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7 Reasons Why Most Authors Fail

Now that the Self Publishing Podcast is almost 2 years old (old enough to drink and sell sexual favors, in podcast years), we’re beginning to notice some definite trends. We focused on a lot of the things that work in our self publishing bookWrite. Publish. Repeat, but it’s time to turn things around and bum everybody out.

Knowing what doesn’t work is just as important, because we all have defense mechanisms that let us justify tons of stupid crap.

Time to tip that sanctimonius cow over.

“I’m not doing what the guys suggest in Write. Publish. Repeat because I have my own ways but am obeying the same principles,” you may be saying, “so why am I not getting anywhere?”

Well, are you doing any of what follows in addition to all that “different but still correct” stuff? Because if you are, then Houston, you definitely have a problem.

Here the biggest reasons that self-publishers fail.

1. Not Starting

Let’s start with the most obvious one. It kills me even to include it, but there are actually people out there saying you can be a writer without writing, so I feel the need to step up and lob that idiot ball back into the idiot court.

InertiaIf you do not write, you are not a writer.

That’s all there is to it. I can’t believe there is feel-good bullshit out there claiming that writing can be “within” you and that you can go around, wear a beret, and claim to be a writer even if you’ve written nothing.

Oh, those words are inside you? They’reincubating? Well, whoopity fucking doo for you! Good luck with spreading your ideas. Good luck getting sales. Good luck paying rent. Good luck getting your spouse or significant others to support you in spending time away from grunt work to do it.

Most people don’t put metaphorical pen to paper because they’re afraid. I get it. We’ve all been there. We’re not bashing you for being afraid — afraid of failing, afraid of being judged harshly, afraid that everyone will laugh at you. We understand that fear, but the only way to be a writer — especially a successful one — is to get past the fear and start. Your sweating ridicule, though understandable, is probably exaggerated. In most cases, nobody is paying attention to whether you succeed or fail. 

If you write, you’re a writer. You’ve started. Excellent job. Now do more, and pour in the hours to do it better.

2. Not Finishing

This one should also be obvious, but we see it all the time. In these cases, writers aren’t surprised that they’re not successful, but are incredibly frustrated. We understand. Before joining the podcast, I couldn’t finish a second book. Before meeting Sean, Dave hadn’t finished his first. The phenomenon of the writer with great ideas but no clue where to take her story is all too familiar.

But take heart. The toughest nuts crack if you just keep trying. We also hope our upcoming Kickstarter project Fiction Unboxed will show a few frustrated “can’t finish” writers a few tricks by opening up every detail of exactly how Sean and I make the donuts.

Sometimes, though, it’s not a matter of not knowing how. Most cases of writer’s block, in our opinion, can be easily reduced to simple fear. Again, we understand. Once you finish your book, you must either publish it or confess to your fear. Once published, everyone will be able to read the language of your soul … and, in a few cases, criticize it.

You must push past this. Don’t worry about making your book perfect, because it never can be. Make it professional (see the next section) and get a good edit and generally make it as clean as you possibly can, but don’t sweat the story over and over and over at the expense of shipping. Sean has said on the podcast, “perfect is the enemy of done.” And it’s true. Don’t be perfect. In most cases, it’s best to be finished.

If you must use a pen name because you’re so terrified that what you’ve written is terrible, do that. But you have to ship it. You can’t move on until you do.

Finish, then finish more.

Keep moving, and improving.

3. Treating Publishing Like … Continue reading here:  http://selfpublishingpodcast.com/7-reasons-why-most-authors-fail/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-reasons-why-most-authors-fail

3 comments

  1. Stephania Beverly says:

    This is an article that speaks to me as I have tried and failed several times to become an author. I’m not about to give up. Thnx for the info.

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