From Startup Grind:
1. Write every day.
A daily writing habit is thing number one because it is THAT important. Move your story forward by even a few words every single day and you’ll be surprised by what happens.
Or maybe not, since what will happen is this: you’ll write a book.
2. Read like a writer.
Stephen King says that if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or tools to write. You know he’s right. Make it a habit to carry a book with you. Keep one in your bathroom. Learn to read in sips instead of gulps — so that not having hours to indulge won’t keep you from reading at all.
And read like a writer. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Read craft books. Read fiction (for sure, read fiction) that does what you want your stories to do. What works? What doesn’t? (Most important) WHY?
3. Watch TV like writer.
I’ve written before about my absolute belief that if you want to be a writer, you need to be watching television. I still believe it. Some of the best writing and story telling is happening on television.
Just like with reading, watch like a writer. Pay attention to why you like a show, why you’re willing to invest hours of your life in it. And why you’re not, if you turn it off at the first commercial break and never come back.
. . . .
12. Save your pennies for a real edit and a professional cover, if you’re going indie.
This is non-negotiable.
If you wouldn’t be okay with Penguin releasing your novel with your best friend’s edit and your own homemade cover, then YOU can’t be okay with it either.
If you’re planning to self-publish that means you’re a PUBLISHER. A professional publisher. And that means that you have to find and hire an editor and a cover designer for your book, and if you don’t know how to do it yourself, probably a book designer as well.
Plan on spending about $1500 and start saving your pennies. The hope is that your first book will pay for your second.
Link to the rest at Startup Grind