You know, when you start out writing, you don’t realize exactly what it means. It doesn’t just mean sitting down, getting comfy, and typing away at your laptop. BANG, BANG, BANG go the keys; and wham, you’ve achieved your sense of accomplishment for the day.
Nope. That ain’t it at all. I spent a long time doing things that way: writing book after book, crafting query letter after query letter, and wholeheartedly expecting to find an agent to take care of things for me.
Fast-forward seven years. Well, more like eight, now. And, guess what? I STILL DON’T HAVE AN AGENT. Though not for lack of trying, I assure you.
It was almost four years ago that I published my first story on Kindle Direct Publishing. I was a little afraid to do that, at first, because I was like: “What if someone steals my story, and puts their own name on it?” I didn’t really get it, back then. I was what you’d call green.
I still am, really. But I’m learning new things every day. Back in October, I met an old teacher at the grocery store, and she gave me my first clue to the secret of where my future success might lie. SOCIAL NETWORKING. I’d always hated it before. I didn’t understand it; and I didn’t want to understand it. But I forced myself to try, and now I’ve got this fun blog, and almost 700 Twitter followers. That’s really not very many — but I only just got serious on that platform a couple of weeks ago, after meeting a really nice new friend who showed me the ropes.
I’m about a week out from finishing my latest book. So, I’ve got to bang that out; edit it carefully; and make a synopsis for the avoidance of plot holes. I’m also going to try something that I’ve never tried before. I’m going to make a BOOK TRAILER. (More info on how that plays out later.)
I’ve also been reminded, in the past week or so, that a periodic newsletter is crucial to the formation of an indie author’s platform. Who knew, right? I have no idea how to do it — but I found a great article about it on author Sacha Black’s blog. Read it here.
Between social media, writing the book itself, editing the book, reading to stay sharp, and trying to learn all you can from the people who have been exactly where you are now — it can get a little grueling, to say the least. And I know I’m not the only indie author feeling the pressure. But this is just a post to remind everyone to persevere! I believe in myself; and I believe in you, too.
The workload isn’t every going to decrease. Not unless we get as rich and famous as Stephen King! (Though I’m definitely not saying that’s impossible.)
In addition to Sacha Black’s newsletter tutorial, here are a few other helpful links I’ve come across in the past few weeks.
Freedom with Writing — a really great sign-up tool for authors put together by Jacob Jans, giving out great info about places looking for freelance writing, and also free material about ways to succeed as a writer.
Author Brand Building — an excellent blog post by author J.A. Allen, crafted to help YOU figure out how to build up your own brand.
11 Author Website Must-Haves — a superb article by author Kimberley Grabas, designed to help YOU make your author website the best it can be.
So, to sum it up: no, your indie author to-do list probably won’t kill you. But, again, I can’t promise that you won’t die before you finish it.