You Are Not A REAL Author!

 
 
 
We’ve all heard it. I’m pretty sure we’ve all read it, too. It’s nothing new, but I think it’s something that deals with all authors.
 
The whole matter is a touchy topic and normally I would just let it roll off my shoulders and say whatever, but for some reason this has really bothered me and I feel like it needs to be said — if only this once.
 
This post was inspired by an article I read about how indie authors are scum of the writing community and how we are bringing down the publishing world as we know it. Do I believe it?
 
Uh, hello, I am Airicka and I am an indie author. I am both self published and published through an indie publishing house.
 
Now the tricky part about this kind of post is, do I think indie authors are somehow less than traditional authors? And why do people turn to indie publishing in the first place? Is it because their material is horrible and they’ve been turned down by one too many traditional houses?
 
Now I’m not saying that’s the case with all indie authors. I’ve met authors who refuse to go the traditional route because they don’t agree with the way things are run by traditional houses. For others it’s because they’ve already done the traditional thing and want to try something new. Whatever the reason may be, everyone has one. Are any of these reasons wrong? Should these people feel ashamed that they’ve taken matters into their own hands?
 
Absolutely not!
 
Is self publishing as big as traditional publishing? Are indie authors taking away from big house publishing? Are indies somehow rising up to take over the world?
 
Of course not. Books are books are books are books.
 
What gets me riled up is when people say indie authors are lazy and full of crap. I don’t know about other authors, but I work on my novels for 16 hours everyday. I run each one through rigorous editing before its release. I spend no less then 6 hours a day on my social media, promoting myself and my books. I spend weeks on my covers. All that is not including the time with my family, time I do my day to day business. In total, I work more on one novel then a regular person works at a 9-5 job. Now, can I say that all indie authors do the same? No, I can’t. Are all indie authors dedicated and hard working? I can’t say. I’ve read self published books with absolutely gorgeous covers that made me want to pour bleach into my eyes. And I’ve read books with hideous covers that I love to this day. In that same breath, I’ve read books by traditional authors that were riddled with errors and the plot made me want to burn my kindle yet they went on to become best sellers. What does that tell you?
 
It tells you that neither side is right and neither side is wrong. It tells you that what works for one person won’t work for another. It tells you that when a person puts their heart and soul, blood and sweat into something they love with a passion, it shows. Yes, there are indie authors who write one book and decide this isn’t for me and quit. But there are traditional authors that do the same.
 
I think the key point people are missing in all this is the fact that we’re all here for one reason and one reason only… to write, to express ourselves through the written word, to put out there a part of us for others to read and enjoy. It’s about the passion. Not everyone has it, but those that do should never give it up because someone tells them their dream is a loss cause or worth less because it’s not the ‘norm’.
 
If you don’t believe me…
 
~ J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times for Harry Potter. She went on to sell 450 million world wide.
 
~ Dr Seuss was rejected and told his books would never sell. He’s sold 300 million and is the 9th best-selling fiction author of all time.
 
~ Stephenie Meyer was rejected 14 consecutive times for Twilight but went on to sell 17 million copies and spent 91 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.
 
~ Stephen King was rejected for Carrie and went on to sell 1 million in the first year alone.
 
Need more proof? Or maybe you’re thinking, well those are all traditionally published authors. It’s not the same. Okay.
 
~ Amanda Hockings
~ Hugh Howey
~ Darcie Chan
~ Bella Andre
~ Jasinda Wilder

 
Should I continue? Or maybe I should just send you here, Famous Self-Pub & Traditional Author List and let you decide for yourself?
 
The point of the matter is this, if you work at anything, be it writing, drawing, hopscotch or breaking the record for spitting the farthest, you can accomplish it. No one is born with a talent. Talent is something we create on our own with practice and dedication.
 
So how can you make sure your books don’t fall into the junk pile?
 
1) Read — I think Stephen King said it best, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.”

2) Write — Got a book you’re writing? You’re almost done? Fantastic. Keep writing. Carve out a time where you can sit and write uninterrupted. Impossible you say? I have kids? I have a day job? I have a family? Then I don’t know what to tell you. Get serious about your writing if it’s important to you. Find time.

3) Edit — Edit. Edit. Edit. Then Edit again. I cannot express how important this is. Forget everything else. This is what people will take away from your book. They’ll forget your cover, your name, but they will remember a half assed written novel. Poorly written work shows the author’s dedication. Prove you’re dedicated.

4) Promote yourself — Put yourself out there. Support other authors and they’ll in turn support you. More importantly, set a time to promote. I’ve met authors who promote for an hour a day, thinking that’s enough. And all they do is post their book link and tell people to buy it. It doesn’t work like that.

5) Visibility — Make yourself visible. Send out links when you do blog tours, cover reveals or whatever. Give your readers a place to find you, to chat with you, to get to know you. If they can’t find you or your books, they’ll move on to another author, to another book. Show them where you are.

