Going Solo

It’s not easy going it alone. Writing is more often than not a personal and solitary endeavour, however publishing and publicising your book is not. Ideally we would all love to have our stories published professionally by one of the top agencies, but many of us, and I am generalising based off my own experience, are afraid to take that leap. It’s not that we don’t love what we’ve worked long hours to achieve, it’s the fear of rejection. That nagging doubt in the back of your mind that says, what if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t like it? And whether or not we can resign ourselves to believing that as long as we like what we’ve written, that’s good enough for us, alas, that’s only a half truth. Stories, at the end of the day, are written to be shared. Whether you get your stories from books, films, audio, the spoken word, everyone loves a good story, and there’s the crux, a good story. The possibility of a publisher telling you your story isn’t good enough to be shared with other humans, is something that has driven many would be authors down the self publishing path.

This is not a bad thing, on the contrary, self publishing has given so many of us the opportunity to be heard. But self publishing your work, I have discovered, can be a very daunting task, and a lonely one at that.

The truth is money really does make the world go round and that’s the main reason to take a leap of faith down the professional well of resources. Money. A big publishing company has the means to back you all the way. Polish you, publicise you, network you, even make you famous (given the right conditions). Going solo means you are your own company. Editor, proof reader, publicist, marketing, networking, it’s all you. Anyone who is technologically proficient will be able to navigate the choppy waters of social media to boost their likes and subscriptions, to gain followers and a steady fanbase of readers. Where the real issue lies, for me, is the money.

A good cover for your book costs. And the best ones out there don’t come cheap, but it’s the best ones out there that sell. Your front cover is half of your marketing and half of your budget. Next comes online marketing, publicity and visibility. You need to be seen. Prepare to set up accounts for almost every platform. Many of these platforms will help you market yourself with advertising. Which costs. It can cost as little or as much as you like, but in this case, a little doesn’t go a long way.

Now me myself, as I’m sure many authors aspiring or published, are not in it for the money, we’re in it for the love of writing and telling a good tale. But in order to be in it, often it seems we need to be in the money too. So far, going solo, more money is going out than is coming in. That’s fine. Like I said before, it’s not about getting rich and famous, those things are just pleasant by products, but being rich and famous, sure would help in just simply being noticed.

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