I saw a great post by a fellow author yesterday talking about things people do in the writing world that either are or are not forgivable mistakes. As soon as I saw it I read through all of the comments. Most of the things mentioned were the commonsense like not using other people's posts to promote your work, or ranting about low book sales. You should never bully or respond to a negative critique, just let it go. Of course it was mentioned that nothing on the internet is private so be careful what you share. None of this is new information but a good refresher never hurt anyone.
I do see people that share their success stories as well. They talk about having a great month of sales or how they just signed a new contract with a publisher. Yes, I admit it, the immediate reaction is jealousy. Once that brief, unflattering moment passes I am able to be happy for those that shared the news. I want to know how they did it though, and that is where I wish there was a manual or welcome packet.
For the record, I am clueless when it comes to photoshop or any sort of graphic art work. I do not know how to create teasers or do promos and have no idea who to run specials or sales on Amazon. I once figured out how to do a giveaway on Goodreads and there were nearly five hundred people that entered for a signed copy of Survivor but the person that won is the only one that got it. No one else decided it was actually worth buying. I know I need to learn how to do these things but I honestly don't have any idea where to even start. Online promotions is something I am terrible at.
When I get feeling down about the fact I have no trackable sales through online promotions, I go to book shows and generally do decently well. I see other authors with more books, wonderful swag, and better online sales that will sit at a live show and people watch because they barely have anyone buying from them. At the same time I seem to have people talking and buying from me regularly. What one person is good at may not be a strength for the person sitting next door. With the welcome packet should come a list of classes. We can learn from one another so we can all build better sales and reputations. Most of the Don'ts in the book world really are commonsense but it is the Do's and more importantly the How To's I am interested in.
Side Note - I was not always strong in person with sales. I asked many authors I know (see, learning from each other can work) and I read a great book called Working The Table by my friend Jeffrey Cook and his coauthor Lee French. I high recommend it for those like me that do in person events!