An Author's Rule of Thumb

Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue
Photo by Jenna Anderson on Unsplash

Writing is a journey of growth. No one starts out as a bestselling author, and many times, there is a road of failure before you get to where you want to be. However, I have found four things that have helped me on the way, and I feel that doing these things has greatly improved my writing.

  1. Be Consistent.

I never really thought of consistency as a rule of thumb when it came to writing. I always felt like writing came from the heart, and therefore, it shouldn’t be something that was pressured by time constraints. However, one day, I had a conversation with my spouse, who used to be a manager, and we talked about productivity. I realized after this conversation that in order to make more money in my career, I was going to have to work more hours and set a steady schedule. We sat down together and figured out how I could work a forty-hour work week and still take care of my responsibilities at home, and we tried it out.

To my surprise, I found myself more productive. Instead of pressuring myself to get everything done in two or three hours, I had time to think about what I was writing and put everything together. This helped relieve a lot of stress, and it increased the amount of work that I could get accomplished in one day.

2. Don’t limit your social media posts.

I always thought that advertising on social media every so often and selling through Amazon would get my books into the hands of the people that wanted to read them. However, I was wrong.

My first mistake was that I didn’t have social media accounts on all of the social media websites. Not everyone uses Facebook. Some people prefer Tumblr, Reddit, Instagram, Pinterest, Wordpress, or even LinkedIn. I decided to set-up accounts on these platforms, and I saw an increase in interactions with my posts.

I also made sure that I was more consistent with my posting. If I didn’t have time to post at certain times, I would queue my posts, so that they came out on their own. This helped, because it showed my readers that I was still actively writing, and it kept me fresh in their minds.

3. Expand your distribution.

Like I said before, I had only published on Amazon, so I thought that I was reaching all of my readers. However, after reading a couple of blogs from other authors, I found out that Amazon wasn’t the only distributor. Authors were putting their work on Draft2Digital and Smashwords as well, and this was helping their sales.

I decided to see if this would help me, so I set-up an account for both of these distributors and pulled my books out of the Kindle Select program, so that I was free to expand my distribution. After the first couple of months, I began to see sales numbers that I had never seen.

4. Network and interact with authors and readers.

Just because you post on social media, doesn’t mean someone is going to read it. Sometimes, you have to go out of your way to add new readers to your site or reach out to people on posts that are looking for new reading recommendations. By doing this, you may bring your writing to a group of readers that had never heard of your publication, and if they like your writing, they may tell their friends.

Also, while you are interacting with readers online, you should also try to reach out to some fellow authors. Other authors can help keep you motivated on your journey as they are probably dealing with some of the same issues that you are. These authors may also be able to help promote your work through #writerslift posts, newsletter swaps, or a sale that they are hosting.


Keep in mind that writing will always take work. You have to work on it consistently in order to get better, and you have to make sure that you are distributing your work to the proper places and advertising it in order to reach new readers.

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Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue writes lifestyle articles.

Omaha, NE

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