At a nearby community center several towns over from my own. I was asked to speak to a group of aspiring authors. Actual the invitation was two months ago but the show up date was a few weeks ago. I had never spoken before a group like this before. Usually I’m at a book signing when I meet the public. So, I was a little nervous.
I made bulletin points of what needs to be done to get your literary work to the world. But while speaking I noticed several people had copies of my books on their lap. I think to myself, “I hope they know is a community motivation speech, not a book club meet?” Although, I wasn’t allowed to talk about my books but that was ok. I understood I was there to inspire others.
When finished speaking one woman raised her hand and asked how was she supposed to do all these things listed and go to work, cook, take care of her kids, market, write cover letters, faced the rejections from publishers, and the whole nine yards.
I asked her did she really want to share her thoughts with the world?
“Yes, that’s why I took creative writing classes.”
“Then set aside time for writing. You don’t have to be every single day. Most people don’t have the luxury to write every day, all day. Little by little put your story together.”
A man asked how was he expected to spend several thousands on a book which he didn’t know if he would get his ROI out of it?
All I could tell him was that no one knows for sure how the public will respond to a book but I do recommend it being edited by someone who knows how to edit books.
Then he asked how long have I been doing this?
I told him I have writing for over twenty years. I recently decided to publish the work.
“I doubt I have twenty years left in my life. I’m 66 years old. I don’t have twenty years to wait to see if anyone like it.”
I told him about self-publishing and how to market to his local audience before spending a lot of money on marketing elsewhere. Marketing and editing can be very expensive. Everyone cry about professional editing but no one will truthfully tell you how much it cost and without a publishing firm the individual cost can run into the thousands depending upon the size of the book. I was truthful with the audience. I didn’t tell them as some speakers have been known to do regarding these things. I was upfront with them. I told them that the marketing is harder than the writing.
Some of the published independent authors voiced their opinion. They were complaining about how reviews can make or break your book and how difficult it is to get a review. One woman said, “Independent self-published authors do not have deep pockets to buy reviews. They don’t have deep pockets to pay for editing that may not ROI on the money invested. So, what do you do then? Since some people won’t bother to read a book if it isn’t nearly perfect?
The only answer I had was the standard was set by the big publishing companies years ago but still go ahead and do what they can afford. A book can always be revised and updated and they often are. That’s why the first edition is always the most valuable. This is not a set-in stone law. Many who later became famous such as Poe and Frost did their own publishing in the beginning. People told them they had to follow the guidelines set by the powerhouses of their day. They didn’t listen to them and delivered to the world some of the most astonishing tales and poems.
I believe that there will someone who finds your work fascinating. It may not be the mainstream but your book will fall into the lap of someone who can relate to it. That’s how every author finds their own audience, their own nook in the book world.
Another piece of advice I gave, like it or not, know who you are sending what to on the internet. Do not send information to a publishing firm or author, independent or traditional with no mentioning of their work. That is one of the quickest ways to get ignored. Take the time to get to know other authors. Compliment their work. Read it. No, not all of them are going to read your work but they will have a less unfavorable view toward you when they see your work on the internet.
I didn’t try to tell anyone it would be easy to get your work out there.Again, marketing is harder than writing. What I was attempting to do war encourage others to continue to write and maybe one day one of your books will be read by millions.