When I was young and wanted to be an author when I grew up, I thought the only thing I needed to be was a good writer. Boy, was I wrong! There was so much more I needed to do and learn. I was making mistakes at every turn. Now that I have published 2 books and 1 novella, with 3 more novellas and another novel on the way, these are the things that I have learned.
- Set aside time for writing: I know how hard it is when you have writer’s block, but write something even if you end up erasing it. Because writing will help get your creative juices moving. Even writing as little as 100 words every day stacks up and you can write a full manuscript by the end of the year. If you don’t have time every day or you write better with big chunks of time then set time aside on Saturday to get it done. You don’t have to write for a specific word count. And don’t worry about other people saying they wrote 2,000 words that day. As long as you are consistently writing your writing will come faster, and will build up.
- Being an author is also running a business: As an author there are many things that go on to be successful. Between keeping up with your editors and cover artist, you still have to find time to market your book. That means doing book talks, writing posts, sending emails, managing your website, as well as finding time to write your next novel so your fans don’t get angry. Its hard work and can be overwhelming at times. But don’t worry that is where my next point comes in.
- The author community is very supportive: All you have to do is reach out. All indie authors understand how hard it is to be an author. Many are willing to help if you ask. We have all been there. Also being an author is one of the few markets where promoting other books that are similar to yours won’t hinder sales. If your book is a spy novel and another author does similar work promoting each other’s books actually helps bring in more readers, since if readers like a specific genre they will read more of that genre. And your book will not be their book.
- It is not the end of the world if your sales are bad: Remember some authors don’t get popular until they have been writing for 40 years. But you can’t give up, because that is when you will fail. Besides how many times have you bought a book that hadn’t just come out? This is especially true for many indie authors who are virtually unknown. Some need to gain more of an audience until they start taking off.
There are many lessons I’ve learned, and these are just a few. The biggest thing to leave off with is that it is far more difficult than expected, but you can gain some amazing connections that can change your life. So don’t be afraid to try it, there are many who will help you on your way.