This is a big one that went live on February 8th, 2014. I think I’ve figured some of it out, but don’t hold me to that. Though re-reading it, I do seem some of my youthful naivete in there at a few points.
I had a thought yesterday that birthed a panic attack that my dear friend Ionia had to smack me out of. I think she rather enjoyed it a bit too much and I’m still looking for my missing contact lens, which is weird since I wear glasses. There’s also been a phone ringing for the last 24 hours.
Seriously though, take a look at what an Indie Author has to face:
- Negative Reviews
- Abusive Reviews
- Abusive e-mails, FB comments, & Tweets
- Pressure of writing another book
- Writer’s Block
- Marketing failures
- Finding marketing sites
- Bad sales days
- No sales days
- Amazon rankings
- People reacting to your rankings falling as if it’s time to pack in the dreams and head for the nearest cubicle.
- Finding time to write
- Hate sites if you get that far
- Haters if you make a wrong move
- Illegal downloads of your book
- Returns of your book
- Formatting issues
- Friends not talking to you about your book
- Authors who that think this is a competition and work to sabotage
- People requesting your book for review and never getting back to you, which costs you a book.
That’s just off the top of my head, but that is a long and nasty list of obstacles. A traditionally published author might be shielded from a lot of this by a publishing company or an agent. I don’t believe they see the daily sales and haters are easily deflected by someone else. There’s a sense of having more shielding from such hardships when you have this benefit. Of course, you also make less for every sale and have less control over things, so that’s the trade-off.
Sadly, Indie Authors have the fun of being naked to all of these things. Sure, you can ignore the sales and rankings, but curiosity gets most of us. Many of us are working other jobs and/or have families, so constant marketing and writing the next book becomes a challenge. It feels like one obstacle after another and a truly horrific week can do a number on an Indie Author’s confidence and sanity. That was me last week when I kept wondering what else could possibly go wrong. By Friday, I was about ready to crawl into a corner and cry because I simply couldn’t figure out what was going wrong. That’s another issue for many Indie Authors. Many of us don’t know the high and low times of the book market, so it takes time to figure out if it’s slow across the board or we screwed up somewhere. This creates a paranoia and you’ll find yourself doing some odd things:
- Going for every expensive marketing thing you can find.
- Swearing you’re going to quit.
- Deleting your book then putting it back up.
- Fighting with a negative reviewer.
- Search the Internet for the site that ‘must be’ spreading bad words about you.
- Voodoo dolls.
- Taking care of the last of the Super Bowl beer.
- Spending time with family whether they like it or not.
So, what can an Indie Author do about this? I’m still figuring that out, but I have ideas. Focus entirely on the next project is one idea. Vent in private or to a friend who is willing to listen then beat you with a chair for being an idiot. Hunt for silver linings or just watch the movie. It really depends on your personality and stress levels. I used to play violent video games to get my aggression out, but that’s no longer an option since my son caught me playing God of War. A final idea that might work is to pick a small, simple project and do it. Get yourself a victory to overshadow the obstacles and stresses, which will also remind you that you can succeed.
So, any Indie Authors get into this paranoia state? What did you do to get out of it or avoid it completely?