The secret formula for succeeding as an author

I’m not a “famous” author, but I make a living.  Some people might consider that I’m doing decently well, even if I’m not a household name. If you are one of those people, and would like to know what my secret is, keep reading, because I’m going to share my magic formula for success.  Are you ready? Here it is …

1) Write well. That means using books like The Elements of Style, The Chicago Manuel of Style, and a good thesaurus. It means writing every day and learning as much as you can about the technical aspects of writing. It also means thoroughly revising your work and working with an editor.

2) Write efficiently, and as quickly as you can, while still writing well. Develop a robust back-list.

3) Even if you are writing something geared toward commercial sales, BE ORIGINAL. Don’t do what another author has done already.  It’s better to have someone respect your originality, and continue to invest in your work, than to just buy this book of yours because it reminds them of someone else’s that they enjoyed.

4.) Learn real marketing and PR skills. How? Read books that you find in the business and marketing sections of the local bookstore, not books with titles like “How I sold Ten Billion Books on Amazon in 3 hours.” Take online courses about marketing and PR strategies from reputable instructors. Plenty of great universities offer courses online for free as long as you are not seeking credit. Talk to authors who really understand the business end of publishing.

5.) Don’t rely on gimmicks to promote your books, and don’t do promotional things just because everyone else does.  Develop a mailing list of the people who genuinely like your writing. Once per month, put out an interesting and entertaining newsletter and never SPAM the subscribers. Do some market research and develop carefully placed advertising. Collaborate with other authors. Readers like authors who engage with them more than authors who just promote things to them.

6.) Don’t mistake popularity for success.

7.) Don’t waste your time on petty drama. Never publicly criticize another author’s work. Always take the high road.

8.) Be patient and understand that becoming a good writer is a process.  Writing is a skill. If you want to do it well, you need to practice, learn, and pay your dues. Can you become a big hit with your first book? Yes, this is the age of the internet, and if you’re incredibly lucky, and in the right place at the right time, maybe your book will go viral. Maybe you’ll even be able to sustain it. But that’s not becoming a good writer; that’s becoming a famous author. Becoming a good writer is a better goal in the long-run.  Focus on that even if it takes some time.

So there it is, the secret is …  that there’s no secret to success as an author, at least as long as you define “success” as making a living doing something you love and enjoy.

 

Presenting the Shiver cover and GIVEAWAY to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Several months ago, I talked to my friends, Penny Reid and Daisy Prescott, about how I would love to work on a project together. The three of us decided that we wanted to write together for the fun of it, and to raise money for a worthy cause. That’s how Shiver: Twelve Sexy Tales of Humor and Horror was born.

Over time, our group grew to include other authors who wrote Romantic Comedy, humorous Romance novels, and witty Women’s Fiction. We have had a wonderful time working together, and watching our efforts come to fruition.  The worthy cause we are supporting is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which does not turn sick children away merely because they lack funds for treatment. We hope that you’ll check out our funny and spicy Halloween tales on Oct.13th, and help us raise money for this incredible institution in the process.

I now present … drumroll …. The cover to Shiver!!!!! Yay! “cue confetti* GO CHECK OUT THE GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I’m proud to be joining the very talented authors represented by Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency. http://rfliterary.com My agent, Kimberly Brower, is a fellow attorney, who is a fan of my books! I’m excited to be working with her, and everyone in Rebecca’s agency.

I will still be publishing books through my own press, Mendelssohn Levy Publishing, http://www.mendlevypub.com but I do have some other projects in the works. I’ll have more details about those projects in the future. I am also still represented by Bookcase Literary Agency, http://www.bookcaseagency.com with regard to translations and international publishing rights of my books that have been independently published in the U.S. and in English abroad.

I’m hoping that taking this step affords me the opportunity to broaden my readership, and share the sexiest and sassiest lawyers in Philly with even more people who like to laugh, blush and swoon at the same time.

How to avoid drowning in the sea of mishegas

Mishegas, Noun

Also spelled mishegoss

  1. (slang) MadnesssillinessEtymology  Yiddish מישעגאָסס (mishegoss), from משוגע (meshuge), “crazy”, from Hebrew משוגע (meshugga`), “crazy”, from שׁוּגַּע (shugga‘) (“be driven mad”), שִׁיגַּע (shigga‘) (“drive mad”).  – Wikitionary.org

I’m teaching you a new word if you didn’t know it already – Mishegas – craziness. Practice saying it a few times. Now say it loudly – Mishegas! Throw in an Oy – Oy! Such mishegas! Very good! So why am I teaching you this word? I’ll tell you why. It’s part of an Action Plan I have developed to guard against burnout.  Here is …

NADINE’S STRATEGY FOR MAKING IT THROUGH THE DAY AS AN AUTHOR WITHOUT KILLING ANYONE

 

