Friday, 15 April 2016

How to be a spectacularly
Unsuccessful author.

Yep you read the title correctly.

It's not difficult to write a bad novel. Thousands upon thousands of authors do it every day, and then up-load their efforts onto Amazon, and, I might add, an unsuspecting reading public.

Writing an unsuccessful novel is a bit like casual sex.

Deeply disappointing when you don't achieve an orgasm or sell as many books as you thought you would.

There's enough - 'How to write a successful novel' - books to repopulate a rain forest.

And there is also a whole bunch of them waiting to be read for free on Amazon. I'm thinking if they were so good, how come they are free? Wannabe best-selling writers would be clamouring to pay oodles of cash for such good advice, if it really got the results that the 'how to' books promised.

If the advice is good - then it won't be free. If the advice is bad, then it probably is free. I don't see the top authors doing a promotional giveaway day. They don't need to.

Am I a successful author? Well I do have a contract with an American publisher, so yeah I guess I am, though I won't be giving up my day job – just yet.

Then, I never expected to make a fabulous living out of writing. Neither should any new author. Hey, it's a shit job - but someone has to do it.

If you follow all the advice of what you should do to be successful, and you are getting nowhere fast – then it stands to reason it's time to look at the whole thing from a different perspective.

Scroll down through Twitter on any given day, and among the interesting quotes there is streams of junk tweets trying to get us to buy their services, products and of course, books. I usually bypass them very quickly. Same goes for Facebook. Loads of ads just waiting for a swift scroll past.

Has advertising on Social Media sold you shit loads of books?

No. Then strike out Social Media as a potential source of income.

An obvious one this – don't try and persuade friends and family to buy your books. They may be polite about your story, but they sure as hell won't be truthful if your writing is bad. And if you don't know the truth about how awful your writing is – then you won't be able to improve it. If, it is possible to improve it, which it might not be.

Don't believe everything editors and or agents tell you when they reject your story.

Editors are people too. They don't always want to hurt a would be author. Though some get their rocks of at being cruel to the hopeful publishing candidate who has landed on their desk. Those editors, and you will know who they are, should be ignored and forgotten about.

Generally speaking editors will try and give you good commercial advice – but with all advice, it is subjective, so don't always take their opinions as absolute. It is their opinion. Then again, don't reject it out of hand.

If you have come to the conclusion you are a terrible writer, and you can't get a publisher or an agent to tell you otherwise. The books you have self-published are selling zero, and the whole wretched business is tearing you apart – then why should you not give up?

All those books saying – don't give up – well fuck them. They are not the ones suffering. Or maybe they are, especially if they are giving their advice book away for free.

Thing is, if you don't give a shit, and don't have unrealistic expectations, you can write away, and thanks to Indie publishing, bung your trash on the reading public, and have fun at the same time.

Essentially – that's what you should be doing. Enjoying the journey of writing, and not constantly dreaming about getting to the end of the trip.

Of course, along the way, it doesn't hurt to learn about grammar, putting prose together, and how to use your creative imagination to formulate a block busting book.

So you are not successful. Who cares? The people who buy and sell books that's for sure. They are only interested in the well-known, and the commercially, going to make them a buck, novelist.

Are you tearing your hair out worrying about getting reviews? – Well. Stop it!

Stop begging at the doors of bloggers who might, if you are very lucky, put up a half hearted review at best or a real shitty review at worst.

Chances are you will only get a good review from them, if you buy advertising space on their, on-line magazine or blog. And chances are, even if you do get a half decent review, it may not sell you any books.

I've probably said this before, but I will say it again. I read about a newbie author who spent $5,000 on advertising her book to earn in royalties a miserable - $3,000.

The moral of this. Don't waste your cash.

Book signings. Now there's a thing. You go and buy a bunch load of your books from your publisher at a not very reduced cost, and sit all day in a two-bit book store that only wants you, so it can say, its' had a steady stream of customers that day. After the book store's take, and your publisher's take, what are you left with?

In all likelihood - Sweet Fanny Adams.

So how am I ever going to be a stunning success? You ask

Simply – stop giving a damn.

Write because you want to. Empty your mind of 'what might be' and concentrate on 'what is'.

The what is, is this.

You like writing. No you love writing. Some people have gardens as their passion. Others, drawing, or sewing or getting pissed.

You, your passion is thinking up your next great plot. Nobody may ever read it. Who cares? You don't. That's the true key to success. Not giving two farts about whether the book you have so lovingly written, edited, and somehow managed to get published actually is a resounding Fifty Shades of Grey success.

Selling the thing is a by-product.

Stop worrying about how many book sales you are going to make, so you can free up your mind and be more creative in getting your name, as an author, out there in the cyber space of book world.

And don't let it destroy your day, when a book as bad as Fifty Shades makes shit loads of money. Go passed the emotion, it's not worth the pain.

I can hear a lot of readers of this article saying, “Hey that's terrible advice. You have to give marketing all your effort.”

Well blah blah blah.

Facebook is stuffed full of stupid pictures saying, 'Never give up on your dreams'. Truth is that is one of the biggest crock of smelly stuff I have ever read. Some dreams are just not possible.

I am five foot nothing, with an English size 3 shoe. I am never going to be taller, and I am never going to be able to go into a shoe shop and have as much choice as the lucky size 4's and up. I've got over it. And I don't care anymore.

If your dream is unrealistic because you are a crap writer, then find something else to do for a hobby. And stop hitting your head against that very hard brick wall.

If you are a great writer, then stop worrying about how you will get to the end of your writing rainbow, and concentrate on enjoying the journey because if you have the talent, then you will have the luck to make it as one of the very few who do make it to the top.

Me? I shall keep writing, not because I am expecting to be famous, but because I don't care if I'm not.

I'm happy being me. Happy writing the stuff I write. Most of all, I'm happy knowing I am going to be one of the very few!! Perhaps – but then who gives a shit. I don't.

thanks for reading this post...and if you enjoy my articles – please share them --

The Riotous Writer

More of my books – through my American publisher.

The Warlock's Woman

Half Blood

logo picture courtesy of Freedigitalphotos,net

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