There’s An Audience For You – Looking at all the big authors that are published nowadays, it’s easy to assume that they have the total market share of your audience. And in some cases that’s true, but you will find even when you’re starting out that you will attract a few readers to you even if you think your writing is not up to scratch. This surprised me.
Although I wanted people to fall in love with my work, I was surprised when people responded favorably to it. Now, I wouldn’t say I was the best of writers in the beginning, and maybe those readers are the equivalent of people who like watching ‘B movies,’ but there were readers who enjoyed my work and left me a positive review. Maybe not as many as I’d liked to have, But those few gave the confidence to keep going.
Unless your work is total garbage, you will be surprised that if you do your best, some people will like what you write and you will gather some regular readers. It may be small, but it’s still an audience. YOUR audience.
You Won’t Die If Your Book Flops – Most people who would like to write a book are held back by thoughts of what if this happens, or what if that happens? They also worry about what people will think if they’re book isn’t successful. For those people, I would tell them, ‘Don’t tell anyone, and just go do it.’ It’s easy to make up a pen name and hide behind it, so why wouldn’t you take the chance of writing a book? If it flops, no one knows. And if it’s successful, then go and tell everyone.
From taking my first tiny steps into self publishing I learned an important thing, nothing happens if you’re not successful. Nobody dies, (unless they’re a character in your book), your family still loves you, and the world keeps spinning.
We build up so much resistance in our minds of all the things that can go wrong, but honestly, everything is still going to be the exact same after you’ve published your book. The only thing that will change is that you’re now a published author. So just go and do it.
You Don’t Need Permission From Anyone – Are you good enough to enter the children’s market today? Or are you good enough to write romance fiction book? Do you know who’s permission you need to ask? One person. And that’s the person you see in the mirror every morning. You want to write a kids book? Go write a kids book. You want to write a romance book? Go write a romance book. You want to write a horror slasher book? Go write a horror slasher book.
In traditional publishing, there were always those people that told you, what to write, what the market wanted, and what you should do. If you’re self publishing, you don’t have to answer to anyone, but yourself. You want to write in a genre that doesn’t even exist, go ahead and do it? You’ve no-one’s permission to ask, so just go do it.
Write What You Love – While this one thing can’t guarantee your success (if you’re writing to an audience that isn’t there yet), but writing in a genre for the sake of the money isn’t going to get you the success you want. Sure you may make some money, but do you really want to be writing in a genre where your heart isn’t in it? If you’ve taken up writing, I assume it’s either to supplement your income, or to show the world who you are through your writing. If you’re working in a 9 to 5 job that you hate, why would you want to come home to another job writing what you hate?
Look at it this way, how long do you think you’ll keep writing if you’re just creating content that you’ve no love for? And even if you do, by gritting your teeth and writing on a daily basis, don’t you think that will show in your writing? How enthusiastic will your writing be? You might think you’ll be able to fake it, but your lack of feeling, lack of love for your characters, and lack of energy in your writing, will be sensed by the reader on the other side.
Although it is nice to write to a well paying market, and you may have to detour slightly to get yourself in front of them, don’t think that you have to sell out by writing books that you have no love for. Yes, that money maybe nice, but it’s going to come at a price. But is it one you’re willing to pay?
I found that out myself. The genres I was the most successful in were the ones that I had the most love for. The books that made me the most money where the books that I put my heart and soul into. Even months and years later after they were written, those books still outperform the other ones.
You’re Never Going To Know It All – If you’re afraid of becoming a writer because you don’t know it all yet, let me tell you, you never will. You’ll also question your ability on a regular basis. No matter how low, or how successful you are, there will be times when you question your ability. There will be times when you’re knocked back by a negative review. There will be times when you find a book you didn’t think was going to do well, suddenly takes off. And there will be times when a labor of love just doesn’t get picked up by the marketplace.
If you think you have to have all your ducks lined up in a row to be successful, (and you’re sitting by for that situation) you’re wasting your time. The only way you’re going to know if you’re a good writer, if your book is going to be successful, is to release it.
There are too many budding authors out there with a hard drive of material that they think isn’t good enough. Just because you think your work isn’t good enough doesn’t mean that everyone else agrees with you. You’re never going to know it all unless you release your material and see what works and what doesn’t work. Once you do that you can alter your course. Then you can improve the bits that are weak, write more of the books that are loved, and start building an audience of readers.
If you keep sitting on the sideline, you’ll never know.
And there you have it, five things I discovered from writing. I’d love to know what you discovered since you began writing. Leave a comment below and let me know what you found.