So you’re ready to embark on your author self-publishing journey.
YAY!!!! You’ve come to the right place.
There’s nothing I LOVE more than helping other writers pursue their dreams of self-publishing stardom except writing myself (and blogging, doing yoga, drinking coffee, and wine…lots of wine)
I dreamed of being a writer since the 2nd grade, but it took 25 more years until I got the courage to pursue that dream and follow my true passion. To face my fear and realize I could do it.
Being a writer is seriously the BEST and one of the most DIFFICULT jobs on the planet.
But it’s so worth it! I promise you!
If you’re an aspiring author excited to self-publish your book and make a living as a writer, you’re in the right place.
If you’re ready to:
- Ignore the self-publishing naysayers who say if it’s not published by one of the Big 6 it’s not real.
- Work your a** off.
- Be proud of your writing and shamelessly self-promote.
And the most important step????
Be ready to scream at the top of your lungs, I’M A WRITER!!!!!!!
Then keep reading this post. If that sounds scary, it’s ok. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
Being a professional writer is a long process. You need to be in it for the long haul. Here are the top five things I feel you MUST know before taking the plunge to be a writer….
Step #1 Admit you’re a writer
You might be wondering why this step is important enough to put at #1. Or even why it’s a step in the first place. In my opinion, it’s the MOST IMPORTANT step. Because if YOU don’t believe in yourself it’s going to making chasing your dream of earning a living from your writing that much harder. You have to admit you’re an indie publisher.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying fake it until you make it?
The biggest obstacle you will face in your writing career is yourself.
Even after I started making money with my books, I felt guilty saying I was a writer. Like I was lying. That I was a big fat imposter. But at the end of the day if you write then you’re a writer. It has nothing to do with fame or fortune.
This hang-up was all in my head. I somehow felt I wasn’t worthy.
That head trash held me back for a long time. People would ask what I did for a living, a common question people ask, and I would stammer. I had no idea what to say. I thought by telling them I was a fiction writer, a blogger, they would look at me. Laugh. And say, “no really. What do you do?” Even though that’s what I was, I was still afraid to tell people.
You have to face your fear and proudly tell people you’re a writer and to hell with what they might say. Wear your badge of honor proudly.
If you’re writing, you’re a writer!
Step #2 Be Able to Handle Criticism
As any entrepreneur knows your business is your baby. Writing is especially close and personal. Therefore, it can be scary enough putting your work out there and sharing it with people much less to hear their feedback.
The first few times I had a reader comment that my book sucked I wanted to take it the book off sale, crawl into a hole, and never write again. Thankfully, I didn’t. Hurtful comments happen. Even big name author’s get negative reviews. But as much as it can, and will hurt, your writing career is not going to be all rainbows and unicorns.
Let’s face it. Nothing in life is. Not everyone in the world is going to love my book as much as I do or someone else does. We all have our different tastes in things we like, not just books, so you can’t take criticism personally.
Plus, there are a lot of negative people out there who post mean comments just to be exactly that. Mean.
Yeah, mean people suck.
I rarely look at random comments anymore. I rely on feedback from my street team and my inner circle of friends and fellow authors to give me CONSTRUCTIVE criticism that will make me a better writer not just tear me down.
I know I’m not a perfect writer (or perfect at anything) but what I am is committed. Committed to doing the best I can and not let anyone stop me from pursuing my dream.
Step #3 Be In It For The Long Haul
Guess what? Being an author isn’t a get rich quick profession. Disappointing I know. I’m sorry to dash your dreams of writing that best seller the first time out and making millions.
Not that it can’t happen but remember what I said earlier about rainbows and unicorns. It’s better to be realistic with your sales expectations. Then if you do make millions out of the gate what an awesome surprise it will be.
Most “overnight successes” made it big after years and years of work and just made it look like an overnight success. What they all had in common is they never gave up. I enjoyed this article giving the background on a few of those authors.
The key to financial success at this gig is to write, publish, write, publish, write….you get the picture. Being a one hit wonder isn’t impossible, but it’s not very probable either.
I didn’t start to see traction in sales until I got to my 3rd book. Had I waited until the first one took off I might still be waiting.
Continuing to write and publish shows readers you are here to stay and as new readers find you, and see you have written more than one, it increases your chances of them purchasing them all.
Step #4 Writing is only half the battle. You MUST market
I went to a writers conference years ago when I was just getting started and heard one of the speakers say, “many awesome writers never sell anything because they don’t market themselves and many mediocre authors make a living in this industry because they’re good at marketing.”
That statement is so true. You can write the best book ever in the world of books but if people don’t know it exists then it won’t sell. There is a lot of competition out there. Every day it gets increasingly difficult to stand out from all the rest.
While social media gives us authors, many low-cost opportunities to promote our books we have to keep at it consistently or the message will get buried in all the others.
Even fiction authors need to have a platform and be constantly promoting themselves and an author and their work. It’s a never-ending cycle.
I’ve known many talented authors who’ve given up because they just get frustrated with the marketing aspect. It’s hard to keep on top of because it takes a lot of time. The time that most of us writers would rather spend on writing.
But if you are committed and you really want to make this a viable career you must treat it as a business and spend quality time marketing your product.
Step #5 Treat Your Writing Like Your Job – Show Up Every Day
Author, Steven Pressfield, said in his book Turning Pro, that the difference between an amateur and a professional is a professional shows up every day.
It’s hard to show up every day. Not so much in the beginning when you’re super excited to be embarking on your new career but once the excitement of starting wears off and you’re in the doubting, oh shit what have I done stage, it can be harder than anything you can imagine.
Download The Top 4 Things You Need to Know to Make a Living as an Author
But you owe it to yourself to show up every single day. If you don’t can you say you tried with every fiber in your body to make a career out of what you love?
As with anything, there will be ups and downs, but as I said in #3 you must be in this for the long haul if you want to support yourself and your family with your writing. Persist through the downtimes and the ups will be that much sweeter.
Have you ever wondered why someone else seems to have everything they want out of life and you don’t? I can guarantee you they’ve worked for it. They haven’t let the bad days make them quit. Another quote I love says this so well:
[Tweet “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas A. Edison”]
Ashton Kutcher made headlines a few years ago when he gave a speech (you can watch here if you have no idea what I’m talking about ) at the Teen Choice Awards saying basically the same thing that he believes that opportunity looks a lot like hard work.
And it’s true. It’s not called work because it’s easy. I love writing, but it’s freakin hard. It’s WORK.
If writing is still the career you want to pursue I support you 100%. Making the active decision to go after your dream is the first step to your fabulous success!
You got this!
Let me know how I can help
Get your free author resources! Get the tips, motivation, and support you need to follow the path to publishing your book!
Get the tips, motivation, and support you need to follow the path to publishing your book!