Lessons Learned and Writing Advice for new Authors

Lessons Learned and Writing Advice for new Authors

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about what other writing projects I would like to try my hand at and also, what I would do differently if I were to begin my writing journey again. We all change and evolve as we get older and our opinions and thoughts differ from those of our younger selves, whether for better or for worse (!). As such, over ten years on from when I first started my blog and started publishing articles and books, there are some things that I would most definitely do differently if I were to start again. I thought it might be useful to pinpoint those things in a blog post, in case anyone was interested, so without further ado, here are my lessons learned and advice for new authors:


My blog (and later book) originally centered on my Greek family experiences and the cultural differences I encountered growing up. At the time semi-autobiographical books about living in other countries or life as an expat, particularly those written in a comedic way, were all the rage, and I focused my blog around that. Over a decade later, the comedy genre is certainly not what it once was and it seems that someone, somewhere will always be offended. My writing style and content have changed so much since the early days, largely because of my life experiences and I’ve adapted my blog and ‘brand’ over the years to align with the here and now – but it’s taken a lot of time and effort to keep up with new audiences.

I would say that my niche was originally ‘all things Greek’. Now that I have a family and am knee-deep in ‘all things related to being a parent’, my creative inclinations have somewhat changed. I now mix Greek stuff with children’s stuff, have added a dollop of my educational interests, and out has popped a Greek mythological children’s chapter book series, lots of evil-eye covered notebooks, diaries and planners, and a digital prints store selling educational posters and Greek-related wall art.

So what I’m saying is, don’t pigeon-hole yourself, because if you want to change direction later, which you most likely will, it will be easier to transition.


When I first started self-publishing, social media was still a fairly new phenomenon and the idea of online privacy wasn’t a huge concern. Self-marketing was extremely important if you wanted to get your book, articles, art, song, whatever, ‘out there’. I did online interviews with other bloggers and authors, joined twitter, instagram and Linkedin, and created a Facebook author page. I wrote an author biography for myself, and sent it to those who asked for it, with various links to my social media. As of today I no longer have a Twitter or Linkedin account, and much of my original author biography is no longer applicable. Aside from Amazon Author Central where you can update your own biography, it has been extremely hard to track down old interviews and information that I would like to update or change.

So if you are promoting your first book and doing interviews I would keep things very simple – a nice short biography with not too much information about your personal life, a link to your main website or main promotional platform, and a decent headshot (no family pics). If you want to elaborate on your background or interests, you can always write a fuller biography on your own personal website which you can change at any time.

Be very mindful of what you are putting out ‘there’ about yourself; your older, slightly wiser self may (or may not) thank for you it!


Continuing with the privacy theme, if I could go back in time I would never have used my real name (albeit my maiden name) when penning my books and articles. My blog is self-titled, but this can be easily changed. A book, once it is published, can never have the author name changed or removed. Not using your real or full name can add to the sense of mystery surrounding an author and their books. Think J.K Rowling, J.R Tolkien, T.S Elliot, E.B White and so on. Back in the day, female authors in particular used their initials as it was more likely that they would get a publishing deal if they were thought to be male. Female writers just weren’t the in thing. I publish all my planners, notebooks and children’s activity books under my notebook brand name Pandorus Publishing, keeping everything under one nice neat niche. By contrast, I’ve published a children’s chapter book series, a meal planner, a short story in verse, a writer’s guidebook, and some Greek books under my real name, which now with hindsight, just all seems a bit messy. When people follow an author, they tend to be following a certain style of writing and usually a certain genre. If people follow me, they won’t know what they will get next! But I suppose an air of mystery keeps people interested! (Or not…)


There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an idea for ONE amazing book. There have been many one-off bestsellers (I can’t think of any right now…!!!) although the authors usually then do follow up with a book in a similar genre. For most of us, our wonderful ideas will never hit the big time. But if we plan carefully, they might just tick along nicely and grow a following that enables us to continue writing with a roof over our heads!

My first self-published book was a one-off concept. BUT I had already established my blog which was Greek-themed, and I had a few ideas about what could come next. My genre was comedy, which as I’ve mentioned already is a very tricky area to master. What actually did come next was a parody of all the Greek myths and legends and then a short poetry book (just because I loved writing it!). So whilst I had an idea in my head of how my writing future would look, it didn’t really go to plan.

It wasn’t until I started researching children’s books that I decided that the best route to go down would be to create a series. Or at least a book that could have a sequel. Series and sequels in general do much better than stand-alone books so my advice to new authors would be to always have an idea of where your story could take you and how it could evolve. Potential for longevity is key.


So there you have it. I hope the above is useful for someone out there and if you have any lessons that you have learned on your writing journey, please comment below!

What advice would you give to new writers?


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  1. 7th June 2024 / 3:01 pm

    That’s great advice Ekaterina and one new writers should really pay attention… they should also get your books too as they are fabulous!

    • Ekaterina
      17th June 2024 / 7:35 pm

      Thank you so much Stefano!!!