Posted on 12/29/2013 at 12:00 AM by Jeffrey Bruner


A new year is almost here and many of us take that moment to engage in self-contemplation.

I'm going to lose some weight, for example. About 15 of the 20 pounds I lost a decade ago have crept back. I had success with the Weight Watchers points systems last time, but I'm going to focus more on exercise this time around because there's additional benefits that come from that -- like more energy.

As a writer, now is the time for you to think about how you can become a better and more productive author. Here's 10 resolutions for writers that I'm throwing out there for you to consider:

10. I will not submit books to The Fussy Librarian until they have 10 reviews and the required rating. Getting the selfish one out of the way :) It's hard enough keeping up with all the submissions without having to sift through books that aren't eligible. Please respect the requirements.
9. I will use beta readers when the rough draft is done. And no, you cannot be related to all of them by either blood or marriage.
8. I will hire a professional to copy edit my book when the rough draft is done.
7. I will consider doing a giveaway of one of my books in conjunction with a book promotion. I know this is a touchy subject for many of you, but try it just once and see if there's any impact on your other titles.
6. I will try to shorten my book marketing blurb to 500-600 characters.
5. I will hire a professional to design my book cover. Pre-made covers are so affordable these days there's no excuse for ignoring this one.
4. If I decide to participate in National Novel Writing Month (November), I will have my outline, characters and other research completed by Oct. 31. You've got to give yourself a fighting chance if you're going to do NaNoWriMo. You won't succeed if you're trying to do research in November.
3. I will listen to my characters. Odds are characters who are different that you will find their way into your novels. Use their decisions, good and bad, to help make yourself a better person.
2. I will stay informed about developments in ebooks and publishing. If you need suggestions, two of the best are Joanna Penn and David Gaughran. (They also happen to be Fussy Authors.)
1. I will establish a writing routine and stick to it. If your life permits 60 minutes a day dedicated to writing and selling your books, go for it! Go buy a kitchen timer and put it next to your computer. But life allows, say, only one day a week, then do that. You'll be surprised how quickly that book will come together even if your writing time is limited to two hours a week at your local library.

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