Hey there and Happy Sunday. Recently I began to reflect on what I hope to gain as a Writer because I am a working-class artist and only have minimum financial resources to make my dreams come true. Over the years I have had many aspirations, such as becoming a poet, a screenwriter, and a content writer. But not a fiction Writer. Well at least not until 2016. I had written a few stories but never had any intention of publishing them. Not when I found out how hard it was to get published. But then when I learned about self-publishing, everything changed and here I am. But since I released my first novel, the dream changed again. In fact, it got bigger.
I no- longer want to put in a year’s worth of work just for only a handful of people to buy and read it and possibly like it or not like it. I want millions of people to read it and like it or not like it. But I hope they like it. But it seems like becoming a best-selling author has become all about money. Think about it. You need money to:
Buy writing software
Hire an Editor
Pay for copyrighting
Hire someone to design your book cover
Pay for advertising and marketing of your book
Oh, and my all-time favorite, you have to buy your own book in order to have a copy of it. Yes, the book you spent months or even years slaving over.
It just doesn’t seem fair does it when you really look at all the money you have to invest in the publishing of your own book? This is what you have to deal with to self-publish. If you want traditional publishing all you have to pay for is an Editor which can range from $500 to $2000 dollars. But what do you do when you don’t have that kind of money? What do you do if you work a low paying job that pays so low that you have nothing left to save at the end of the month? So much for that dream.
It makes me wonder what writers did back in the days before we had Microsoft Word and computers, the internet and self-publishing companies willing to publish your book for free. How did Laura Ingalls Wilder, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Maya Angelou and Paul Lawrence Dunbar find their success during a time when the lack of technology made it a lot harder to make yourself known in the world? It’s hard to envision a life with just a typewriter but those of you whom are old enough can remember that. I know I can.
The sad truth is that the ease of getting into the Literary business has vastly changed over the years and there was a time when you could get your book published without even having a professional Editor edit your book before looking for an Agent. The Publishing houses did all that for you. But not anymore. Now your book has to be perfect before the publishers even read it. If they read it. All of this is very disconcerting. But this is where your love for writing really comes into play.
If writing is something that you want to spend the rest of your life doing because you can’t live without creating a story from out of thin air than this is not a dream. Because you don’t have to become famous to make it happen. You just pull out a notebook and a pen and start writing. The beauty of that is you don’t even need any technology to do it. I’m old school and I started out writing by hand and you know what? I still do it. But I always have to copy everything to a word doc so it’s a lot of work but it’s necessary if you don’t always have a computer on hand. The dream only becomes a dream if there are things you have to do that will cost you. Becoming a best-selling Author is the dream many Authors have, myself included. But it’s not always readily obtainable. You really have to work hard and yes even shell out a bit of money to make it happen but unless your willing to do all that than don’t worry about getting thousands of readers. Just write the damn story and enjoy the journey. Allow a publishing house whom doesn’t charge anything such as Kindle Direct Publishing or Lulu to publish your work. Only a handful of people may read it unless your book is so good, and you are great at marketing and know all the key elements of making a self-published novel a huge success. It’s not impossible and others have done it. You just have to do your homework and learn all there is to learn to make that dream come true. That is what I’ve been doing and I’m still trying to get there.
But with my next novel, I plan to go the other route. I plan to do everything I mentioned previously to get a traditional publisher. It’s worth it. I have high hopes for the future of my writing and don’t plan on giving up. I couldn’t even if I tried, I love writing just that much. Do you?
Until next time…