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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

Writing My Book: Listen To The Critics

Listen To The Critics

Back in 1999, I wrote my very first self-published book. I wrote it in Microsoft Word®, then took it down to Kinko’s to be copied and bound. I sold several of those books without one ounce of feedback, good or bad.

Then a retired minister contacted me; he told me the book was good, but could be so much better. It was hard hearing his constructive criticism but I listened. I made the changes as fast as I could and then I sent him a complimentary copy. He emailed me immediately, ecstatic that I had rewritten the book because it was exactly what he needed. In fact, he was so thrilled with the new content that he offered to pay me for the second copy. (I declined his offer.)

I stopped printing and began selling the e-book version. The e-book began to make more money and word of mouth spread.

A few years later, I received an email from another gentleman who loved the e-book but felt it was lacking information. I asked what he felt was missing and where he was having trouble. He emailed me back some specifics. Once again, I went to work to improve the material in that e-book and sent him the finalized draft. A few weeks later he wrote back to tell me that the e-book was a hit! In fact, he was praising it all over the Internet and had received several job leads because of it.

Had I insisted my e-book was fine just the way it was, I would have made a few hundred bucks a month, but thanks to the feedback I received and my willingness to improve my book to meet the needs of its audience, I now sell over $1,000 per month of that very e-book! (And that is all by word of mouth…I have yet to pay for advertising for that e-book.)

So how do you go about getting feedback? You ask for it!

1. Include a questionnaire with every item you sell. Provide a multiple choice or fill in the blank survey.

2. Send an email to every customer who provided you with an email address. After three weeks from the date of purchase, send your customer an email asking for feedback on the product/service purchased. In exchange you will enter his/her name into a drawing for a prize at the end of the year. (Make sure you have your drawing rules and disclaimer in the email or a link back to a web page on your company site.)

3. Send a sample of your product to trusted friends, colleagues, and/or business associates and ask for their honest feedback. (Remind them that you’ll return the favor.)

4. Hire an outside company to get a survey going.

Sometimes, we don’t know everything and listening to feedback from our customers can improve our bottom line if we’re willing to improve our product or service.

About the Author

Alyice Edrich
Available for Hire
www.alyiceedrich.net
www.thedabblingmum.com

Writing and Publishing a Book – Step # 3

 

Step # 3 – Write the Contents / ‘guts’ of your book

By now you will have your working title, your ideas mapped out into your outline, and a general table of contents to work to as a guide.

Now you need CONTENT!

Now you actually need to WRITE!

You DO have something within you that you want to express or you wouldn’t be reading this post nor this website in the first place.

TRUST in yourself…

YOU have something to say…

So SAY it!

The greatest critics and people who will stop you at this point are YOU and your support team.  Yes, you read correctly…  Your support team at this point are perhaps your greatest obstacle.

Why?

Because they want the best for you – and what you are creating at this moment is not your BEST – it’s your first draft.

Protect it, love it, give it life…

That’s your ONLY job during this step…

Get it OUT of you…

Don’t second-guess yourself…

Just WRITE…

Use your index cards as your guide re what to write and when and where it goes…

…and just WRITE..!

Action Item:

WRITE!

Contact me…

If you need more information or would like personal coaching, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.