Indie Author Freaks Out: Details at 11

In her Twenty Things NOT To Say To A Writer: A Handy Safety Guide, Laura Resnick tells us that a career of writing books “…is insanely competitive, disastrously unstable, and skull-crushingly difficult to do.”

My experience as a published author now encompasses exactly 13 days. So far, I have learned three very important things about this skull-crushingly difficult business, and I am going to tell you about them now.

3 Newbie Lessons from Getting Published

1. When promoting your book, start off strong — but pace yourself.
Thus far, Twitter, Kindleboards, Facebook, and blogging have been my greatest allies in promoting Colors of Deception. I’m tweeting and posting — and to my delight, followers and friends are retweeting and reposting. (Thanks, everybody! You guys are cramazing.)

The result of all this networking isn’t just book sales, though — it’s connections all over the place. It’s encouragements coming in from all sides. And it’s tweets and messages that deserve a personal response.

Right now, I’m happily responding, and I’m making the social media work for me. But I’m also thinking ahead to when I start my next writing project — soon. And when I start it, the networking must take a backseat. I might even have to lock the networking in the trunk.

Because if I’m networking all the time, I’m not writing. If I’m not writing, I’m not me. If I’m not writing, there won’t be any books to network about. So as I’m thinking ahead to the next big project, I’m reminding myself that when it comes to book/blog promotion,

I am a writer first and a business second.

Maybe third.

2. Not everyone will support you. And that’s okay.
I wrote a little about this last week, when I mentioned my tweet about others’ silence. Sometimes, that silence is a worse rejection than an in-your-face confrontation. When you publish a book, you want every single person you know to shower you with congrats. Not that you want heaps and oodles of attention*, but an acknowledgement would be nice, right?

Well, not everyone is going to acknowledge your accomplishment — and that’s okay. Do you acknowledge every single accomplishment of every single person you know? If the answer to that is yes, you can color, paint, and doodle me impressed. Me, I have to answer that question with no. And the reasons behind my negation are legion and would make a whole series of blog posts.

But it all boils down to this: Frankly, I can’t keep up with everybody.

And I can’t expect everybody to keep up with me, either. ; )

Here’s the deal, though: We don’t need everyone in our lives to acknowledge our authorial accomplishments. I think about it this way: When I lose tweetlings (aka followers) on Twitter, it doesn’t mean I’ve failed; it means I’m refining my audience. If people stop following me, it means they weren’t my audience in the first place.

The same applies to my books: If someone doesn’t acknowledge my publishing success, it just means that person isn’t my audience. Maybe they don’t read novels. Maybe they don’t read my genre.

Whatever the reason for their silence, it’s not the end of my world. It’s just the refining of my audience.

3. Book Launch Parties freak out my subconscious.
The Book Launch Party is tonight, and I’ll be posting about it on Thursday. Vintage timeless Coffee is hosting the shebang, and I know it’s going to be fantastic.

That knowledge, however, didn’t prevent the weird dream I had two nights ago of driving my dad to the book launch and heading the wrong way up multiple one-way streets. I tried making a U-turn in front of a lady in a red Dodge Charger, and she almost took the front of my car off.

Fortunately, I understand what’s going on here. I’m an introvert. There will be people at this party whom I don’t know. I’m an introvert. They’re going to want me to say something in front of everyone. I’m an introvert. There’s a reason I chose writing over a career in public speaking. ; )

In spite of my subconscious’s quiet little freak-out, here’s what I know:

I’m surrounded by a kaboodle of supportive friends and family.

Nothing bad is going to happen.

I’m going to have an incredible time.

Are you an indie or self-published author?

Do you find this business “insanely competitive, disastrously unstable, and skull-crushingly difficult?” Why or why not?

What are your words of wisdom for the indies and self-pubbed?

What are your sub-/conscious fears about publishing, and how do you deal with them?


* Let’s admit it: We writers do like the attention. 😉

5 thoughts on “Indie Author Freaks Out: Details at 11

  1. […] talked about it on her blog just today, with an article sharing 3 newbie lessons from getting published. I’ll let her explain it in her own words. Thus far, Twitter, Kindleboards, Facebook, and […]

  2. Dino Dogan says:

    Hey Courtney…

    I hope to be a published author at some point only so I can say “Im a published author” with the sense of entitlement lol

    I think its the same reason we graduate from college lol

    Btw…do you know Wanda Shapiro? She is on Twitter @wandashapiro She wrote Sometimes That Happens With Chicken.

    She is also on Triberr. You two should tribe up and share each others audience. Could be a really easy way to bring more attention to yourself as an author as well as your book.

    • Greetings, Dino, and thanks for taking time to read and comment! When you left your comment, I had not yet “met” Wanda — but in the meantime, we’ve started following each other on Twitter. And I see she’s left a comment below. So thank you for making the connection. : )

      Yes, it definitely is nice to be able to say, “I’m a published author” — but it can also be deadly, I suspect. It’s a temptation to rest on one’s laurels, and I don’t have nearly enough sales yet even to hint at justifying such an attitude!

      (By which I mean that none of us should ever rest on said laurels. 😉 )

  3. Hi Courtney and thanks for the intro Dino. You’ve introduced me to so many cool tweeps already, I can’t thank you enough. I am a published author and I don’t find it to be insanely competitive, disastrously unstable, or skull-crushingly difficult. I hear about insane cometition between some authors in some genres, but I haven’t run into any of it myself, possibly because I’m writing in the smaller literary fiction world. I do find it exhausting at times, but I think anything worth doing is worth working hard at. I’ll send you a triberr invite Courtney. I’ll be working on building my tribe soon. Best of luck to you!

    • Hi Wanda! Nice to meet you, and thanks in advance for the Triberr invite. I have only passing familiarity with the concept, so maybe you can tell me a bit more about Triberr when you send me the invite.

      Obviously, since I’m just entering the publishing world myself, I don’t have personal experience with the competition yet…but one does hear things. Maybe I won’t see much of it either, though, at least not with this book or with this series. (I can’t imagine writers of Christian fantasy to be rabid in competition — but who knows? Maybe I’m just showing my ignorance!)

      Thanks again for the good wishes and the connection! I look forward to hearing from you. : )

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