Today I would like to share a post written for my blog by the lovely Chantelle Atkins. If this is your first time hearing about her, you’re in for a treat. Chantelle is a fantastic indie novelist, blogger, and article contributor for Authors Publish Magazine (a wonderful tool for authors to look at publishing opportunities delivered straight to their inboxes). And, being from England, she’s taught me some of the most fun slang to use. I’ll be posting a blog dedicated to how I met such a wonderful character. For now, though, enjoy what she had to say!
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The decision to self-publish is never taken lightly.
Those that do, have more often than not tried other avenues and been unsuccessful for various reasons. For example, traditional publishing is not too fond of books that are too long, too short, too hard to classify, of mixed genre, as well as poetry or short story collections. I think trying the traditional route first is a rite of passage, to some degree. You get a badge to wear, and everything. I tried, it didn’t work out, but that’s not where the story needs to end.
People who self-publish are not delusional or lacking in talent, as some recent media posts might suggest. No, on the whole, they are a hardy bunch of unique individuals who are guilty of one thing only; having a dream they refuse to give up on.
Yes of course, as it’s been said many times before, the explosion in self-publishing has opened the doors to some pretty dire stuff, and also some good stuff that just needs a professional edit, format or proofread. But coming from someone who pretty much only reads indie books, I can assure you there is a hell of a lot of undiscovered talent out there.
Taking the indie route is not for the faint hearted. It’s not for quitters or whingers or people lacking in energy or drive. Self pubbed writers often spend a hell of a lot of the time doubting themselves and feeling second best because they didn’t get that big fat traditional publishing deal. This gives them many crosses to bear. Self-doubt being one of them, lack of interest and support from loved ones is another. If you didn’t make it big, then you’ve got nothing worth reading, right?
Self pubbed writers, when things are tough, often feel they are on the outside, looking in. They are the ones peering longingly through the windows of traditional publishing success, wondering if they will ever achieve it on their own, wondering if they really are just not good enough, wondering if they will always feel like an outsider in the world of writing and publishing.
But being an outsider is not something to be ashamed of or held back by.
On the contrary. Think of it this way;
Being an outsider makes you more determined. It makes you want to work harder, to prove them all wrong. Indies may not always be where they would like to be in terms of sales, recognition or support, but let feeling like an outsider spur you on to try even harder. Indies need to realise they have a hell of a lot going for them.
It’s not all plain sailing for the traditionally published author, let’s not forget. They have it tough these days too. The money is not what it once was, and neither is the marketing. Traditional authors are now expected to build a platform just like an indie is, and keep those important sales flooding in. And if they don’t flood in as hoped or expected? They may find they’re out on their ear after one book and back to square one.
For the indie author, there is no option of returning to square one, because you are always moving forward, growing in confidence and experience and skill.
Stand back once in a while and look how far you have come. Look at what being an indie forces you to be and do.
You’re running your own business. Learning how to master social media and build a successful brand. You’re the manager of everything! You edit, proofread, format and design. You are building resilience and an entrepreneurial spirit every step of the way and who knows where it could all lead if you just keep trying and working? And when you taste success? Whether big or small, who gets to take all the glory? You, my friend. Outsiders live to prove people wrong.