So what have I learned? A lot. Some I learned from my own experiences and some from observing others.
1. You must build a back list. To sell more books you have to—write more books. This is so true.
2. Just because one book goes any level of viral, does not mean your back list will sell tons, nor will it guarantee your next book will sell. Luck really plays a big part.
3. Nothing is private in Social Media. No matter how secret the group. Keep your opinions to yourself and rants to an absolute minimum. The Romance community is smaller than you think. And they talk to each other. A lot.
4. Your publisher is not your family. Its a business first and foremost. A lot of romance writers are very supportive, but just as many are not. Always keep tabs on your publisher. Listen to your gut. It's usually right.
5. Publisher hasn't been paying your royalties? Do not accept any excuse. Exercise your rights immediately. I've been through this as have many others. Has it jaded me? Yes. My trust level is at an all-time low. But it also makes you appreciate those publishers that DO pay on time and treat you with respect all the more.
6. No one has the secret, winning formula for promotion. What works for one author does not work for another. Some authors feel compelled to tweet about a book every fifteen minutes. Don't complain. Ignore, or quietly unfollow the person. Don't rant. Find your own personal comfort level with promo.
7. Do not focus on reviews. Do not respond to bad or snarky ones. Let it go and move on. Don't get caught in the vicious cycle of thinking you need a lot of reviews to make your book worthy. Chasing after reviews is a time and soul suck. Let them happen. Find a few reviewers you trust who will take your book and actually review it, and truthfully.
8. Look out for Numero Uno. This may sound selfish, but you have to be concerned with yourself, not anyone else. Feeling dissatisfied with something with regard to your publishing life? Don't stew in your own juices. Address the situation immediately in a professional manner. Keep all communications to yourself.
9. Take a great deal of satisfaction in the fact you are published. I don't care if its print, self-pub or with an e-publisher, you have done something most people can't do. Sit and write a story. It's not easy.
10. Lastly, don't become full of your own self-importance. There are enough bloggers, reviewers, authors and publishers out there that think they are the cat's meow. And they let us know it, too! :0)
Take pride in your accomplishments, but don't rub people's noses in it.
I don't have all the answers, and I am still learning things every day. The most important thing is to have fun. Cheers~