The Harsh Truth of an Indie Author

You will not sell books…

Painting, A Trip To Paris by Artbypammy

or you might sell books. Just not in the quantities you dream of selling. A couple dozen one month and maybe three the next, or zero the next. You will not become the best selling author your first year…or your second year…or your third year. Your family and sometimes nosey friends will ask you, “So did you sell any books?” or “how many books have you sold?” My personal favorite, “How much money are you making selling books?” You will spend more than you make. You will give away more books than you sell. You will be hungry, so do not quit your day job.

Speaking of jobs. You will learn marketing, cover design, book promotion, editing, formatting manuscripts, ebook design, just to name a few jobs.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?

The truth is….

It is work. You can not be a half ass writer. I am not talking about your skills with words, I am talking about your motivation. You can learn writing skills and styles. You can even learn how to market and sell your book. You can not learn what it is that makes you want to write…your cause to write. You must know that in your gut. Without knowing your own soul and without being a bit terrified. ok, a lot terrified, you will not continue to write. If you have no cause, no motivation, and no fear, don’t bother being an indie author. Go do something else.

There’s no prestige in self-publishing. There will be no validation by the big wigs in the publishing industry. The only recognition that you get is what you go out and beat the streets for yourself. Guess what? There is often no validation from your friends and family either.

You will cry. You will scream. You will want to quit endless times and some of those times you will quit. You will be rejected and ridiculed. Rejection….Yeah, about that…you must be dedicated to your cause even if it brings your enemies to light or holds people uncomfortably accountable. Some of those people may be those closest to you.

Being an indie author will cost you everything. It will cost you relationships, jobs, friends, money, time, sleep, sanity, peace…

Because if you are a writer with something to share with the world, you must share it.

It isn’t about the book sales, validation, or money. You do not need permission to write, just courage to do it. You do not need to wait on some holy grail of a publishing deal to choose you and your work. Stop waiting to be chosen and publish your words yourself your way. You take a chance on that someone, anyone reading your words.

Do not give up. It is worth every minute of everything you endure to get there.

Where is there? There is that moment when one reader says, “I loved your book. It spoke to me in ways I can’t explain.”

I am an independently published author. It is my mission to share my words. It is not my mission to pad around lightly “trying to be an author”.

I am an author.

~Lori O’Gara

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