“Symptoms of Bibliophilism.”
He-he!! Love this!
“I love books.”
Books are art.
So, some of the predictions for 2013 state that the self-published author is going to rock the world in 2013 whereas traditional publishers are losing their grip on reality because they don’t want to change or, rather, make changes to their old ways of thinking and doing things and are thereby losing potentially brilliant authors in the process.
Narrow-mindedness is a dangerous thing, and unless one wants to grow old and die where one stands then a fresh approach is what’s needed – the strategy for writing and publishing can no longer languish in the cushy juices of yesteryear where things worked out perfectly for publishers because there was a lot of money and ereader technology was still in the birthing stage.
I don’t think I could have chosen a better time to become a serious author. Where writing is so subjective and landing an agent and/or publisher is nothing short of a miracle, becoming a self-published author has given me the freedom to create and express myself in a way I’ve always imagined it was supposed to be. The more blogs and articles I read about traditional publishing and, in some cases, the serious creative and expressive limitations placed on authors who have chosen that route, I thank my lucky stars that I never landed an agent when I went a-huntin’ in the beginning, when I was filled with happy imaginings like the mind-blowing excitement of a fat cheque arriving in the post for my book/s! Ah, the acceptance, the glory, the recognition … !
Nah!!!! Who wants that when half of the story was changed to fit the reputation and strict requirements of the publisher or edited to death to fit the style of said publisher? Who in heaven’s name wants to lose part of their soul just to earn a fat cheque? Do you?
Now, I’ve written in many blog posts how vital it is to express yourself – your true heart and spirit, and the very depth of your soul – as you sit at your computer and create your unique masterpiece. I have also made it clear that you need to continually hone your craft and that you need to keep learning how to write better, that this learning process never stops.
It is important that if you want to remain a self-published author then you must do everything within your power to ensure you become a really good one.
If we are to become serious competition for the traditionally (paid) published authors then we have to become as good as they are in our craft. This means our education must never stop and we must turn to those who have gained more experience and learn from them, get advice from them, and be willing to put aside our egos and ask for help when it’s needed.
I have learned so much from reading the works of other authors (good and bad) and I always take what will improve my writing and apply it, and I’ve learned what not to do, as well. A case in point is my tetralogy. Book 3, The Sword Bearer’s Awakening, is a much more technically mature book than Books 1 and 2. Not that the first two books are bad in any way, it’s just that with Book 3, as I now go through the editing process, I more easily identify ‘mistakes’ in phrasing or style and correct them so that the experience for the reader is a more flowing, fast-paced one and therefore a way more exciting one. I put the word ‘mistakes’ in inverted commas because they’re not really mistakes but more shifts and adjustments in the way I express the story that reads easier and makes the story and characters more emotionally engaging and thrilling. This I did not learn from a grammar book or from serious study, but from exceptionally talented writers that I admire, that write in a way I love, and whose style and technique I understand and can learn from.
The Revolution – Ask Yourself the Right Questions
I want to be one of the best self-published authors in the world!! Do you?
Who wants to join me? Who wants to become an author people hear about on the news and read about in other blogs, reviews, websites, interviews, Amazon updates and suggestion lists, Google/Wikipedia searches, Twitter posts and retweets, bestseller lists, Huffing Post/New York Times entertainment headlines, etc, etc?
Do you believe you can be such an author? Do you believe you are one already? Do you believe you have it in you to change the world … one reader at a time?
If not why not? What’s stopping you from changing the world of literature and blowing away the competition, or if you prefer a more subtle approach: What’s stopping you from joining those other self-published authors who have already rocked the writing world?
Do you pray and hope that your novel will get seen by the right people or are you actively going after those people and making them notice you? Have you investigated the best promotional and marketing strategy for your book or are you following the crowd and just doing what they’re doing? Granted, a lot of the latter works, but really only up to a point. Have you even actively pursued a marketing campaign? Are you willing to spend a little money, and if you don’t have money then have you investigated and searched for other inexpensive or free effective ways to market yourself?
Many experienced bloggers and writers have said many, many times that it takes more work to market yourself and your book than it does to actually write it. And that’s very true!
To be a self-published author you need a tough skin and you need the following characteristics: dogged determination to finish what you started; perseverance when things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d like; making time for marketing and only marketing; making time to study other authors/bloggers and learn from them; a lack of ego – that ego that blinds you to truths about your writing and makes you believe you don’t have anything more to learn(of course it is acceptable and harmless when you crow about your 5-star reviews ); a willingness to gain greater knowledge about spelling and grammar so that your book is easily and admirably comparable to a book that has been professionally edited because a publisher paid for it and not a financially challenged author; a willingness to ask for help – you are not alone; and the most important one for me: a belief in yourself that you can create magic and draw your reader into a world they will never forget.
You’ve got to proudly wave your flag on your mountaintop of faith – in your abilities, your passion, your love for storytelling, and your innate talent for creating with words. Then you’ve got to fight to stay there and put in the time and effort to make your dream come true.
Every single author I know has the same two-pronged dream: to make it to number one and to earn a living from doing what they love. But to make the dream happen we need to trust in the process. In the end, one way or the other, success is sure to come. Just remember who you are, what you can do, and that the magic is yours.
But even a magician needs to learn how to conjure!
The 2013 Revolution I want to start is this:
Let us, self-published authors, give the big publishers a run for their money! Let’s become so brilliant at our craft that we become sought after and hunted as opposed to us doing the hunting! Let’s not forgo quality for quantity, and pay attention to what’s good and excellent and as a result educate the readers and enable them to recognise excellence. Let us become creators of the highest order and not part of the mediocre masses that are only interested in churning out endless drivel.
Viva la revolucion!
Happy 2013 everyone! I hope you’ll join my revolution to be better and bigger and more capable in your craft!
Top image courtesy of bloodylery
Image of girl ‘Jaque’ courtesy of asterisc21
Last image ‘Magic’ courtesy of Gioradi
- Authors exercise their “write” to self-publish (cbsnews.com)
- Want To Self-Publish A Book? Guy Kawasaki Wants To Help (readwrite.com)
- New York Times Reviews Self-Published Book (forbes.com)
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