• Richard H. Stephens

When You Think of Yourself as an Author, What Do You See?

Hunched behind a cluttered desk in a dim, dusty room; or perhaps on a veranda overlooking the ocean typing away on a laptop. Both scenarios an easy lifestyle?


When you think of yourself as an author, what do you see? Whatever you see, the reality for most of us is this...


There are many days when a writer has no time to write. Running an author business may, on the surface, seem like an idealistic way to spend your time. While it is such a gratifying career, there are many challenges and learning curves constantly pulling an author away from the craft of writing.


Writer’s block

Yes, it’s real. Your desk is set up and surrounded with pieces of art, scribbled post-it notes, and dust collectors that are designed to motivate and inspire. On top of the desk sits a steaming cup of java that typically remains ignored and grows cold. You sit and stare at the screen not able to find the words to link the next scene.

To move beyond this, I encourage you to, “Write one word. Then another. Visualize what you are trying to achieve and write it. Don’t stress about grammar, spelling or sentence structure, just get the words down. The editing process comes later.”


Dealing with imposter syndrome

Do you doubt your amazing accomplishment as an author? Worry that people won’t like your story? Terrified of a bad review?

Fear of failure is a very real thing and stems from your reaction to circumstances or certain situations. Imposter syndrome can be debilitating; can impact your self-confidence and limit your courage to publish your book.

Your book is worthy. If you don’t write it, we can’t read it. There will always be people that don’t like it, but so many more that will love it. That’s life. You can’t please everyone, so start with the people you can. You will get a bad review and yes, it’s going to hurt, but it’s not the end of the world.

“You are brave for publishing your book. It's stronger than you think. You are smarter than you give yourself credit for and everyone deserves the privilege of reading your work.”


Mumbo jumbo of marketing

280 characters on Twitter. Image size for different social media platforms. Keywords. Hashtags. Passive voice. Target audience. Choosing the right social media platforms. Advertising. Sales funnels.

You just want to write! What’s all this stuff? It can be so overwhelming when you are starting to figure out how to sell your book. The learning curve is off the charts and the options, rules, and technological pieces that come into play are so vast.

If you have the means to, hire someone who can set up and manage your ads and social media marketing. If you don’t have the means, start small. Begin with learning one platform at a time and build on it from there. Ask questions in author groups and remember, YouTube is your friend!


A few things that pull an author away from writing

· An amazing idea for a book is lost because you’re already running late for an appointment.

· Have to get to the looming deadline on the paperwork for a grant or to secure a table at an upcoming event.

· Responding to messages from readers and other authors via your Facebook author page.

· Distraction of social media.

· Formatting the book properly.

· Amazon keeps rejecting the upload and you can’t figure out why.

· The cover artist is delayed.

· There’s no response from the book printer regarding the deadline for publication.

· Mulling over the wording on a writers’ grant application.

· Have no clue where to begin to set up an email list for a newsletter.

· Setting up an advertising campaign.

· Researching keywords.

· Writing back cover blurbs that resonate.

· Creative thinking for setting up a book table for events.


Authors supporting authors

Many authors starting out have to figure out how to survive financially until their writing pays off. Some work full-time and in addition, try to carve time for writing. Others write full-time, and make the best of what they have, hoping that someday their hard work will pay off.

Some are involved in writing communities, whether it be via social media groups or writer groups in their community or both. These relationships are powerful and can be extremely helpful in your writing career.


Why reviews break the sense of isolation

As an author, you may sometimes feel isolated as you spend so much time alone, in front of a screen with fictitious characters. Maybe you worry that people think all you want is for them to buy your book. While that may be true (in part) what you really want is for people to recognize your hard work and hours spent creatively weaving a story that you hope resonates with them. You’re following your passion by doing something you love. You’re brave enough to write, and courageous for publishing your story. You’re stronger because of it and readers—we’re grateful to you for reading it.


To our valued readers:

Thank you for buying our books! Positive reviews are every author’s performance evaluation and essential to the growth of their business. Please take a moment and leave a review on Amazon, Good Reads, or wherever you purchase your books.

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