? But honestly, I have a few videos up explaining a way to approach short stories. If you didn’t know, short story writing can help with novel writing because you can complete a whole story faster, helping you learn the craft better.

I don’t have a plan currently to put out more videos (as I’m busy with the other parts of the business), but I hope to make more in the future. For now, the series on short stories that I have can be a nice starting point for you.

Hack Your Readers Brain by Jeff Gerke

Hack Your Readers Brain by Jeff Gerke

This is a great, quick read that helped me see how human’s respond to story.

The Last Fifty Pages by James Scott Bell

The Last Fifty Pages by James Scott Bell

Teaches you how to write endings that don’t suck. My favorite quote from this book is “The first five pages sell your current book, the last fifty pages sell your next book.”

If you don’t nail your ending (say it’s too predictable or too unexpected) your readers will be disappointed that they waisted all their time reading the story. This book by James Scott Bell will teach you to do it right.

5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox

5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox

This book teaches you how to step back in your mind and write like crazy. Sometimes, you’re holding yourself back by overthinking, so a great way to break out of that is to do writing sprints. This concept is where you write as much as you can, as fast as you can, without going back or editing for a set amount of time. Authors tend to do this anywhere from 5-20 minutes. They even get their writing buddies involved.

The concept is great because it gets that first draft out FAST.

Romancing the Beats by Gwen Hayes

Romancing the Beats by Gwen Hayes

I love this book because, as I’m not always writing a romance-focused story, Gwen helps you see how to make your side romances work, too. I don’t know why, but as I’ve delved deeper into writing, this one part has been my struggle. So if you know your romances aren’t as good as they could be (or your betas are telling you so) check out this book!

Grow Your Fanbase
(Platform Building)

Growing your fanbase, or as you’ll often hear it called—building your platform—is fundamental to your author business. Think of it like a store trying to sell products, if they had no customers, nothing would sell. But if they had no returning customers, they would go out of business just as fast. Your fanbase are those returning customers, your superfans, the people who love you and will read every darned thing you write.

However, these fans aren’t just customers, in fact, don’t think of them as costumers from here on out, because they are your PEOPLE, the whole reason you write to make these people fall in love with your characters, and if you do everything right, they will!

Strangers to Superfans by David Gaughran

Strangers to Superfans by David Gaughran

David is my favorite guy to study from. He’s so real and funny. I’m on his mailing list, and if you are an Indie author (the cool term for self-published), I recommend you join too! Here, I’ll make it easy for you, join David’s list here, you’ll even get his book, “Following: A Marketing Guide to Author Platform”. It’s exclusive to his email list, and free! (Can you tell how much I love this guy? 🤔)

Anyway, he helps you see how selling a book to every single person in the world just isn’t the way to do business. You are writing for one tribe, your superfans. And they are where your success is. 😊

Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque

Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque

Let me take a moment and give a “Thank You” shout out to Tammi. This lady taught me how to get real, relax, and talk to my fans like a human being! She also kicked my butt and told me to treat my fans nicely no matter the size of my email list. Sometimes, we authors (me) get stuck on wanting a surplus of fans, and we forget that every fan is a real person, and they want to hear from us.

Read Tammi’s book to know how to grow your fanbase well, the first time.

Learn the Business/Marketing

At this point, I think it’s wise to say, becoming an author does not happen over night. And learning all aspects of it takes YEARS! Mastering writing alone can take a long long long time. But learning from the professionals will make it take much less time than if you go at it alone.

The good news, learning the business side of writing won’t take as long as mastering writing will. (Though, it’s not always as fun, let’s be honest.) There are many paid programs to teach you amazon ads and the lot. I am currently in those courses, and I’ll link to them here if they prove to be worth my time. For now, here are some of the books that helped me get on the right track.

Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean M. Platt and Johnny Truant with David Wright

Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean M. Platt and Johnny Truant with David Wright

This is a quick run down of how the business works. Read it for an overview in a funny, engaging voice. Sean and Johnny are trail blazers in this business, and were writing eBooks way before it was cool.

Writing Killer Blurbs and Hooks by Adam Croft

Writing Killer Blurbs and Hooks by Adam Croft

There’s a tone of content out there to help write blurbs and hooks. I personally love what you will find in the book above (Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody). However, this book is also good to mention because Adam knows his stuff, too. He writes amazing ads to help catch his readers attention, and let’s be honest, it’s good practice to study a topic from different people (I try to shoot for at least 3 perspectives 😉). So read this book once you finish Save the Cat, and you’re in the marketing phase.

Personal Development
(Creating a mindset to persevere)

I know what you’re thinking. Writing is my life, I L-O-V-E it. I will never ever ever get burnt out.

I get it, I love writing, too! … But sometimes life gets to be too much, and that too much gets into your writing, and you sink into a black whole of yuk.

So, this section is important! Not just for when you’re in that black hole, but BEFORE you get stuck there. Personal Development will keep your brain sharp, your emotions lifted, and give you “anti-black-hole” powers when it tries to pull you in.

The Quote of the Day Show with Sean Croxton

The Quote of the day show with Sean Croxton

Sean, my man! I’ve listened to him since his show was back in the early 100 episodes. And I listened to his show daily for a solid 3 years. Now I do it often, but find myself reading all the books he recommends. So Sean is a constant in my life.

The episodes are less than 15 minutes. So I fit them in when I’m getting ready for work, or when I’m driving to work. (Yes, I currently have a part time job. But I’m working towards changing that soon 😉).

My number one recommendation is episode 1221: Dr Srini Pillay “An exceptional life is a life of low probability”

All quote of the days are superb, so if one doesn’t jive with you, just listen to another. This podcast can be found on any place podcasts are listed.

The First 20 Hours by Josh Kaufman

The First 20 Hours by Josh Kaufman

If you’re daunted by a task that seems too big (like this entire author career facing you) I highly recommend this book by Josh. The first three chapters of “The First 20 Hours” gave me understanding in how to face challenging tasks. In short, he explains how it’s natural for something new to make zero sense, and for us to give up because it seems too hard. However, our brains are amazing, and the more we work at something (even if it makes no sense) it will start to make sense because your brain is a genius and literally creates pathways within itself to help you learn. In that way, what was hard becomes bearable and then becomes doable. Check this book out. It will be such a help through any struggle you face trying to learn something new.

Life Unlocked by Srinivansan Pillay

Life Unlocked by Srinivansan Pillay

This book shows you how unconscious fear (which we all have even without knowing) wants to hold us back from our dreams because our brains think they are protecting us. I just started this book at the time of writing this post, and it’s profound. I had to put it here already. If you’re trying to make a career out of your writing, and you think you are doing everything you can, yet you’re getting nowhere, read this book to find your breakthrough!

That’s all I have for now.

Good luck with your writing and work hard. You will get somewhere if you put the work in!

-AA

Abby writes YA fantasy for readers who love staring evil in the face, who wish to slay it with a glowing sword, and do it with a kick-ass lead you won’t forget. With over 20 years of writing experience, it’s her pleasure to take you to a world with magic, villains, and heroes you will love in a realm you won't want to leave. Join her VIP mailing list and get “Twins of Shadow” FREE by clicking => Here Now!.

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