Yesterday, I spent some of my day following the habits of an author that I consider successful in the indie author biz. Some may know her, some may not, but she’s a machine and pretty well known in a few circles and is one of the few authors that’s taking the Indie publishing biz and making it her b#tch. She walked away from traditional publishing and decided to do things her own way.
Looking at her long list of accomplishments made me ponder all of the things that I (and other black authors) could be doing instead of standing at the door of Big Trad Pub with our hands on our hips trying to figure out how to get in.
When I first started writing, self publishing was frowned upon and it was considered to be embarrassing to have to publish your own work. Not even five years later, self publishing is a whole new world, with authors making a serious living from doing it their way. Still, a traditional publishing contract is the mark of validation, of finally being good enough to not have to resort to indie pubbing. However if you’re the kind of person that never needed that validation, there’s much work to be done past trying to be seen by eyes that don’t want to see you.
Some things I picked up:
1. It doesn’t happen overnight. Even those authors with long backlists and gobs of fans who make lots of money started somewhere, nice and slow. It starts with hard work and hunger. Luck is where preparation meets
Image courtesy http://bizchix.com
2. There are some things you may not want to do, but it would be a mistake to put them off and be years down the line, wish you had done them. There are a couple of things I don’t really want to do, but I know I need to. Time to WOMAN UP and do them. Looking at 2017 like *blank stare*
3. Keep your eyes on your own paper. That’s my own saying for ‘watch you and yours’. You’ve got plenty to worry about without expending effort to how someone is doing something. What they’re doing may or may not be working for them. Not your monkey, not your show.
4. Read, research, innovate. Think up new ways to do things, to reach readers, to put yourself out there. And on that note:
5. OWN IT. The time for timidity is over, the time for owning that you’re a writer and you write DARN GOOD BOOKS is now. You’d never buy a book by an author that never talked about their book and when they did, they called it a piece of crap. PROMO YOUR STUFF. TELL PEOPLE IT’S GOOD. Unless it really does suck and then why is it out there, if you’re not proud of it?
Seriously tho…You wrote a book. Do you know how many people start writing a book and never finish? *raises hand, because I have at least six partially written books in the depths of my google drive* Own it. Be loud and proud. I’m SO TIRED of reading authors apologizing for promoting their work, because people might complain about it. Reminds me of an Eminem lyric from Cinderella Man:
Own it. Bring it.
This post isn’t just me preaching to new authors or even me preaching to the choir of other indie authors. This is me, preaching to ME. Me needing to grab this indie thing by the horns and make it do what it do. Me needing to realize that I am five books in and new book ideas keep coming to me and there is a chance that the end of the road for me is a long ways off.
So, time to put my eyes where they belong– on this blank, empty sheet of paper and fill it up.