The truth is, there is no set of steps I can offer that will guarantee the most effective and productive author mindset. The best approach to developing the right mindset will vary greatly depending on the multiple variables that exist within your life.
However, there are a few thoughts to consider as you begin your author/self-publishing journey. If you get stuck or frustrated along the way, I encourage you to return back to this post.
It is perfectly normal to encounter obstacles and become discourage depending on the size of the obstacle. The key is to develop a strategy to work through those low points. Which is a perfect segue to a list of rules I recommend you to impose upon yourself to increase your odds of success.
Rule #1: Do not expect to become rich off of your books. I’m not saying that you can’t make a great deal of money. I am saying that it will likely take a significant amount of books to start earning legitimate full time job money. Before you get discouraged though it is important that you know that a variety of backend opportunities exist if you can develop an audience of readers who trust you because you consistently provide quality.
Rule #2: Do not expect this process to be quick, especially if you are low on capital to produce your book. As mentioned earlier, this book doesn’t focus a great deal on the writing process but that does not mean it is a fast and easy process. Quite the contrary, writing a 20K to 30K word first draft can take quite a bit of time consider it takes roughly an hour to write 1000 words (assuming you already have your research and outlines complete). In addition, publishing a book typically does not open flood gates of sales. If you’re like me and you start this process without an email list then sales are especially slow at first.
Rule #3: If you are a successful self-publish author then you are officially an entrepreneur. This is great and exciting, but it is a true statement because in addition to writing you’re focused on networking, promoting, branding, design, book keeping, and much more. It is fun and exhilarating but it is not always easy.
Rule #4: Self-publishing your first book needs to be viewed as a learning process. Strive for high quality but continue moving forward so that you can learn from your mistakes and improve your abilities.
Rule #5: Reach out to other authors. Check out the free Facebook groups Authority Self-Publishing or Pat’s First Kindle Book (From Start to Finish). These are both virtual communities of authors and aspiring authors who consistently go above and beyond to help each other out. I am a part of both groups so I hope to see you on there!
Rule#6: Once your words are in writing, made available to the world, and attached to your name then you are married to those words. Don’t publish anything you’ll regret or be ashamed of. Later on in this book we’re going to discuss strategies to identify profitable topics to write about. There is quite a bit of data that could encourage a desperate writer to focus on a topic that is either embarrassing to admit and/or takes advantage of others. There are courses out there that encourage writing about topics that are targeted towards people who need urgent help (i.e. addicts, ill, anxious, etc.). These topics are fine if you can provide helpful information. If you’re just writing non-sense because you think you can profit off of these people then I urge and insist that you reconsider.
Rule #7: Love the topics you write about. If you’re successful you may be asked quite a bit to discuss your book. If you don’t have a genuine interest in the topic you write about then you’re eventually going to lose interest in talking about your books which would cause your marketing strategy to potentially take a hard hit.
Rule #8: Be proud of yourself. I remember when I held my the first book for the the first time I didn’t experience any of the joy that I had anticipated. For some reason my mind immediately minimized the accomplishment because it was a self-published book. I felt like I had bypassed a huge part of the publishing process by publishing it on my own. Therefore, I had a difficult time giving myself credit for the accomplishment of writing a book. Do not let this happen to you. I later came to realize that all the really matters is if my books help people solve a problem and/or experience genuine entertainment. To this day, whenever I find myself discouraged I find that first book that I once took zero pride in and hold on to it to remind myself how great this business can be.
Rule #9: If you are a non-fiction writer then you it is imperative that you are honest about who you are and the experience you have. You do not have to be an expert in everything you write about but you must not claim you are if it isn’t the case. Readers are perfectly content reading information that was gathered and organized by a non-expert author if he or she provides thorough research based reasoning.
Rule #10: You are an author. Whether you’ve published a book or are trying to, if you do not view yourself as an author then you never will be.
Now that you have the ten rules, enjoy the roller coaster that is authorship.