Debut Authors Checklist - Literative

Checklist for Debut Authors

Jennifer Mendez Writer's Resources

So you’re a debut author? Congratulations, it’s time to join the big leagues and see the rewards of all your hard work. There’s tons more to come, a sea of never-ending writing and publishing, as well as promotion. But first thing is first: authors have certain things in line to ensure their public image is up to code.

Have you checked everything off this debut author checklist?

Authors Always Have Websites

When authors need to begin crafting their public image, the first step is always website crafting. It usually includes a blog, book promotion, updates on the author, and of course, their photograph. This is usually the same headshot found on the back of a book cover.

Authors Use Social Media

Yes, even J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin have Twitter accounts. If you’re a debut author, you need to too. Instagram is a smart option. Facebook is too. But above all, Twitter is where all the authors actually are, and where they actively post new updates. Everything from their latest releases, opinions on the latest news, and even pictures of them with their pets!

The idea behind this is pretty straightforward. Readers like to feel like they know an author. When you post your opinions on popular topics, and keep them updated on the latest disaster your cat has gotten to, you’re establishing a connection with your fans.

Authors Promote Themselves

Ah, shameless self-promotion. Even debut authors tend to have other people promoting them as well, but…you should be your biggest fan. Make sense, right? There’s obviously a line you shouldn’t cross, for fear of alienating others with pretentiousness. However, a little “my book is out now!” never hurt anyone. Just don’t overdo it! For every post about yourself, post two or three things related to someone or something else.

Authors Have Agents

Agents promote your work and establish connections for you, so you can keep doing that you do: writing. Every author needs to have an agent, unless they’re writing under a small indie publisher.

With an agent, the writer gets their name out there faster than they would by themselves. Not to mention, it looks better. You’re not out there trying to get noticed and have someone give you a chance, no. You have an agent to do all of that for you. You’re busy writing and doing book signings!

Authors Have Portfolios

Everyone has, or should have, a resume. However, if you’re an artist, writer/author, editor, film maker, or anything else artistic, you also need a portfolio. An online one is suitable for this, as you can continuously add and edit it, always having easy access to it during interviews and the like.

Your portfolio needs to include an author bio, image of you, a contact page, and a list of clients you’ve worked with. There also needs to be links to all published work that makes the cut. Make sure it’s not a 100 item long list. What impresses people is the content you’ve produced and for who. Skip the lesser known names and the small time jobs. Opt for only the ones that aim to impress.


Debut authors need to keep up a public image that resonates with their audience. A presence in social media, as well as their own corner of the Internet, with their website. A portfolio to showcase their work. Most importantly, a debut author needs an agent to keep expanding his/her career.

Have you completed the checklist?

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About the Author

Jennifer Mendez

Jennifer Mendez has brought insightful articles to From author interviews to how literature meets gaming to expert insight into tools and writing processes, her dedication to helping our author community is quite inspiring. You can find more of her writing at