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.
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. 😉