It's just a fact that being an author is a difficult process. First, an author has to find his or her voice or niche-- which takes not just hours but days and even months of planning. He or she has to ask their self questions like: What genre would I prefer to write? Is it profitable? Who is my target audience? What ages? What lifestyle does my audience prefer? Where do they get their books?What is the likeliness that they will buy a new author? How loyal are they to a particular author or brand? And finally, how much does my audience spend on books? How often do they purchase? These types of questions aren't easy to answer, but they are necessary. Without asking yourself the important questions, you will just be floundering in the dark.
Without asking yourself the important questions, you will just be floundering in the dark.
However, simply creating a plan for becoming a novelist isn't the hardest part. Next, an author has to actually write a novel which can easily take 6-9 months or even years of dedication. He or she not only has to write a novel that they like, but an author has to create enough balance that he or she has written a book that their audience will also love. And that means, an author has to develop likable characters, create intriguing plots, have a climax or two or three that keep the readers engaged, and know when to end the novel that will make an audience want to buy another book. Yet, this stage doesn't even include the 3 - 6 months of grueling editing to make a manuscript so perfect that it is free from errors and typos.
Then, once the novel is published-- to be an official author-- you must market it: book tours, book signings, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, promotions, free readings, press releases, commercials, interviews, etc. An author has to find a way to get the book in as many hands as possible to ensure that it sells. An author has to be willing to take photography shoots, speaking engagements, and even create flyers. This is a daunting task. Yet, this is a part of being an author.
An author has to find a way to get the book in as many hands as possible to ensure that it sells.
Being an author means that you are willing to go from writing as a passion or a hobby to making writing into a lucrative business or career. A person must be willing to go beyond just typing on a computer and get engaged to the highly active writing community and fight for a space among the best with the odds surely set against them. Yet, despite having the poorest odds, an author does it anyway. They keep pushing, they keep writing, they keep pursuing until the day they find their faces on the cover of New York Times Bestseller's List or may be not . . . maybe they just find themselves on the shelves of a local library. Being an author is working hard, struggling, submitting manuscripts, marketing, building your brand with a single goal in mind-- but not really knowing how it all will truly end. Being an author is the willingness to sacrifice time, money, friends-- to establish and build a dream in hope that one day it can become a reality. It's like balancing an entire world on a tight rope, hoping that you can get across and not caring how many times you fall.
Yes, being an author is not just about having a passion for writing. It is about having the ambition to make yourself known for your writing. It's about creating a business, a brand, that other's are willing to buy into. It's about moving beyond the computer screen, beyond typed fonts, and into the world of publishing. I am an author not just because I love to write, but because it is my business to write. An author knows when they are an author, when they are willing to make the sacrifices to be one.
I am an author not just because I love to write, but because it is my business to write.
Dawnell Jacobs is the author of The Shade of Devotion, Brains Not Included, Black Magic, and The Monsters of Within: Heart of Darkness. She has also published a self-help book Your Story Matters: Leaning How To Be The Author of Your Destiny. You can find all of her books on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and Barnes And Noble. She is also a motivational speaker to young audiences. She uses her personal journey to inspire hope and change. All pictures and entries in this blog are subject to copyright laws. ©Dawnell Jacobs 2018.
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