despaired, businessman, business

Why Can’t People See How Important My Book Is?

Stories matter, but YOU matter more

You have to realize that being a writer is a process.  The very first book is YOURS.  It is your hopes, your dreams, your pride and joy.

You wait with baited breath for the world to see the magnificent piece of work you have done.  Your heart wobbles as you imagine the interviews you will do, the television shows.  What shall I wear?  Will I be on the sofa with such and such a film star?  Should I cut my hair?  Do I really want that anyway?

You present copies of it to all your family, ignoring the small sigh as they give effusive thanks.  You are thinking that they will be honored to read it – they are wondering if they can get away with scanning it and saying how great it is.

Be reasonable.  You birthed this thing.  You know it isn’t what Auntie Ada usually reads.  Do you really think she can wade her way through four hundred pages of modern swearing and angst? Or Science Fiction?  Or adrenaline?  She can’t.  She won’t.  Don’t even bother.

When will fame and fortune come my way?

It won’t, most probably.  Well, it might.  But it is more likely to come when you have a body of work, so my advice would be to write another book. 

Because that will change your opinion too.  Suddenly you realize that you have a NEW pride and joy.  THIS is the one that will make you famous.  THIS  is the one they were waiting for.

Except it isn’t and it wasn’t.  In fact, it is the same process all over again. 

Don’t expect your family to adulate you.

They won’t.  They are worrying about whether the dog has been out or what’s on TV.  They are not focussed on your earth-shaking prose.  NOT. 

So who will notice my book?

Well … nobody really.  It takes a long time to get noticed.  And you have to aim to get your work out there, to get that very first ‘fan’.  Once you have a real, unknown ‘fan’, then you should be content.  All the rest is luck and scaling it up.  Some people do, some people don’t.  Some people instinctively know how to market their books, some don’t.  (I don’t). Some are at the right place at the right time, some aren’t.  But what do you care?  You have ONE person who loves your books without being a member of your immediate family.  That is success.  It might be limited, but it IS success.  Write your next book!

And, to get noticed, make sure that your books are out there, that there are some free versions available of at least your first book and concentrate on something else.  You should be doing more living so you can write about it later.  Stop checking those sales!   Stop waiting for the kettle to boil.

Success is relative and you are most unlikely to become a household name.  So you should be clear that you are actually writing for yourself.  Because it fulfills something inside YOU.  You could have picked painting, where you might have been able to do one work of art each day.  No, you had to pick writing where one masterpiece can take years to write.  More fool you!

In conclusion

I still wouldn’t change any of it.  It is who I am.

Good luck, to all of you.  I KNOW how hard it is.  I wish you all the best.  Be proud of your work, even if at times it seems that nobody else is!

approval stamp in red
YOU are the one who has to approve your book!