To be or not to be…

Weird title? Pompous? Presumptuous? A bit over the top?

Well it is and that’s because as authors we have to embrace those words in order to self-promote. That’s right, I said it. Self-Promote.  We are not raised to toot our own horns, at least I wasn’t, so doing so is hard. Actually no, it flipping difficult as heck! (Replace PC words with expletives and you get the idea)

The hardest thing for an author to say is “Me? I’m an author.”

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Those of us who do not write full time often have to justify that title, while those of us who do write full time often cannot bring ourselves to say it.  It’s akin to saying “Yes, I’m a starving artist, what of it?’ It’s hard. But it is beyond necessary if you want to reach readers, other authors, agents, etc.  We need to learn to scream it from the rooftops. But again, it’s hard.

One thing I’ve learned these past few years of half-handed (insert expletive) self promotion is that I need to speak up more. I like to use the phrase “fake it till you make it,” but even that takes energy that we can’t always maintain.

So what’s an aspiring author to do?  First off, get rid of the aspiring crap!  You either are or you aren’t. (Think Yoda)  When I think back to how I described myself it’s sad.  It is only recently that I stand proudly and say “Yes, I’m an author.” Knowing in the back of my mind that I only sold two books last week doesn’t matter.  I did it.  I finished writing a book, (more than one) and after chickening out about sending it to an agent discovered the wonderful world of Indie Publishing, Small Press Publishing and being a Hybrid author.

The drawback? Learning, lots and lots of learning. Publishing process, revenue streams, a publishing/marketing plan, graphics, logos, website development and maintenance, did I mention marketing? Oh yes and book covers and formatting, business cards and events (free and paid). Oh wait and there was also the small issue of WRITING!! Once you do everything else of course.  Or do you do that first?  Do you need a fan base?  What about Twitter and Instagram, Wattpad and Tumblr. Oy vey!

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Getting better with Photoshop and my brand…

And wait, lets not forget NETWORKING!!!  Other authors, editors, bloggers, readers, etc are sooooo important.  As is Time Management, that nasty little thing that we need to master if we are to be successful. But wait, if we can’t speak up and say “Me? I’m an author.” Then it’s all for naught.

Money is good to have if you want or need to outsource. (My funds are limited so you’d be amazed at the things I’ve learned to do.) Having family support is a great thing to have as well, but in the end you need to be the reliable one.

As to the title of this post, consider me the former.

I am “TO BE”

To not be is not an option. I think of it like the statement in the original Karate Kid :

“Fear does not exist in this Dojo!” Since I am also a Martial Artist and in my other life work in a Dojo I feel that it is an appropriate sentiment.

My recommendation?

Search out blogs that can help you refine your work, that can teach you and guide you.

Reach out on Facebook to groups that are tailored for authors/writers.

Follow my blog and the links I provide for assistance.  I’m good with folks piggybacking 🙂

And reach out in your community-go to the library and see what they have to offer.

Don’t deny who you are and don’t be afraid to ask a question but remember to answer it with “Yes, I am an author!”

Peace

 

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