- What if no body likes it? Who cares! A big part of sharing your art is knowing that some people probably will hate it, but someone else is going to love it. Every single one of us is different and so is our art. Some one will love it, I promise. If you put everything into it - edit it properly, give it a great cover, and promote it effectively, eventually the sun will shine.
- What if nobody buys it? If it's about the money, then you might be missing the point. If nobody buys it offer it for free. Everyone loves something for free. The main reason why newbies don't sell is because nobody knows your name. Get your name known. Sell your brand, not your book!
- What if I can't produce a good cover design? Easy. Don't. I can paint, I can draw, I can dance, hell I can even sing but can I design a cover for my book, damn no I can't. There are people out there possessing that awesome skill - let them use it - and you focus on yours. Looking for something decent, high quality but not massively costly, consider fiverr. I've used the same designer for all of my books and I think her work is amazing and each design has cost me less than £20 - so in my mind that's a bargain.
- What if I can't get followers? I worried about this one and sometimes I still do. My twitter has about 170 followers and I have about 70 on facebook, so that's a reach of 240 but most of that doesn't result in readers. This is not the easy part. I have a small mailing list which I am constantly trying to grow with different freebies and giveaways. At the moment, I'm giving people the chance to read Broken Rules completely free and it's working. It's slow work - but it's not supposed to be easy. You need to be determined and willing to put in the leg work.
- What if I don't know how to promote my book? Mostly you aren't going to be doing much promotion of your book in the beginning but rather yourself; the author. Sell yourself. Sell your personality. Be likeable. Share quotes from your books that might catch readers. Engage in other people's posts. Use social media to be seen, heard and known; aka be social.
- What if I fail? Very wise people will tell you that you never learn unless you fail. The learning is in the attempt, etc. I wanted to play a game of chess the other day and my game got hijacked by my brother and my dad because and I quote them literally here, "you'd lost in the first two moves." Now I personally think the generous thing to do would have been to let me play it out to the end; so that I could learn... but that wasn't supposed to happen apparently. Point is, you have to try if you want to succeed and you should never allow the fear of failure to hold you back from your ambitions.
So I was on the train today, coming home from a long weekend with some of the most important people in my life. It was bittersweet because on one side it was sad to have to say goodbye to them this morning at the train station but I also knew that the second I got on that train, I'd pull out my laptop and start writing. I also knew that when I got back here, I'd get straight online and write a blog post and an email for my mailing list. I definitely wouldn't want to miss out on doing either of those things. As a self published, indie author it's hard not to acknowledge the amazing opportunity that e-books has given writers like me. I'm really grateful that I made the most of the opportunity and that although I'm still a no-body in the grand world of literary genius, at least I'm on the path to greatness. If you can relate to some of these what ifs, then maybe it's time to take a risk and put your art out there into the world so that someone else can love it too.
An eclectic collection of Hanleigh's thoughts and ideas about near enough anything and everything. After all isn't that what blogging is all about? Having all your thoughts, dreams and ideas in one place?
Hanleigh: an avid reader but a beginner when it comes to writing.