Dream big or not

Remember how you used to write what netizens now would call ‘fire’ compositions? Good. We don’t know your story. We don’t know if you ever wrote great primary-high school compositions but that is the only motivation you need to launch a successful creative book writing career. Get in the mood, spirit, space, whatever gets your writing muscle out and start. Start now! You don’t have to sweat for your target audience yet. Write whatever, whenever. Create. First.

Be a Social media celebrity

Build your brand.  Post humorous stories. It will get you fans who yearn for laughter. It helps them to forget shitty, hard, grueling days. The torments of daily hustle. Make them laugh. They will become your little tribe of [ insert name] stans who will invite others to your page. It will be a recreation of Jesus saying “let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to these” or “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Be the place where people come to look for themselves. This is how you grow an audience for snappy or long stories.

Be anonymous. Keep your face out of your page. Stay off with those pictures even if your selfie camera boasts of a 48Mega Pixel lens. Your work is to make people really want to figure your face out. They will be interested for when you release the book and promise to deliver it in person. Your supporters will come out in droves to buy your book, if not to see your face or physique.

Read all ‘No! Seriously, you should write a book’ comments and actualize them

Believe your legion of followers when they ask you to write a book. Write it. Doesn’t matter what it is about, or what in the fuck industry standards are. You write!  There is no room for self-doubt in the business of being a self-made writer. Zero! You either write or write. Updating your fans on how difficult the process is, the unseen endless hammer on pages, or how you write easy, on the go. Toy with expected release dates. You are a writing genius, you will be a best seller; never forget that because your ardent fans will make you one.

Fuck mainstream or traditional or whatever you call those publishers who are so stuck as gatekeepers on what makes a great book.

Take the self-publishing route. Your predecessors have done it. The new age writers who inspire you have done it. They are living the good life on their social media timelines. Of course they do not show their faces or aspects of their private lifestyle because thou must stay anonymous but you can judge from the sales of their book that they are making it, BIG, without publishers. You don’t have time to wait for someone to pick your manuscript and toss it in the trash can or reply an email after six months. Self-sponsorship is the thing and if you can afford it, why not?

Dump that editor who says ‘negative’ and unexpected things about your manuscript

How dare they? Who do they think they are to choose not to love your words? Who?! Why do you need an editor when you have been validated and vetted by your loyal followers? There is absolutely no need for negativity about your work. Do not take any constructive criticism from haters masquerading as editors. Finish the book! The market can’t wait any longer.

Hold pompous book release/launch events and sign  books

This is done by everyone, right? In your case, your dear reader will feel rewarded by the opportunity  to see your face. Who would pass of that chance? You have been like a god, taking them through various phases in their lives with your social media posts and they just wanna touch the hem of your garment. They want to see you. They will do anything, even if it means buying 5 books, each for a friend who needs to be introduced to you.

Don’t forget to drop the readers a timeless compliment in those sacred pages as you sign their copies. Who wants to miss out on a compliment from their favourite online personality-cum author? Gas them up, they need it. Be inspirational, grateful. It is great for optics. They will take a picture and share it on social media. It increases their social value and more conversations means higher sales conversion rates for you.

Call on a few famous friends to give your book a major shout out.

They don’t have to read the book. A few will. Let it not deflate your self-belief. Choose an excerpt they can share with their followers. Tell them to acknowledge your writing prowess, how they cannot put the book down for a minute. The procedure is pretty simple: take a pic of the book and share all payment details or you take a picture with them and caption “if Honourable [name] can buy it, what are you waiting for?” It is a great strategy to generate interest around your book.

Ask your book’s critics about the years of experience they have in writing books to warrant their reviews.  

Don’t forget to remind them that other people enjoyed the book and rated it 5/5 so their little ‘hateful’ comments reek of jealousy and their inability to write anything. Lace your rebuttal to the critic with reminders that they are unsuccessful unpublished authors who can’t tell you shit. This will crush their ego.

Jump on the guilt-trip bus, it’s trendy

First print sold out! You love it and love the taste of the money. You must do a reprint. This is a business. Do your Math’s, who among your 30,000+ followers haven’t bought a copy? Make them feel like they are missing out on the best thing since the first human laid ink on birch bark. Post that “First Print Sold Out!” poster with a note on when the second print will be hitting the bookshelves. Make it easy to pre-order the second print run. May the credibility you’ve built so far help your sales.

Repeat the cycle

The second book should be better and process less tedious since you know a few hacks on how to be the author you were always meant to be. You made it. You don’t have to try exploring your writing more, you figured that your stans can and will buy anything. Keep writing and keep them busy, as book readers or book collectors. You should never be forgotten for a minute. Write.

Love and light.

Sign up to receive the most diverting fiction, essays, analyses and news across Africa in your inbox, on Monday every week.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.