Sunday, February 16, 2014

Don't take yourself too seriously

I think this is an important one for a few reasons.

Firstly, it doesn't matter if you are the best Author, have written the best book, and have the best marketing team behind you - someone aint gonna like your book. I saw a post this morning from a fellow Indie Author who was gutted that he had just received his first three star review. Firstly three stars are fine and dandy, it tells the world that the person read the book and it was fine, not great but fine. Secondly, you cannot allow the star rating to impact your 'mojo'. I wonder how many books on Amazon don't have at least one 1 or 2 star ratings - face it folks, either out of personal opinion or damn right spitefulness, someone is going to give you a one star. If you accept that from the off it won't come as a shock. Don't over analyse the situation.

As a new Indie Author, I found myself constantly looking for approval. Even though I knew in my heart that Russian Redemption was a great fictional novel (and thanks to Judi at ProofreadNZ it was well prepared from an editing perspective) I had absolutely no experience as a writer, or of the world of Authors. So I sought confirmation of what I believed. I think I mentioned some way back that I was so far out of my comfort zone that it wasn't funny. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I approached this wrong. For fear of further repetition, the journey from brain to book was beyond my wildest expectations as far as learning and pushing myself was concerned; And that's something that no one can take away. I felt immensely proud to hold a hard copy in my hand, there is no feeling like it. I had invested a lot of time to make sure I'd put my best foot forward, so in all honesty it doesn't matter what others think.

I actually had no reason to seek 'approval' from others, it's not like I imagined being able to make a living as an Author, or win awards or get a film deal and sitting next to JK or the likes. (That would be nice though!) But realistically it was the writing of the book, and seeing it published that was my reward for my efforts.

With traditional publishing, the rising number of Indie Authors and Self Published Authors on the up, the world of books is an over populated market. That is not to say that it is over populated with GOOD books!. And despite what some of the worlds leading marketing guru's tell you, 'luck' plays a big part. You can 'influence' your books future but ultimately, once it is exposed in it's naked state in the public domain, so much is outside of your control that it's just not worth worrying about. So you have to manage your own expectations.

The pleasure I got from writing Russian Redemption was what it was all about for me, everything else is a bonus. I'm writing RR2, and it is the same, I'm loving it all over again; pushing myself harder, learning more.

Remember that I have never attended any formal writer training so a lot of my future involves improving my own skills - this is all part of the same journey, a journey that will continue until the day I decide that it stops - not the media, not the traditional publishers, not the world of print, just me. I have that control over my destiny and that's important.

I like to tell people that I've written a book, and that it's an Amazon Best Seller because both are facts. These day's I'll even drop in that I'm writing a second book. It brings a number of responses, and can be a great conversation piece (if not over played!). Although it's not half as satisfying as telling yourself that you are a published author. BUT if people ask me what I do for a living - I'm a Senior Business Relationship Manager with a Global Telecommunications Company. And I think this is the real beauty of Indie Authors, we get to write some great books without the pressures of traditional publishing. I can enjoy my writing without the pressures of the commercial world, or having to rely on it to pay bills, or keep a roof over the family. Indie Authors are FREE and that is powerful. One caveat - whatever you publish MUST be the very best it can be, you owe that to yourself.

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