Over the next couple of months I will be sharing a series of blog posts on writing, self-publishing and becoming an Amazon Best Selling author.
Part 1: Being brave
Have you always wanted to be an author? Been writing for years? Do you have a file full of stories, been rejected a gazillion times, (or ignored – my least favourite part of submitting to publishers) – or are you just starting out and your desire to be an author is a new thing?
Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, memoir, self-help, poetry, short stories, or young adult fiction, if you have a story to share then I hope I can help in some way. I plan for this series of posts, Do you want to be an author? What are you waiting for? to chronicle my journey from going from ‘writer’ to ‘author’, to share hints about the self-publishing process, and to highlight the fact that your artistic endeavours – yes, you are an artist – are yours to share if you have the courage – author Elizabeth Gilbert says so, and so do I.
So what are you waiting for?
I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog about not wanting to wait forever for someone else to make me an author. Here is an excerpt from my last blog post Author love. Did you like their book? Then tell them.
‘I could have sat around for years waiting to be picked up by a traditional publisher but I didn’t want to – not with this story.’
Why should I have to sit around for years waiting for someone to accept me? And I didn’t want to wait years – not with Destination Dachshund. And trust me, it can take years. For all the authors out there who have received a publishing deal and the backing of a publishing house – I wish you well and success for years to come. And in some ways I would still like to have that one day, but it hasn’t happened and I didn’t want to wait anymore.
I’d experienced a journey of loss, love, adventure, seeing the world and family connection and writing that story, for me, was something that wouldn’t go away. I think if I hadn’t published Destination Dachshund, it would have been something I would have regretted not doing in my life. So I decided to do it myself.
I’m not saying I’ve given up on the traditional publishing industry – in fact I have stories out on submission now. There are literally thousands of places in many different genres to have your writing published, so don’t limit yourself and be diverse with your writing – you can have it all! Here is a big list I compiled recently of writing competitions and publishers with open submission right now. Submit it!
HINT: Find your writing tribe
I have several writing tribes and I don’t think I would gotten through the process so well without them (including my fantastic book launch team) but as I look back on my self-publishing journey it was very important to also have a connection to others who were also self publishing, or had self-published. I didn’t realise it until I was almost at the end, but becoming an indie author is an unknown path with overhanging trees and swirling mist obscuring the way ahead. There may a monster at the end of this path too. One with big teeth who posts bad reviews. Who knows? But you walk the path anyway. And someone who hasn’t been on that path, or doesn’t ever want go down that path may still be very encouraging, but won’t quite understand what you’re trying to do, or why. → More on this in later posts.
Writing and publishing a book isn’t life or death, don’t get me wrong. I’m not overcoming hardship, but overcoming the fear of the unknown.
There is sometimes an assumption by writers, I think, (well me anyway for many years) that to be accepted by a publisher means:
- I am good enough
- I can write – see I TOLD YOU!
- All the late nights, bottles of wine, coffee, demented behaviour was worth it.
- I am good enough
But not being accepted by a publisher means:
- I will never be good enough
- I can’t write
- It’s shit – I may as well just burn it and dance around the fire naked.
- I will never be good enough.
So, to self-publish means that YOU are deciding you are good enough, you are deciding you can write, it is worth it and you are good enough. This was my light bulb moment. This was when I had a shift in my thinking. I don’t need a publisher to tell me I am good enough.
Self-publishing isn’t easy, and if you want to be taken seriously in the industry then you have to do it properly – there are no half measures, but it is achievable, as is becoming an Amazon Best Seller.
I did it and so can YOU.
Coming up next:
For each writing project there is a seed, an idea, an outcome, or a reason WHY you are creating it. I’ll talk about this more in my next blog post Do you want to be an author? What are you waiting for? 2 – The ‘WHY’ Behind Your Writing.
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