Happy-Merry-All-The-Things Sistah Girls! Miss 2023 is practically out of the door; and as we wrap up the remaining weeks of this year, I hope everyone takes time to reflect on all the wonderful things they’ve accomplished. 

Whether you’ve successfully hit your reading goal, got to meet your favorite author in person, released new books, or you’ve joined a bookclub. Do yourself a favor and take a moment to bask in the ambiance of your literary accomplishments!

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Speaking of releasing new books…a thug has been seeing quite a few posts from budding authors about 2024 being the year they debut their WIP (work in progress). And while I can’t speak for all, on this side of the HP laptop, I am brimming with excitement for these upcoming new voices in the Black Lit world.

As someone who was the ‘new kid on the block’ merely three years ago, I can freshly recall how daunting the beginning stages of independent authorism can be.

Although I will not confess to being the know-all guru of publishing independently. I can offer some tips to help my fellow soon-to-be authors with getting that document to The End.

Without further ado, here are 5 tips to help new indie authors complete their work in progress…

Write What You Want

I know this may seem like an obvious point. However, you’d be surprised how easy it is to lose track of your voice amid the many circulating social media–and beyond–with opinions on the right way to tell a story. 

Sistah Girls, I’m here to tell you that there are no rules!

Art, which books very much are, is subjective. Of course, when you share your work with the masses, people may interpret it however they want. Regardless, new author baes, always remember that when it comes to your plot and characters, YOU’RE IN CHARGE!

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Take Your Time

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of publishing independently is the flexibility.

As an independent author, you set the timeline for your marketing, your cover reveal, your release date, etc. With that being said, do not feel like you have to rush to publish your book.

Your key-tapping hands yield the power to control time. Make sure you use it to your advantage.

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Do Your Research 

At some point, before you finish your work in progress, you must have a publishing strategy set up.

I encourage all new authors to look up free or cost-efficient publishing resources. Doing this before you’re done with your WIP will help to ease stress, and help you feel more organized, and you’ll be able to try out the process with a test document before uploading your official one.

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 Treasure Not Trash

Before you delete that one scene you no longer think fits the storyline…DON’T!

Instead, create a separate Word doc for these parts of the story. Even if they don’t end up in your final manuscript, there’s still potential for them in another story.

Digital art gif. Cartoon of a green "recycle" sign rotates its arrows around and around. Each time the arrows move, a new work appears in green font: "Reduce, reuse, recycle," all against a cream background.

Call A Friend

No matter how many times you do it, writing a book can be tedious, daunting, and sometimes an all-out struggle fest. That is where having one or two fellow authors, or creatives period, whom you feel safe sharing with, comes in handy.

These are folks who will encourage you when you encounter writer’s block. They will let you vent when you’re not sure you want to be an author anymore (we’ve all been there). Plus, you’ll have a travel buddy for all the book events!

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Remember Your Why 

New author baes, consider every milestone; soak in your successes. Learn from your missteps. Take that course. Attend that workshop. Always push yourself to get better at your craft. But, never forget that you chose to share your stories because you love literature.

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