Self-Publishing in not for money making dreamers
Take a quick glance at a list of Twitter profiles, and within a few minutes, you can find the self-published writers who thought the streets were paved with gold. Simply write a book and send out a few Tweets and I’ll be a bestseller and millionaire.
Oh dear, did they just dream for a few days? It’s also clear to see how they started with such enthusiasm and then when it became obvious that it wasn’t going to be a cake walk, they just packed their little Twitter bags and gave up. The dead writer accounts.
With the advent of self-publishing, we have seen a literary gold rush of sorts. All chasing Kindle fame and fortune. Unfortunately, for these gold digging prospectors, life in the literary lane has not changed all that much. There is still only a little room at the top, a slightly bigger space in the mid-list, and then comes the slush pile that was always there, but is now a lot more populated.
This rush to get on the ‘bandwagon’ has blinded many to what a book is all about. A book is for the long term. If it doesn’t sell like hotcakes this week that doesn’t mean it won’t sell well next year. And even if it doesn’t sell next year, well, that’s writing. Go write a better one.
When I started publishing, I had one clear goal in mind. To be read by my grandchildren. When I find myself thinking about my book sales, good or bad, I remind myself of this. I wrote to be read. Dollars and cents, while nice to have in your pocket, are nowhere near as rich as knowing that one day when you are long gone, someone will pick up your book and your words will still be alive.
Now, this is not to say that I don’t work hard at promoting my books and making sure they are well presented and advertised. It would be a lie to say that I wouldn’t like one or two of them to sell like crazy and afford me a palace on my own island. But the reality is that I have to work hard to sell books each and every day. Fortunately, the stories are ageless, so lucky me. I can keep working and promoting my books until the day I die.
Writing a book is not about today and selling a million tomorrow. It has never been. So self-publishing has not changed much at all. The real writers and authors know they are in for the long haul. The ‘fly by nighters’ will do exactly that. Fly away as soon as they discover that writing and then selling a book is indeed, a lot of very hard work.