Four months ago I quit my full-time job in digital marketing to devote my time to making my lifetime goal of becoming a published author a reality.
The first thing I did was look seriously at how being an author can work as a business. Because, realistically, an author is a sole trader or a small business owner. The books I will produce will by my ‘products’ and I need to be able to earn enough money via selling these books to offset my own costs of living as well as expenses incurred in the production of the books.
I’ll admit that before I left my corporate career, my goal was always to try and get my books traditionally published. The plan was that I’d finish writing one, then go about sending it to publishers and agents while I completed the next book.
I started looking up advice from other writers on how to go about this, and I also enrolled in the online course “Pitch Your Novel: How to attract Agents and Publishers” presented by Natasha Lester via the Australian Writers Centre.
This was a fantastic course and definitely gave me a great pitching strategy for how to go about getting a traditional publishing contract. However one thing did strike me about the traditional process – the amount of time you need to set aside for pitching, the lengthy waiting periods, and above all the amount of PATIENCE you will need to have.
This wasn’t the only course that had given me this impression. I also attended a Seminar recently at the New South Wales Writers Centre called “Getting Published in the US”. Once again, loads of great information about publishing and strategies for this market, but one thing again really stuck with me – the amount of patience you need with traditional publishing. A story was even shared of two people who waited SEVEN YEARS from the point of signing a book contract with a traditional publisher to seeing their books in print and on a bookstore shelf. Seven years! And that is AFTER they have landed a publishing deal!
Being a millennial, patience for traditional processes is not one of my strengths. Nor was I too keen on the idea of spending hours and hours researching agents and putting pitch packs together only to (most likely) receive rejection letters or simply silence.
This is about the time when I started listening to The Creative Penn podcasts and reading Joanna Penn’s website. From there, I also bounced around to many other websites/articles/ information about self-publishing.
The thing that stood out for me most when hearing people talk about self-publishing is that if you are wanting to make writing a business, and if the idea of doing all the marketing/promoting/ creating of the product yourself excites you (YES it does!!) then self-publishing is the way to go.
Self-publishing, I was delighted to learn, is losing its stigma of being a ‘last resort’ or something people only do when they’ve failed to get traditionally published. There is now a whole host of authors and writers out there who actively choose self-publishing because it is the best business decision for them. Many of these authors have even had traditional publishing contracts in the past, but now prefer to self-publish!
Discovering the potential of being an indie author, and thanks to the many trailblazers who are already out there and happily sharing their experiences, I’m so excited to get my own ‘business’ up and running and my first product (aka first book) out into the world! The current timeline for this is May 2016 (or in other words a simple 3 months away).
In the subsequent posts on this blog, I’ll be sharing my journey from fiction writer to indie author; how I’m planning and running my business; what I’ll do about marketing; professional services I enlist; as well as any courses I attend to help get my business flying.
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