Being an indie author is hard work. Building a platform is not easy, and if you are a humble person (which I would like to consider myself) it's even harder. It's terrifying to a person like me. I might have matured past junior high but inside I am still emotionally vulnerable and pregnant, thus more sensitive, on top of all of that. You have to have thick skin, you won't please everyone I try convincing myself. There are writers/authors out there who have no qualms about tooting their own horn, or basically asking/telling people, "Hey, buy my book!" in other crafty words. I just don't have that mentality, and while my sales may suffer tremendously as a representation, I'd rather stay true to myself than go that route. I'm not aiming to be the next J.K. Rowling, so that ship has sailed. Also, I am thoughtfully aware of the level of my writing and my audience; I don't see my novels winning the Pulitzer Price by any stretch of the imagination, so that's been made clear in my mind. You can "dream big" but be realistic in your goals, I've always felt.
The other day I was having a conversation with my sister and she said to me, "Have you told people that you know that you wrote two books?" Of course, the people that know me should already know this about me, right? Although my number of friends dwindles with age and lack of free time to socially interact, I'd still like to think that the people that know me would know that I've been writing. The people that know me, or my friends, know my struggles with my first manuscript being repeatedly denied for publishing after a year go-around with an agent. My sister suggested I send a mass e-mail to my friends and family, "asking them" to buy my books. "You know, like when a person sells jewelry or makeup." Although I'm not pushing Mary Kay out of the trunk of my car, or shiny bracelets from bins at trunk shows, I see her point. It's just not that easy. I made these words, the two 90k manuscripts represent a chunk of me, a period of my life--a few months here, almost a year on another I dedicated to writing and editing. I'll be the first to tell you I am horrible at editing, and although I am terrific at spelling sans spellcheck my grammar abilities are sad at best. (If you've read my prior post, or this, and can easily spot out errors, I'm sorry--just want to throw that out there for what it's worth).
I saw something on Twitter the other day and it made me laugh. "If you're going to use Twitter to only tweet ads for your book, use the book title as your Twitter name. Then I'll know not to follow it." (Thanks, @LauraRenegar, whoever you are). I couldn't agree more. If you wrote a book, as self-publishing is proving to us that many can do, you have not found the cure for cancer and you are not unique. I'm quickly learning that some people write for the wrong reasons, hoping to be the next so-and-so and get rich quick, and if that is the reason that they are writing than I am truly sorry for them. Write because you love it. Write because it fuels you. Write because you wouldn't know who you are anymore if you didn't. Write because it defines you as a person and you can't think to imagine a life without it.