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STEP 1: REMEMBER WHO MATTERS

While I appreciate all of them, there’s something really special about 5 Star reviews from random readers who just bought my book and loved it. They make everything else I put up with in this business seem unimportant. They often seem to appear at just the right time, much like fan letters from people in countries, that I couldn’t find on a map if I tried, arrive when I need them the most. Let me ask you this, has someone ever tagged you in comment when somebody else asked for book recommendation, even though they weren’t on your street team, and you didn’t ask them to do it? Have you ever met a reader who made you feel like a celebrity, rather than someone who was picking gum out of the carpet and rummaging through the sofa for change the day before?  Have you ever screwed up your courage to make a visit to Goodreads, just to find out your book was voted to some list of best (whatever) books by someone not related to you in any way? Every time one of those things happens, no matter how small it may seem, and no matter how busy you are, save it, take a screenshot, write in crayon on a napkin or a small child if you have to.  Keep it somewhere safe, where you can get to it and look at it whenever you need to, because sometimes it’s good to remember the people who really matter in this business, and what your books mean to them. I’ve gotten mail from people who have told me I made them laugh during difficult times. They helped me feel better during difficult times too.

 

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STEP 2: REMEMBER WHO DOESN’T MATTER

My grandfather, may he rest in peace, was a very wise man. He survived more challenging things than his book ranking falling on Amazon, (like the Great Depression for instance), mostly by having a sense of humor and by repeating one word at appropriate times, “Mishegas!”  On a daily basis, authors face stresses that have nothing to do with writing. Sometimes they originate with other other authors, sometimes readers, bloggers, or people who work in either the indie or the traditional publishing world. For example, there are people who anonymously make up stories just to cause drama. (Sometimes between two authors who have never even heard of each other.) There are mysterious One Star reviews that appear by people who joined Amazon that day and only bother to review one book ever and it’s yours. (What a coincidence!) There are people who rip off other people’s ideas. (Hey, my character has a different name and lives in a different city!) There are readers posting that they want others to send them pirated books and actually tagging the author. (I swear to God – I couldn’t make that up.) There are book signings where indies are called “aspiring” authors and have to go to a different room than “real” authors. (I guess since I’m both, I would have to sit in the hall.) There are people who offer to sell you their review, (and there are authors who take them up on it.) There are people who expect to be given free copies of your work and then don’t take five minutes to review it. (The RC in “ARC” stands for “review copy” by the way.) There are people who charge you lots of money for very little work. (Trust me, I’m the magic bullet for success.) There are people who won’t invite authors to events unless they’re famous enough, even if they have a great fan base. (And actually write good books.) Worse, there are people who will bump an author from an event if a more famous one suddenly becomes available. (Yes, really.) There are people who game the system and list their books in crazy categories, (or just the wrong categories), to gain visibility on Amazon. (I’m a Bestselling author in Erotic Ukrainian health & beauty textbook sagas .)  There are people who complain about the price of a $0.99 book that took you months to write. If you took all of this stuff seriously, you could go crazy.  So, don’t. Take a step back and look at how silly and pathetic these people are! And every time you run across some scam, or snub, or drama just yell “Mishegas!” Then get off of Facebook and go write. In fact, consider blocking the source.

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Now, I’m not naive or insensitive; I know that trolls, bullies, thieves, snobs and saboteurs can have a negative impact on someone’s career, and on someone’s peace of mind and emotional well-being. I’m not dismissing that. I’m just saying that you should remind yourself frequently that these people can’t stop you from writing, and won’t stop you from succeeding, if you write good books, are interactive with, and accessible to your real fans, and you don’t stoop to involving yourself in their mishegas. If they seem powerful, give them less ammunition.

 

 

I’m celebrating hitting USA Today Bestseller list by lowering prices. :)

I’m incredibly lucky. I get to do something I enjoy for a living. This week I saw a dream realized, I hit the USA Today Bestseller list. To celebrate, I’m lowering prices. My first novel, The Law of Attraction, a Top 100 Bestseller on Amazon and Barnes & Noble will now be available for $0.99. My other full-length novels, also Bestsellers, will be $2.99 and my boxed set with books one and two will be $3.99.  My novella will remain at $0.99 as it’s over 100 pages long and has a 5.0 review average on Amazon. This isn’t a sale; these are the regular prices from now on. Thank you to every reader who has made it possible for me to realize my dreams. The new prices should be up by tomorrow at the latest. The Law of Attraction is already at $0.99.

The Winning Appeal Trailer!!! *cue confetti* (and giveaway)

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Winning Appeal at The Rock Stars of Romance

Please give Jada D’Lee some love for making this amazing trailer and thank The Rock Stars of Romance for sharing it!  I will see and appreciate any comment you make. 