6) Connect — Connect with your readers. Connect with your fellow authors. And more importantly, connect with Bloggers. Support them. Buy their books, share their links and make sure you always respond to their comments/messages when they’ve taken the time to contact you.
 
Finally, and this is the most important piece of advice I can give you, whoever told you writing would be easy is a liar. It’s hard, grueling work. It’s harder then a normal job simply because there is no stamping out at the end of the day. In order to succeed, you must lather, rinse and repeat every day, and every day is a 20/hr business day. I’m not saying it’s the same for every author. Not everyone is as OCD and anal as I am, but it’s all about time management. Manage your time accordingly. And stock up on coffee and aspirin.
 
So to go back and answer my first question, do I think indie authors are crap.
 
My response — I have absolutely no business telling anyone they’re crap, be they indie, be they traditional. No one can understand the blood and sweat that goes into creating a single chapter like another author.
 
Be your own passion. Always.

~ Airicka

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20 thoughts on “You Are Not A REAL Author!

  1. Well said! I left my “real” job to focus 100% on my books, let me tell you I though a 12 hour job in the corporate world was hectic, I was so wrong. If I get 4 hrs of sleep a day I am in heaven. Self and Indie authors work twice as hard as traditional author.

    1. It’s not as easy as some people pretend it is, or think it is. But as I said, it’s a passion and that’s what should drive us. Thank you for reading my post <3

  2. Beautifully said. I agree that there is no way to lump everyone in a single “great” or “terrible” column. Each person is their own individual and does what they do because they want to. Thank you for this and for being so awesome! 🙂

    1. It’s hard to toss everyone into the same salad bowl and expect it to taste the same. Each person is their own person like every book is its own book. Thank you for reading hun! <3

  3. I agree completely. Thanks for saying it so well. I had one reader tell me he hated indie authors in general, but that my first book “didn’t suck.” I thanked him for taking the time to read it. Obviously not every book is for every person, and every author isn’t for every reader. To lump all indies or all traditional authors into non-legit and legit categories is a crime and extremely short-sighted. Books should be considered on their own merits, as they reflect the work and the passion that went into them. I really enjoyed reading this post.

    1. Wow I don’t understand people like that at all. Not sure why people like to shove everything into one category and label it. But it’s good that he enjoyed your book. Hopefully that will teach him that not all indies write horrible. Thank you for reading my article! <3

  4. Loved the article! I could not agree with you more. I love my indie authors and just don’t understand the mentality that if you didn’t do it the way I did it, you are not real! That’s like saying you can’t be president or CEO because you didn’t start out in the mail room. Crazy! I do want to stress the editing process as well though because there is nothing worse than reading a story and having to figure out what the author meant because they used the wrong word, spelled it wrong or just used it completely wrong. I can overlook a few but some are way worse than others and it can completely turn you off of the story as well as make you not want to read anything else by that author because of their lack of editing. Thanks for the wonderfully candid and honest article. I will be sharing!

    1. There’s nothing you can’t do if you really want it. It’s all about motivation and drive. Editing is so, so important. I can’t say it enough. Thank you so much for reading my article!! <3

  5. Thank you for writing this article. It’s very encouraging. Some writers make it look so easy, but writing really is grueling work. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks so. It’s fun and very fulfilling, but still incredibly hard work.

    1. It is and I think any author will agree. Anyone who says writing is easy isn’t doing something right. LOL. Or they have a secret they’re not sharing with the rest of us. Glad you found the article helpful. Thank you for reading it <3

  6. Thank you for writing this post. I self publish many of my books because I enjoy doing so. I also have work published through the traditional route with several big name publishers. Like you I work seriously hard because if you self publish, everything is down to you. It makes my blood boil when snooty authors ridicule self-publishing regarding it as second best. True there are many badly edited self published books on the market, but that is no reason to tar everyone with the same brush. Good luck with all you do.

    1. Thank you so much, Gemma. I think it shows bad form to judge such a huge platform because of a few. But I think if we continue to do our best and continue to put our best work forward, we can maybe one day show everyone that we are worth taking seriously. Best of luck to you as well. Thank you for taking the time to read my article! <3

  7. I love that you posted this, Airicka!! One of the best posts/rants you’ve ever written!! I love it!! <3

  8. Thank you for this article. I’m tired of Indie authors getting put down and being told we’re not “real” authors. I work a FT day job and have 3 kids and still manage to write (I do editing for other authors too). It can be done if you’re passionate enough about it. I’m going to share your article when I get home tonight 🙂

  9. Great post!

    I think the main thing that bugs me about the “all indie authors are crap” position of a lot of traditionally published authors is the clumping everyone together. You simply can’t clump everyone together.

    It’s just like racism or sexism. Saying all indie authors are lazy is just as stupid as saying all females can’t drive or all males can’t share their feelings. Rubbish.

    Nice job pointing that out!

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