Opportunities to independently publish your books are the greatest advantage writers have been given in the last decade. Still, there are moments when you want to quit.
You’ve written a book. Completing the first book is often a thorny path. You don’t simply sit down and type away on your computer until your first masterpiece is ready to be presented to the eagerly awaiting audience. Usually, you stop and stumble countless times on the way to your first magical “the end”.
And that “end” isn’t the end, it is a beginning.
You spend hours and days carefully proofreading and editing your book. You do it for so long and for so many times that at some point your eyes almost stop seeing.
Then you give your precious book to an editor. While you wait for the lifetime work to return to you, you find a cover designer who understands your vision. After multiple revisions, afraid that the designer would come after you at night, so annoyingly meticulous you’ve been with how you believe the cover of your book should look like, the cover is perfect.
The editor returns your tattered manuscript, and you go through the edited text – 100K words – again and again, and your eyes feel sore again.
You struggle with technical issues while uploading ebook and paperback versions on Amazon. And the struggle is real, for creative people seldom are good at technical stuff.
You go through the text of both templates – ebook and paperback – again, multiple times. And your eyes hurt again.
With your heart thumping in your throat, not knowing what lies ahead, you press the button “Published your book”.
And this is not the end, just another beginning.
You trample through the jungle of self-promotion and marketing. You lose money paying for the services that don’t work. You get attacked by all kinds of scammers who offer to make a Stephen King out of you for an XYZ amount of money. Or dangle magical words like “review”, “Amazon”, “Goodreads” in front of you, so you open your wallet and give them money, so your precious book doesn’t hang forlornly out there, without those sacred stars.
After a while, you learn what works. Despite some of the lessons being learnt the hard or financially strenuous way, you feel ridiculously happy when you receive first reviews and make first book sales.
Having made this journey with your first book, you are excited rather than horrified to write more. You feel elated to trudge through the jungle again. You have a machete now.
Your first book receives literary awards, and those wonderful reviews from readers keep coming.
You write and publish more books. You know what to expect, but every time, you hope that more people will buy, read and love your stories.
You now know that for years or maybe forever you’ll be spending more on publishing your books and bringing them to the readers than you’ll earn from them. And it doesn’t stop you. You feel happy to share your stories with the world.
And then you receive a 1-star rate without any explanation – not that the explanation would make you feel better. That’s the moment when you want to quit. Why bother if there’ll always be someone who’ll make you feel like your work is trash?
Still, after it happens to you a few times, you shrug, maybe even smile, and move on. There’s a book waiting to be written after all.
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