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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Indie Publishing: Self Publishing Basics - Dealing with self doubt

No matter how well you work social media, or how skilled you are at producing blog posts that generate  serious traffic, none of this will benefit you as a writer if you don't, first produce a decent book. If you're not prepared to put in the work in, many many hours with little if any financial reward then you'd be better off giving up now. Sorry to be so negative but that's just the way it is. You need to write a damn good book. That is the single most important step in your career as a writer - getting published is hard work, staying published and becoming successful is even harder, but without first having written the best book you can then you've got no chance.

There is no easy route to success. In fact if you want to make money quickly then writing is not the way to go -  you'd be better off getting a regular job but there are some of us who positively need to write. Writing is buried in our DNA and no matter how hard it becomes we have no choice but to torture ourselves creating our fictional worlds, and although we are regularly visited by self doubt we simply work through this, trusting in the dream that one day someone will recognise our work. It is for those people, this poor multitude of which I am a member, those with a burning in their gut that can only be soothed by applying the fingers to the keyboard, the pen to the page, that this series on Indie publishing/self publishing is aimed.

Audiobook - find the book at Amazon/Barnes and Noble
Self doubt is natural, though dangerous - we all feel it from time to time but the only thing to do with it is give  it a good kick in the balls, and stamp all over it when it hits the ground. I, like everyone else, get regular visits from the self doubt monster -  whenever a passage is not going well, or I struggle with a plot point, that monster is there, leaning over my shoulder and whispering in my ear - 'Give up, call it a day. Give up.'

 I've kicked that beastie in the balls so many times that my foot aches. Now I'm lucky in that I'm a hybrid author and have and continue to be traditionally published, so whenever I fail to see any worth in my work I simply tell myself that my agent, my publishers and my readers see that worth.

 Self/Indie publishing is something I do alongside my other books - this year for instance will see two of my books traditionally published - Riding the Vengeance Trail, a western written under the penname, Jack Martin will be released in hardcover this May from Crowood Press, and Dark Valleys, a non-fiction look at historical murders commited in the South Wales valleys will be out in paperback from Pen and Sword Books.  And then on the Indie/Self publishing front next month will see the publication of the fourth title in my popular
Granny Smith series, and I've also got another project, provisionally titled, The Reluctant Terrorist in the planning stages. There are other things going on, of course. There has to be if I want to sustain and grow my writing - the first of the Granny Smith books, Granny Smith Investigates (20012) which has twice hit the top ten in the Kindle Cozy Crime charts will make the transistion to audiobook next month.

Now granted many of you reading this may not have the kudos of having a traditional publisher in order to soothe away self doubt, but that doesn't matter. If you are meant to write, then you'll do just that and with hard work, a lot of hard work, success is there for the taking. It may take awhile, a long long while to get there but real writers will get there, no matter how long it takes they will get there.

Below are a list of just three of the many authors who have made it big in the self publishing world, so when self doubt takes hold then take heart from the magnificent trio below. They've done it and so can you.

Kevin Bochaz
Kevin Bohacz -  Kevin saw his first two books, Immortality and it's sequel, Ghost of the Gods explode on Amazon, occupying high positions in the charts. His almost immediatel success surprised him -    It baffled me,and I was really looking for the cause because I’d like to be able to repeat it.”   Though Kevin's sucess is no mystery. He simply write good, compelling stories and the readers found him.

Russ Colchamiro - in 2010 he published, Finders Keepers, and found success that many of us can only dream of. He wrote this book while balancing a full-time job and three-year-old twins, so dedication is it seems of paramount importance if you want to replicate this success. And since then he has built on the first novel and created a franchise that seems to gather fans at the rate of knots. Part Terry Pratchett, part Douglas Adams, Ross has given us a universe that we want to return to time and time again.

Joe Konrath
Joe Konrath - works in the thriller, mystery and horror genres and what is truly remarkable about Joe is that as well as churning out hugely popular fiction, he manages to maintain a Indie publishing blog that is a must read for anyone interested in indie writing - the newbies guide to publishing. Joe is outspoken and often seems to be on a mission to bring traditional publishing to its knees, but above all else he writes damn good books. I've not a fan of his horror work but his mysteries are favourites...I recently read his, Cherry Bomb and found myself both laughing out loud and gnawing at my fingernails. I may not always agree with what Joe has to say on his blog but I always return to read should too.


1 comment:

oscar case said...

You are right on the mark with this post, Gary. I takes work, work, work, and perseverance for self-publishing or for traditional publishing, for that matter.