In this world of indie publishing, creating a book is as easy as point and click. This convenience has led to an overwhelming issue that all “indies” are facing these days. Something I like to call complacency.
We all know that it’s hard to find someone to show us the ropes when we first start out. Some indie authors who have found a measure of success are very tight lipped about how they’ve done it. Whether they feel that revealing their how-to methods will create competition or they just aren’t sure, themselves.
Being an independently published author comes with some major perks, like getting to keep your royalties for one. But that perk can quickly turn out to be your demise. This is why you hear so many traditionally published authors looking down on the “indies”.
In my last article, I spoke about book covers and the importance of them. In this article I’d like to continue with Mastering Your Craft.
What does that mean, exactly?
You’re a published author now! So what. Yeah, I said it. So what. I want to know what you plan to do next. And if you haven’t answered this question – or let’s be frank – if you haven’t asked yourself this question yet… you have much to learn.
You owe it to yourself and to your readers, to get better. No one’s first book is perfect. If they tell you it is, they’re lying. Your first book is where you cut your teeth in this industry. Anyone can write stories. Yep, I said that, too! ANYone can write a story. Will you like it? That depends. Some people have this amazing ability to weave words and tell a tale that sucks you in and makes you want to know more. But is everyone an author?
Here’s the distinction:
A writer, writes. Maybe it’s their job. Maybe it’s something they do as a hobby.
An author is someone that considers this his/her trade, craft, passion, career. If they’re not writing, and perfecting each story than they aren’t really happy with it. These people want to hear more than, “Oh this is really good!” They want to hear in-depth critique, suggestions, questions, and to discuss their work.
In their head, these worlds are real and they mean something to them because when they wrote it, they put something of themselves into it.
There are writing groups, guilds, Facebook groups, Meet-Up groups, etc. Go to them. Get your work critiqued by someone you trust to be brutally honest with you. This is something else you owe to yourself, and your readers.
Being an author is hard. If this is something you want to do outside of a hobby, you need to constantly evolve. In my next article, we’ll discuss other ways to do that.
For now, keep the horror in the story, not in your end product.