This post, by Nenia Campbell, originally appeared on her Goodreads blog.
1. If you are vending inferior goods, don’t be surprised if you don’t have any takers. You wouldn’t buy moldy food or a shirt that’s falling apart, right?
2. Do set your book at a reasonable price. Cheaper is probably better. People are more willing to branch out and experiment if the cost to them is low.
3. Your readers are not walking bags of money. Don’t treat them as if they are. They are people with thoughts, feelings, and opinions, and their respect and interest must be won, not wrested.
4. Big egos are lethal. If you are your own worst critic, nothing anyone says will bother you and advice will be easier to stomach if you admit to yourself that you are not perfect.
5. What happens on the internet does not stay on the internet. Anything you say can and will be held against you. Don’t be a jerk. Not just because you’ll inevitably get caught, but also because it’s just not professional.
6. Don’t take your readers for granted. Having a steady following doesn’t mean people won’t notice when you let your writing go.
7. Don’t write things you’re not comfortable with, even if it’s a popular trend. Nothing is more painful to read than an awkwardly written sex scene.
8. Do read over your stories. Spell-check doesn’t catch all typos–in fact, sometimes it causes them–and it doesn’t do anything for grammar.
9. Do feel free to engage with your readers. If you’re enthusiastic and positive, other people will be, too. Readers don’t have to stay readers–they can also be friends!
10. Don’t attack people for negative reviews. If they were unhappy, it was probably for a reason. Pay attention to their criticism and be honest with yourself: is it warranted? If yes, read over your draft again and see if anything needs fixing. Feel free to ask for elaboration (politely), but don’t be pushy. If no, ignore them. Seriously. Some books just aren’t for some people.