I am literally living my dream. Actually, strike that because there was a time that even in my wildest imagination, I really couldn’t envision myself making my living as an author. Of course, now I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I can’t say that there is anything that I wish I had known before publishing because that almost implies that had I known what I know now, I may have never started, or maybe would have done things differently and that is so not the case. Regardless of how difficult the road has been to get where I am, every painstaking step along the way has been a learning process that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I believe the old saying that says “the harder I work, the luckier I get.” In my humble opinion, there are no shortcuts that will help you achieve success. You simply have to put in the work, and to do that, you must love what you do.
I have always been a reader. I have loved books for as long as I can remember. Writing a book, on the
other hand, is a different story. My original intent for my first book was simply to write something to give to my daughter. It was going to be for her eyes only. It was after I purchased my first Kindle reader that I heard about the ebook self publishing platforms that were beginning to emerge. Now, I am not here to write about self publishing versus traditional publishing. There are pros and cons to both, and as a matter of fact, many authors now are publishing both ways. That is an individual decision based on many different factors. For me, self publishing provided an opportunity to put my work out there without going through the slow tedious query process required by traditional publishing. Now that I warmed you up a little, let me now tell you not what I wished I had known, rather, what I know now that may help someone just getting started.
1. You must have thick skin.
Obviously, if you try the traditional publishing route, you will learn to accept rejection very quickly. The trick is to remember that quite often the rejection has nothing to do with the quality of your writing, but is simply the agent or publisher’s business decision. Timing is everything and the time may not be right to release your book about a vampire who stars in his own cooking show. Now, don’t think if you self publish that rejection road will be any less bumpy. You will absolutely get bad reviews and that’s okay. And before anyone that likes to review books goes on the attack, let me say that everyone is entitled to their opinion. This is America after all and lord knows we love to chime in. I just wish that sometimes people wouldn’t get so nasty with personal comments. I’m touched that my book moved you enough to write a review, even a bad one if you didn’t like it, but please don’t call me a whore. I mean come on, my children and their friends read these reviews. Here is the good news. Reading is subjective. For every person that wouldn’t wipe their rear with your book, someone else will contact you to let you know that they absolutely loved your story and that it changed their life. The point is: hang in there. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
After the creating part is over, the really hard work starts. There is no magic wand that will instantly turn your book into an overnight best seller. Even traditionally published authors receive less help than you might think in marketing their books. If you are self published, the honor is entirely yours. The quicker you learn that publishing a book is a business that requires a great deal of hard work and dedication, the more success you will have.
3. Be professional.
What this means is that you are going to have to invest some money in your book if you want to be taken seriously. The publishing world is changing quickly. Self publishing is becoming more and more accepted every day. The reason for this is because the more successful self published authors understand the necessity of services like professional editors and cover designers. The bottom line is that these are necessary investments in your business if you ever expect to achieve any level of success.
So, there you have it. It may not be much, but hopefully there are a few tidbits in there to help anyone who has the next bestseller sitting in a desk drawer, but is too afraid to give it a go. Just remember that once you get started, don’t ever let anyone take away your dream.
About Tiffany King:
Tiffany King is the author of The Saving Angels Series, Wishing for Someday Soon, Forever Changed, Unlikely Allies, Miss Me Not and Jordyn: A Daemon Hunter Novel book one. Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy.
She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.