Writer Tips

Write Your Stories, but wait--watch out for Vanity Publishers who want your $$ and make their $$ off you buying copies of your own books. Keep reading.


It takes a village to become an author. Doctors aren't born. They study their craft. People are naturally born storytellers, but not writers. Learn the craft to become a professional.

What do you need to polish your manuscript? A critique partner, editors, beta readers, and a proofreader.

  • A developmental editor (This might be your greatest expense-, but it is worth it.  A good editor will ask questions about your story. )

  • Beta reader

  • Line editor

  • Copy editor

  • Proofreader

**Disclaimer: I've used Chandra Sparks Splond as my developmental editing for years, and various proofreaders.

Promotions: I can't say enough about how important this is


Every author needs to think about promotion three months before the book is release and keep it going for three months, Don't know where to start? 


  • LaShaunda Hoffman: sormag.com

  • Create an author page on Amazon, a fan page on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use #hastags such as #books #reader #Christianauthor  

  • Don't forget about LinkedIn and Pinterest too

  • Bookfunnel.com

  • MyBookCave.com ***

  • AllAuthor.com  ***

  • Bookbub.com ads

  • Amazon ads

  • Self-promotion should also include building a mailing list for newsletters; having postcards and bookmarks, magnets, button, ink pens, etc. , at ANY event

  • Mailchimp.com is a great place to create a free newsletter; Mailerlite.com 

Writing Programs that I use:

  1. Plottr.com--you can organize your enter story idea. A MUST. They offer a free trial.
  2. Aeon Timeline--wow. It keeps track of everything you want to happen in your stories, including ages of your characters. A MUST if you plan on writing a series. I wish this was around when I started writing. They offer a free trial.
  3. Scrivener--if you have ideas, scenes, or dialogue, you can put them on index cards and scuffle them around. SIDE NOTE: Your work in Plottr can be exported to Scrivener.​

Book Resources


GMC: GOAL, MOTIVATION & CONFLICT by Debra Dixon (This is a must have resource that will help you dig deep into your imagination and build your story. ***


WRITING A ROMANCE NOVEL FOR DUMMIES (Whether your genre is romance or not, this an easy to read book that gives a wealth of information about the writing industry).


WRITER'S MARKET (You can't be serious about being published without owning one of these books). They are updated every year and include agent, publisher and conference listings.


WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK (I didn't really care for the book, but the workbook gave me more hands on way for me to dissect my novels).


DICTIONARY OF SYNONYMS, ANTONYMS, AND HOMONYMS by Scholastic (Yes, it is a child's grammar book, but it's handy).


WHAT NOT TO  SAY! by Linda J. Beam




WORDS YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW...1001 Commonly Misused and Misunderstood Words and Phrases by Jenna Glatzer.THE RIGHT WORD by Jan Venolia.

Indie vs. Traditional Publishing




Indie-Publishing aka self-publishing 

Opportunities are endless for writers today. The indie market is growing as many traditionally published authors are penning stories the publishers don't want. They are called hybrid authors (just like a hybrid car that runs on gas and electric). There seems to be a name for everything.

If you have a story to be told and your agent or you can't sell it, you now have the option to publish it yourself, which means YOU become the publisher responsible for quality control: hire a good developmental editor, line editor, beta reader, then proofreader. 

Do you have a catchy title. Type it in Amazon and see how many times someone else has used it too.

if you're a first time author, copyright your work online at the U.S. Copyright. I think you'll feel better, although many authors don't anymore, because it is considered copyright the moment it is listed for sale online.

Trust me, a book is judged by its cover, so spend some time and $$ to conceive the concept that depicts your storyline. There are a lot of graphic designers. Fiver.com is also a budget friendly option. I like working with seller: Ultrakhan. I also use Kimolisa on Fiverr.com for formatting. $20 tops.

If you're creative, here are some places to purchase stock photo (make sure you don't sure "FOR EDITORIAL USES") 





You can use Canva.com to create covers..

Your book will need an isbn that is like a social security number for the book. You can buy a set of 10 from Bowker. I think it will close about $300, or $99 for one.

You can also use Createspace, which will issue you one for free. I've used the free one many times.

if you know your book will be ready in six or nine months, set up pre-orders through advantage.Amazon.com. This is for print pre-orders only.

Upload your eBooks to the following platforms:



KDP (Amazon)



Draft2Digital.com and/or Smashwords.com

Other helpful tips from blogs





Sample Proposal


If you would like to see one of my sample proposals, email me at authorpatsimmons@gmail.com


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