The Publishing Author’s Mindset – Conclusion

My book

My book!

Today, we come to the end of the blog series about the author’s mindset when publishing. And I can tell you from experience that the whole process is not for the weak-minded.

(Insert long story of mix-ups with Amazon and CreateSpace, delivery of wrong books etc. I might eventually tell it…)

The one thing all authors need when embarking on publishing their work is resilience.

Because there will be setbacks. There will be errors, days or weeks or months with no sales, bad reviews, and nasty readers. You will lose money over ads, or maybe a cover design. You’ll freak out about spelling errors. There will be days when you ask yourself if it’s really worth it.

All of this is enough to stop someone.

And you can’t let it stop you.

Or you will no longer be an author. Continue reading

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The Publishing Author’s Mindset – Dealing with a Bad Review

Bad Review

Bad Review

It will happen eventually, once your book is available. A bad review will drop, and you will actually read it.

And cringe.

What happens then totally depends on your mindset.

You could go into a death spiral of doubt and self-loathing, crying in devastation. You could lose sleep over this for at least three days, and it could stop you writing for a week or longer. Maybe forever.

Or you could laugh, cheer and keep writing with even more joy. You might print it and frame it and stick it on the wall at your writing desk, grinning every time you look at it.

Obviously, both reactions are a little exaggerated.

Now, we’d all prefer the second kind of reaction, but it’s hard to get there, right?

Because that bad review strikes at your heart.

That reader completely misunderstood your story.  They trampled on your characters, your world and your plot. Or they just dissed your book with no reason at all.

Either way, it hurts. Continue reading

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The Publishing Author’s Mindset – Getting Reviews

Getting reviews

Getting Reviews

Everyone knows we authors need reviews. The more the merrier.

And everyone knows they are hard to get. After all, it means that the reader has to take action beyond enjoying that story.

And it means we have to ask for it. Politely, gently and persistently.

But there is another thing about reviews that can easily block us from even asking for them, and that’s fear. Because reviews express an opinion on our story.

Reviews judge our story, and by extension our ability as writer.

Some of us may not mind. But most of us have put heartblood into the stories, and just the chance of being harshly criticised could stop us cold when we should be asking for them. Continue reading

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The Publishing Author’s Mindset – Marketing

Buy. My. Book

Buy. My. Book

Now, first of all, I have to admit something terrible:

I don’t have the key to successful marketing, either. I have no magic script, no sure-fire solution – and to be honest, I’m not good at it, either. Yet.

Because this is – once again – a mindset thing.

And I haven’t found my personal block just yet. I know it’s there, I know it can be dissolved – but I need to figure out what it is. And it’s much harder to help myself as it is to help someone else.

So even though I am definitely no marketing wizard (which is probably a limiting belief right there), there is one thing I can say, gleaned from a lot of studying of marketing methods:

Don’t do anything you’re not happy with. Or that makes you feel icky.

Because you’re establishing relationships with people.

And honestly, who wants to buy a book from someone who behaves like a terrible car salesman? Who posts nothing but “buy my book” on social media, possibly three times a day? Continue reading

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The Publishing Author’s Mindset – Cover Creation

Cover

Cover

I know. Covers are hard.

That’s what we’re being taught, and maybe that’s also backed up by experience with graphics programs. I’ve been there.

There’s one graphics program that I could work intuitively. And I still use it from time to time, even though it is severely outdated. I hated all the others.

I hated Photoshop. I hated GIMP.

Until I made the decision to learn cover creation.

And using the rules of Profit First, I decided to go with GIMP, because it is free, and because it’ll work in Linux. (I’ll shift my computer to Linux eventually, so I keep that in mind.) Continue reading

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The Publishing Author’s Mindset – Formatting

formatted page

Formatted page

Once your story has been edited enough (and really, don’t spend too much time on that), you will want to get it ready for publishing.

And that means formatting.

Ebook formatting has become very easy. Tools like Jutoh or Vellum make it possible for anyone to do it on their own. Easily.

Even formatting for print is not rocket science. It’s a little more complicated because your file must fit clear specifications for the Print on Demand service you choose to work with. And it should be a PDF.

But let me reassure you: It is doable.

And you can outsource it, if you wish, but of course, that means spending money. You might eventually choose to do so anyway, to save yourself time and worry – but honestly, there isn’t a lot to worry about when formatting.

So once again, the focus is on mindset. And the possible overwhelm that the process might cause for you. Continue reading

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The Publishing Author’s Mindset – Editing

The Editor

The Magic Pen of an Editor

Editing is another part of writing and self-publishing that’s full of pitfalls.

I’m sure you heard some of this:

Every book must be edited

And that’s true. It’s unlikely to get through writing a story without making some mistakes. But look closely: It doesn’t say who does the editing.

You can’t edit your own story.

There is a grain of truth in it, but there are tricks to get around even that. Of course, you can edit your own story. You can find typos, errors and even plot holes. All it takes is some effort and a little mental tweak to step back from the story a little.

Only an editor can save your book from being crap.

Total BS. This is just a marketing ploy. Many editors have lost their position with publishing houses and now need to find clients on the market. And some find clients by scaring them into needing validation.

So here is what I think: Continue reading

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The Publishing Author’s Mindset – Self-Publishing

I did my book myself!

I did it myself!

The entire publishing world changed dramatically – although people wouldn’t realize that until a couple of years later – when Amazon introduce the Kindle and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) in 2007.

Now, ten years later, there are several platforms that allow individual authors to upload their books as ebooks and sell them. This development has effectively removed the need to find an agent or a publisher.

Indie authors – and indie publishers can do it all on their own.

Of course, this didn’t sit well with the traditional publishers, and of course, there was a learning curve involved (still is) for everyone who wants to self-publish.

Terms like “Tsunami of Swill” and “Overproduction” are still common, and naturally, there is some interest in keeping a stigma on self-publishing. Even though it has become easy to turn out a quality book on your own.

Now, in this article, I don’t want to go into all the technical details of self-publishing. There are excellent blogs out there that do it much better.

This post is about the mindset around self-publishing. Continue reading

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The Publishing Author’s Mindset – Contracts

The Contract

The Contract

Now, if you are going the traditional route, the contract is the holy grail.

That’s why you’re doing all this hoop-jumping and twisting, and polishing your novel, and all those terrible query letters… that contract is the reward for all your hard, gut-twisting work.

The Contract.

I can imagine that the idea can make your eyes glow with pride and happiness. Your feet probably want to dance, and you know, this is the dream coming true. That’s how I felt when an agent offered to represent me and sent me a contract to sign.

Except it isn’t a dream coming true.

It is one little step in your writing career, even though it might be one of the most important ones.

And I’m telling you that you have to be prepared to walk away from it. Continue reading

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The Publishing Author’s Mindset – The Query Letter

Query Letter

Query Letter

For generations of authors, the query letter has been the biggest source of stress, frustration and desperation. It’s the largest emotional obstacle to getting traditionally published.

Why? Because so much is riding on it.

If you get it right and hit exactly the right tone to interest an editor, then you have a chance for the manuscript to be seen.

If you don’t get it right, your career as author is doomed.

(Or was doomed, because now we have indie publishing. Ahem.)

And of course, for a query letter, you have to reduce your awesome novel to a few paragraphs. Not an easy task at all. I’ve been there. It can get really painful.

Now, there are many websites and books around to teach you the how of writing a query letter. So I’m going to focus on the emotions around a query letter:

The fear. The hope. The expectations.
And the disappointment. The rejection.

All of this is can come up during the action of writing a query letter and sending it off. And that makes it a highly emotional and difficult task. Continue reading

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