Yes, I’m labeling today’s post as Episode I in what will become a Rookie Author Mistakes Series. Why? Because I’m “glad” to say that I just made my first boneheaded mistake as a rookie author, and I’ll bet you a bundle it won’t be my last.
So, get ready for an entertaining post today, and one that you can learn from if you too are a rookie author.
Update: Okay, before I go any further, I have actually made a few rookie mistakes from May 2021 until January 2022. Even though I originally labeled this post ‘Rookie Author Mistakes: Episode I,’ I’ll describe subsequent rookie mistakes toward the end of the post.
Rookie Author Mistakes: Episode I
What Rookie Author Mistake Did I Make?
Let’s dub this one the ‘Two-A-Day Mailing Campaign.’
So, long story short, I thought it was a great idea to set up two mailing campaigns back in June 2021: One for Friday June 4th, 2021, and a following campaign on Monday June 7th, 2021.
Problem was, when I proofread my Friday June 4th campaign, I just informed my budding list of mailing subscribers that I was all set to release Wind Wielder, Episode I in Elementals of Nordica on – January 2021 after asking whether they enjoyed Chronicles of the Elementals.
You can see the obvious problem, I’m sure. As with such a blunder, January 2021 occurred six months prior. So if you uh, were part of my Readers Republic and read that email, I’m sorry to say that you would not find Wind Wielder on online store shelves until January 2022, where it currently resides.
Yeah, ain’t that unfortunate. Still a good seven months away from the balmy days of June at the time!
But wait, it got better!
I turned around to edit my Monday, June 7th campaign, informing readers of my little typo with January 2021 as opposed to January 2022. Soooo, when I placed that toward the end of the body of my email, you can only guess what happened next…I inadvertently rescheduled that email FOR JUNE 4th!
Yeah, so my poor Readers Republic received two email campaigns from me within a span of 45 minutes. One of which stated ‘Happy Monday‘ in the greeting.
Below, you will find a few strategies to avoid this rookie mistake.
1 – No More Campaign Drafts – For the Time
Yeah, campaign drafts are great ways to save time. Until they backfire like mine did. Campaign drafts may work for you, but make sure you’re getting the dates and times right, or else you’ll end up like me and lose subscribers after your first measly day of posting a mailing campaign.
For the longest time afterward, I wrote mailing campaigns on the day of, as opposed to drafting them ahead of time. After I got a system down, I reverted back to writing campaign drafts often between Thursday and Saturday; occasionally on Sunday.
I’ve also started sparingly writing multiple campaigns per week if I have a special featured newsletter swap I’d like to dish out to my subs. So these days, those who’ve signed up for my mailing list now realize they’re potentially hearing from me more than once a week.
2 – Go With the Flow, Don’t Overthink
Have you ever gotten to the point to where you overthink things so much that you outsmart yourself?
Yeah, it was one of those moments for me. Perfectionism, for better or for worse. Because I cringed at my “January 2021” mistake, I felt it was necessary to dive right in and edit my June 7th campaign without thinking of the consequences. Such as the share date and time resetting itself.
At the time, I had just 225 subscribers and an open rate of about 25% – nothing to freak about when about 50-60 subscribers were opening up my mail. At my January 2022 update, my subscriber count sits at around 2,015 with an open rate between 27 and 35%. So the rookie author mistake would have cost me dearly had it occurred a few months later!
So, if I typo an email in the future, I think I’ll wait for a member of the Republic to say, “Hey, TC, I think you made a mistake here,” as opposed to going into full panic mode. I feel the same about my books. If there is a massive typo or mistake in them, someone (the ARC Team hopefully) will let me know about it.
3 – Don’t Sweat Rookie Author Mistakes
Oh, and if you’re a fellow author reading about this little blunder of TC’s, here’s my greatest advice ever: Don’t. Freaking. Panic.
Okay, so I nearly went into panic mode. No, really, I started sweating bullets on my couch, swore at the world, and probably cursed the world thinking that my author career would tank before it even had a chance to swim. Doomsday scenarios left and right here, people. Especially after spending 12 months working like crazy on the Elementals Universe.
Extent of My Panic
Yeah, so I nearly threw in the towel and canceled all of my accounts, my MailerLite, and everything, until I had a, “wait a second,” moment. That moment, in short, stating, “TC, why are you running from this? You’re a rookie.”
And as a huge NFL fan, I had to look back and make a few correlations of this rookie author mistake to these (forgive me if you don’t know what I’m talking about):
In 1982, University of Pitt quarterback Dan Marino threw more interceptions than touchdown passes. Two years later, he set several NFL records and at the time, became the youngest quarterback to play in the Super Bowl.
In 1989, then-rookie quarterback Troy Aikman finished his first season 0-11.
In 2018, Buffalo Bills rookie Josh Allen completed 52 percent of his passes. He’s now a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback.
Patrick Mahomes threw a regular season interception before his first of many regular season touchdown passes.
In 1991, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Brett Favre threw a grand total of four passes, and completed two of them…to the other team.
Oh, and in 1970, Terry Bradshaw threw 6 touchdown passes as opposed to 24 interceptions.
So yeah, uh, TC, you did two things today: You fumbled once and you threw a pick.
How Did I Make My Rookie Author Mistake Up to the Republic?
Like I said at the beginning of today’s post: I bet you a bundle this won’t be my last rookie mistake. In author marketing, that is. So to further reward my Readers Republic for sticking with me and understanding this little mistake, I thought, “Why not give you all another free work?”
The work will involved one main character who appears in neither Wind Wielder nor Chronicles of the Elementals. But like Sion Zona, she’s facing a lot of turmoil on her home nation and home planet, both of which reside in the Elementals Universe.
Plus, she makes an appearance in Book II, Wind Master, for the first time. So, I asked for them to welcome Miss Tash Holmes to the main cast in the Elementals of Nordica about nine months earlier than I intended to introduce her.
Rookie Mistakes Since
And as promised, I’ve made and continue to make rookie author mistakes – since I haven’t completed a full-season until May 17th, 2022.
Here are a few of the more memorable ones:
- I thought I’d sell hundreds of copies of Wind Wielder to just 1,750 mailing subscribers – though I didn’t do too bad!
- I thought everyone who signed up for my ARC Team would leave a review. In actuality, about 35% of them did, which I later discovered is about average.
- I thought large group sales promos and sales newsletter swaps were effective. They’re not! Get the sign up then the sale!
- And who can forget my rookie mistake back in October?