Authors: Build Your Support Network — But Don’t Ask Its Permission
I recently spent the day with a group of aspiring authors, discussing how they could realize their dreams of becoming published. As an author myself, I shared everything I have learned over the years working both with traditional publishers and as an independent author using various self-publishing platforms.
In their eyes, perhaps the biggest revelation of the day was the fact that I believe writing your first book is the easiest part of the process. It’s the marketing and selling of the title that’s difficult.
This is especially true for creative people (and I would include many budding entrepreneurs in that category) who have loads of great ideas but perhaps lack the confidence to put themselves out there and sell them.
Lack of Confidence
Note: It’s this lack of confidence that prevented many writers in the group from publishing their work. One member of the group had a finished book ready to go — but the manuscript had sat in a box under her bed for more than a decade, while she busied herself with unnecessary “research.”.
During the day, we talked about the importance of building a support network around their endeavors. These are the people (friends, family, fellow authors or entrepreneurs) who encourage and support you during the process of writing/building something new.
When you are trying to create something new, it’s very important to surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Sadly, these people can be incredibly hard to find. This is because the world is full of people who will tell you that you cannot do something, or highlight the risks involved with a project rather than celebrate the opportunities. In some cases, these negative people might be trying to protect their friends from disappointment (although it’s always better to have tried and failed than to live your life with the regret of not having tried). Others are simply fuelled by jealousy or their own lack of personal confidence.
Your support network will back you when you are having a bad day, and they’ll encourage you to push harder and help you celebrate when you succeed. You should be able to rely on your support network no matter what.
No Need for Permission
However, the one thing you shouldn’t ask your support network to do is grant you permission to do something.
My group of writers were very keen to run their written work past their extended support group before sending it off to a publisher or uploading it to Amazon as a self-published eBook. Essentially, they wanted to ask permission — to get validation of whether their work was good enough to be accepted by the wider world — thus creating an opportunity for negativity to seep in.
In circumstances like this, it’s all too easy to enter a holding pattern and circle around never-ending projects than take the risk and put your work out there for consideration. It would take just one negative (or even neutral) comment to delay a project and send the creator back to the drawing board.
Go for It
The moral of the story is that only you have the ability to give permission for a project. If you’ve done your research, put the work in and (in your opinion) produced the best possible product that you are capable of, why do you need permission from someone else to share it with the wider world?
So what are you waiting for? You have my permission to write your own story and potentially change the world.
My Writing, Publishing, Marketing, and Selling Your First Book seminar will be visiting:
This four-hour course is designed to help aspiring writers realize their potential and guide them through the process of writing, publishing, marketing and selling their first book. It will look at the writing process, examine publishing and distribution options and highlight potential opportunities and pitfalls.
Topics Covered Include:
What’s The Big Idea?
- Have you got a book inside of you?
- Inspiration and where to find it
- Fail to Plan, plan to fail
The Writing Process
- The writing process (think job, not hobby)
- Setting targets and hitting deadlines
- The editorial process
- Common pitfalls/roadblocks
Pitching to a Publisher/Agent
- The benefits of working with a traditional publisher
- When and how to pitch
- What you should expect from a publisher
- When to walk away
Going it Alone
- Disadvantages of working with a traditional publisher
- Digital disruption (you’ve never had it so good)
- Indie not amateur
- Self-publishing vs Vanity publishing
- Getting help (freelance editorial and design support)
- Self-Publishing platforms/distribution networks
- Hardback, Paperback, eBook (epub, mobi), audiobooks
Embracing Your Inner-Self Publicist (Selling Your Work)
- Public Relations
- Public Speaking
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Setting expectations
- Alternative streams of revenue
- Building a Back Catalogue
- Rinse, repeat
- eBook Singles
- Writing a series
- Free vs paid distribution
Spaces are limited. Early booking is recommended.