On Wednesday night, the APE team of Guy Kawasaki, Shawn Welch, and Peg Fitzpatrick critiqued the social media presence, cover design, and description of my upcoming novel, And God Said: Have a V8. The experience was fantastic and humbling. The APErs made me realize how much work I have yet to do in order to make my book successful – besides writing a great book.
Here are the three main lessons that I learned:
- Have a distinct viewpoint for your social media profiles. I pride myself on being a well-rounded person, but being well-rounded does not mean showing all aspects of yourself on every platform. Choosing to share a focused view is more powerful than a diffuse view. As I update my profiles, I will focus more on my writing, rather than everything else I do. I will still do other things of course, but there’s no need to stuff everything through the same channel.
- Details, details, details. Two other authors, much further along in the process than I am, were critiqued as well. Both had very good social media profiles, covers, titles, descriptions, and so forth. However, the APE team was able to point out fine details that could be improved in every case. Many of these details I would not have thought of on my own.
- Publishing is nerve-wracking. After the critique, I wrote out some notes and to-dos, but not before taking an hour or so to recover. I was both excited and sick to my stomach. By publishing, you are putting yourself out there. This can be both exhilarating and frightening. To do it, I think you have to have a story inside you burning to get out. That will help you push the fear aside and forge on.
Many thanks again to Guy, Shawn, and Peg. I plan on using what I learned to make my novel as successful as it can be. It will be a lot of work, but it will be worth it (and fun too).