GUESS WHAT TODAY IS!!! Go ahead GUESS!!!

GUESS WHAT TODAY IS?!!! Winning Appeal book trailer debut day 
EXCLUSIVELY at The Rock Stars of Romance!!! (Still says Sept. at the end but it’s 11/24)
Are you ready for the good girl who wanted to be naughty in the newest addition to the Lawyers in Love Series by N.M. Silber?
The uber-sexy Winning Appeal book trailer by Jada D’Lee will be released exclusively with The Rock Stars of Romance at 2:30 PM EST! Stay Tuned!booktrailerreveal

Five Things you might not have known about Lawyers in Love

#1 The Law of Attraction started out as a legal thriller! It’s true! Although I’m a big fan of Romantic Comedy, and comedy and romance in general, my first love through the years has always been mysteries and thrillers. So, when I started writing, that’s what I figured I would write. When I drew on the memories of my own experiences as a public defender, though, I kept remembering all the jokes we used to crack to stay sane in the trenches. I also remembered how adrenaline, the heat of “battle” and high pressure situations could lead to all kinds of urges. ;) Before I knew it, The Law of Attraction was a sexy Romantic Comedy.

#2 I always work in “tributes.” The mentions of I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, Agatha Christie, Scooby Doo, Nancy Drew, Anais Nin and Henry Miller … they aren’t coincidental. They are just the most obvious examples of my nod to the writers and actors of the past who I have really loved. There are also more subtle tributes worked in throughout my books. Have you recognized them?

#3 I love ALL of my characters, and they feel like real friends to me, but Adam is my favorite, and Lily is the character most closely based on me; although she’s NOT me. ;)

#4) Some advisors told me my characters were “too Jewish” for middle America, and I should not stress cultural identification. I told them that I had often wished that someone would write a book with “my stuff” in it, (Hanukkah, the Chuppah at a wedding etc.), and this was my chance to write one. Being Jewish is part of who I am, and it’s a part that I love, so I made it a part of some of my characters too. My books don’t have any religious message or content. It’s Jewishness that’s portrayed in them, versus Judaism, and I’m happy to say that it seems that those advisors were wrong. If anything, I get comments and questions from people who liked reading about something different for them.

#5) Bruno was originally a Basset Hound. I pictured the most unlikely guard dog I could think of, and that’s what came to mind. But then, when I thought about it more, I imagined a dog with the heart of a guard dog, but maybe not the size to go with it. I like that Bruno doesn’t realize that he’s not a killer. He doesn’t let the size of his teeth dictate the size of his spirit.

Important Message from Nadine

Hi Everyone!

First and foremost, if you have not heard yet, I have decided to respond to input from readers who have said they like books written with alternating Point of View best. (Books written from the perspective of BOTH the male and female main characters, rather than just one or the other.) I took a look at Winning Appeal, and agreed that it could only get even better by adding in Mark’s POV. To do that, though, I need to (briefly) delay the release until November. I hope that you won’t mind too much. It will be worth it!

Secondly, I am very busily working on a few projects. Because I need to go to my Writing Cave for a while, I need to make sure that I don’t spend too much time on social media. I just love interacting with readers so much that it distracts me from writing! So, to make sure everyone can stay up-to-date with Lawyers in Love news, my PA will be posting regularly on my author page, as well as Tweeting. You can also sign up for my newsletter on my website. I’ll be putting it out 2x per month, and I’ll include exclusive teasers and excerpts, along with news about what’s coming up – sales, releases, author appearances etc.

Unfortunately, one thing I won’t be discussing quite as much in the future, is projects that I’m working on. I need to wait a little longer to share some of that exciting news going forward, but that will make it a wonderful surprise! I promise that I’ll let you know what’s in the works as soon as I can.

So – look to my Facebook author page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/NMSilber And to sign up for my newsletter, or if you need to contact me about anything, check out my website: http://www.nmsilber.com/home.html

Finally, as always, thank you so much for your continued support. I appreciate it and all of you! Mwah!

Here is my interview with Nadine Silber (N.M. Silber)

Originally posted on authorsinterviews:

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Name – Nadine Silber (N.M. Silber)
Age – Over 29 less than 50
Where are you from – Philadelphia
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc – I have a juris doctor from The University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and before becoming a full-time author, I was an attorney. I live in the Philly suburbs with my husband and my two beautiful children.


Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am a contributor to a Romantic Comedy anthology being released today (8/18) called LOL Volume 1. I am also a contributor to a Romantic Comedy Halloween anthology coming out 10/21. My fourth Lawyers in Love novel, Winning Appeal, will be released in November. Originally, I had planned to release in September, but I decided to listen to fan requests that I try alternating POV. So, for the first time, readers will be able to get…

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