August #AuthorTip: Do Your Homework

After my angry rant a couple days ago, I’ve calmed down considerably and I’m ready to resume regular helpful and encouraging content again. 🙂

Over the last few years, I have occasionally posted author tips on my Facebook page just to keep things fun and interesting. For the month of August, I’ve decided to bring those tips over here for safe keeping. My goal is to do one every day. They’ll be fairly short and quick, so no long wordy essays, but I’m hoping you’ll find them relevant. 🙂 I’m starting this series off with my most favorite tip ever:

Do your homework.

You’ll see iterations of this all throughout my website and blog, and I stand by this wholeheartedly. It doesn’t matter whether you’re self-published or traditionally published. You’re still a small business owner. You are expected to know how the business works and to handle yourself accordingly.

It’s your responsibility to know (or learn) what you’re getting into whenever you implement something new (book format, distribution channel, etc.). No one else will think this through for you and, if they offer, be wary. Leaving something so important in someone else’s hands is an invitation to ruin.

You need to know your business partners, and read every word of every contract and Terms of Use agreement, because it’s all ultimately up to you. You are the owner of your content. You are the one who will have to deal with the consequences if something goes wrong. You also need to know the industry and keep up with how it’s changing and how it impacts you.

Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of chance; do the legwork. Put the same amount of effort into learning your trade as you did into writing your book.

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