Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Digging through the mud

Two posts in two days, what is wrong with me?

This is about the "advice" you will get when you decide to take the plunge and become an Independent Author.  I am not talking about the good advice you will get, such as from The Publetariat. No, I am talking about the advice that should send your b*llsh!t radar into over drive.

Biggest one: Write your book fast, find your niche and SELL.

The ones that tell you this are A: Selling their book that they wrote fast. or B: Selling you an overpriced service. And C: Have nothing to do with fiction writers.

Write your book fast:  I do write my first draft fast. I can put a full length novel out in 30 days. But that draft is utter crap. You have to edit, rewrite, ask readers, edit, rewrite. I can put a book out in six months, if I work really hard at it. But some of my titles won't see the light of day for years. You can write fast, but it won't be good.

Find you niche: This advice comes from the idea of thinking of the business end over your writing. Keep the business in mind. But the way this advice works is that you find something that has not been done before and do it. My problem with that is, you might get lucky. If no one has ever seen a book on how to train your bamboo plant to cook, but it takes the fun out of the writing.
Write what you know, write what YOU want to write. Readers are smart, they can pick out a book written to compete with the latest book trends. Those books are cookie cutter and lack emotion. If you are really passionate about your writing, the readers will be passionate too. And it won't matter that it's not the latest book trend.

SELL  Selling is important. But the advice above, its SELL, not sell. In other words they want you to shove your book down people's throats. You know what that is going to do, turn people off. You do have to get the word out about your writing. You do have to let people know it's there. But don't be a jackass.
Also they don't take in account that if you have written a book that others find fun, they will help you sell. That's how I landed my book launch party.  Use the idea of the street team from music. Once you have your product out, get a fan base going, make it fun for your fans to promote. That works in a lot of places. And with social media, is a lot better than BUY MY BOOK!!!!!

The other thing to watch out for is large promises.
I MAID $35,000 WITH MY BOOK IN ONE WEEK (spelling error intentional)

Don't look at those posts, throw the snail mail away. It will not happen, unless you are lucky enough to be a blockbuster author. I'm going to be happy with breaking even in THREE years or less. Many of us are publishing our books because our family and friends want copies, or we just want to share, or we would like to make some money, but we know it's an up hill battle.

Don't buy the hype. Do what you love first, then get the good advice.

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