Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Writing Books: It's a Jungle Out There

Do you ever feel wishy-washy when it comes to your writing? I am constantly coming up with ideas and thinking they’re great ones. I’ll start something and just stop. I find I often lose confidence in an idea or become distracted by other projects. In my world, I am trying to hustle and make money. So when a paid opportunity arises, I always take it. Unfortunately, I then find my own writing falling to the wayside.

My other issue is losing confidence in my finished work. Oh, now I know my new novel The Abused is a great read. My focus group comments were all positive. My sensitivity comes from concerns about the marketplace. I lose confidence it will sell. As a publisher I’m keenly aware of how competitive the book market has become and saturated with many self-publishers. It takes a lot of effort to move a book into the audience’s hands. Therefore, I am nervous to spend money unless I know I’ll have time to promote it.

Are you feeling my points? As an author we face many challenges. First, we have to get our books written and then we have to get them promoted and then we clap our hands together and pray. Then we have to sit back and hear the results. Reviewers make their comments and readers make their statements. Next, we hope those reviews are positive and we actually see sales results. And you can have all of those factors come together – great writing and fabulous reviews – and then what? Believe it or not, your book can still run the risk of gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.

Yet even with all of those obstacles, we writers don’t give up. And this is why if you aren’t passionate about what you do, don’t waste your time. Getting into the author game with a singular goal to write a best seller is probably the greatest defeating purpose. Writing a book because you either (a) want to support your business or (b) feel passionate about your work and have a great story to share means whatever the results you will be infinitely satisfied.

When authors come to me and their only goal is to see their name in “lights” I send them away. Of course as their publisher I want to shoot for the big dream too. But as you’ve just read we authors face a myriad of different variables on our road to success. Sometimes you have to dig in and dig deep and prepare the big guns – your time, persistence, focus and most importantly passionate desire. Without those ingredients you’ll find the entire book publishing experience a potential letdown.

In this business the words “overnight success” are the biggest fallacy of all. I don’t know one author (not even the most successful ones) whose work became an overnight success. In fact, I don’t know anyone whose work became an overnight success. What happens on the road to the so-called “next day” is typically a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. Just look at some of the most famous names in publishing. All of them have a story to tell, and none of them brag about that “one night” it all happened where they woke up the next day rich and famous.

The only people I know who end rich overnight are Lottery winners. And that’s my .2 cents for the day.

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