Self-published authors have a pretty steep learning curve if they want to joint the ranks of the bestsellers. And I’m not talking about the Amazon bestsellers, I’m talking about the New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. Not an easy feat. It also doesn’t happen for everyone. Authors can bust their tails for years and years, writing book after book and never make it.
So is it possible to make their dreams become a reality?
Absolutely – through education and execution.
I watched a video tonight, hosted by Nick Stephenson, bestselling fiction author and entrepreneur. His book, Supercharge Your Kindle Sales, is flipping fantastic!! He provides invaluable insight about self-publishing and how to launch a successful author career on his website, Your First 10K Readers. But what I want to point out to you here is a really great point made in the video… one that’s not only applicable to self-pubbed authors but also to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Here’s the gist. Authors have a choice. They can endlessly spin their wheels, trying to figure out how the publishing industry works while using trial and error to test new ways of gaining traction and visibility for their work.
They can make an investment in their careers and pay for that knowledge. Learning from someone else’s missteps can save a tremendous amount of time and money. It can also preserve their sanity. =)
Then, they can apply their newfound knowledge and execute their success strategy.
Business training group organization concept. Team of students learning from mentor sharing common vision for education success as gears and cogs shaped as human head on gray background.
This advice definitely hits home for me as an author as well as an entrepreneur. What Nick is saying makes so much sense. If you’re looking to build a business – whether it be in publishing or another industry – spend time up front to figure out how to avoid common pitfalls. The intelligence you can gather is worth the investment and it will help guide your decision-making processes. Save the time for doing what you love and apply the tried-and-true methods of building your success. Leverage lessons learned and reap the rewards earlier.
Why put off until tomorrow what you could definitely achieve TODAY?
Some authors opt out of having manuscripts professionally edited. I guess they think it’s an unnecessary expense. Some authors just don’t know specifically what an editor does so they fail to see the value in hiring one. And SOME authors may think that their friends and family members can read a manuscript and find any spelling/grammatical/plot issues, for FREE. Because this is certainly a group that would always deliver an unbiased opinion, right?
The reality is that a professional editor can bring to light soooo many things that you never considered before, specifically if you are completely new at the writing game (which I AM). Let me give you an example that always springs to my mind when I am glorifying my own editor.
Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. Basically, it means that within one scene, the author delivers the story through multiple characters’ points of view. The term came about because thoughts are jumping from one perspective to another, making it very confusing for the reader to identify and understand who in the scene is driving the story.
I had no idea that this concept even existed. And I totally abused it, until my editor pointed it out to me. I also wouldn’t have known that some publishers will reject you immediately if any hint of head hopping appears in your manuscript. But she completely opened my eyes to this and subsequently provided so many other little pearls of wisdom she’d collected throughout her career.
Now, I know that the Internet provides endless volumes of information about a plethora of writing topics and if you know the right people to ask or websites to research, you could probably find out a heck of a lot on your own about the evils of head hopping and the like. But for me, having that go-to person who is intimately involved in the publishing industry and can teach the tips and tricks required to produce a stellar piece of writing is worth every cent.
Think about it this way. Perception becomes reality. If the world sees your work as sub-par, so shall it become. And how many people will want to buy another one of your masterful creations then? I’m guessing not many…