August #AuthorTip: Learn from The Masters

Continuing this post series with a tip for finding your place in the industry:

Role models matter. The ideal you aspire to with your own career should be professional and worthy of such admiration. When you’re starting out, for example, emulating your peers might not be the best way to get your feet wet. If you’re going to aim for an ideal, aim high.

  • Read the masters and analyze what makes their books so enjoyable for you. Is it the prose? The witty dialogue? The flowing descriptions? The heart-pounding action?
  • When you look at their covers, what catches your eye the most? How do the color schemes work to communicate the feel of the book?
  • Check out their website and see how it’s laid out. Odds are they probably have a webmaster who built the site and maintains it. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a similar look on your own. What’s on the front page? How is the menu configured? What info do they have for each book?
  • Are they on social media? Follow them and see what they post.
  • Do they do in-person appearances and readings? If so, attend if you can, or check out photos/videos after if you can’t. If not, why not? How does it affect their writing and release schedule?

If you’re going to learn, look for the masters and learn from them. Learn, but don’t copy. Instead, try to adapt the lessons to fit who you are as your own self and make something new(ish).

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