Deciding to become an author has been one of the greatest choices in my life, and I’m sure a lot of other independent authors feel the same way about their careers. However, while being an author has its rewards, it’s not going to be a fun ride 100% of the time. In fact, there are many obstacles that you will have to deal with if you join the author game. Here are just a few of the harsh truths about being an indie author.
1. You Probably Won’t Become Rich
There are some independent authors out there who managed to strike gold and become rich and famous, such as E.L. James or Andy Weir. There are even more independent authors who aren’t rich but have done very well for themselves and can completely live off their ventures. But in truth, a majority of self-published and independent authors are not very wealthy.
If you’re self-publishing books and hoping to become the next Stephen King or Colleen Hoover overnight, you’re going to be disappointed. That’s not to say that you won’t become financially secure from your writing, but you should have realistic expectations.
2. Not Everyone Is Going To Enjoy Your Work
Head on over to Amazon and look at some of the most popular books that are selling right now. Now take a look at the 1-star reviews. Not even those books can escape poor reception. Entertainment and taste are subjective, and no matter what you write, you cannot expect every single person to enjoy it.
You need a thick skin to be an author who plans to put their work out there, especially nowadays when the Internet has given everyone a voice, and some people will use that voice to spread negativity more than positivity.
3. You May Get Sick Of Your Own Writing
Many authors write the stories that they want to read. When you write, you have the choice to create a world exactly how you see fit. No matter how exciting a book premise is, you might get sick of your own writing after a while.
Just imagine your favorite movie and being forced to watch it over and over and over again. I can’t even re-read my own books after I’ve published them because I’ve already heard the story many times.
4. Not All Fellow Authors Are Nice
I’m very lucky in the fact that 99% of the independent authors I’ve met are extremely friendly and supportive. Unfortunately, there is still that small percentage of authors out there who aren’t as nice. These authors seem to see others as competition and will refuse to give you so much as the time of day.
I’ve spoken with fellow authors who tell me stories about how they’ve gotten the cold shoulder so many times that they’ve considered leaving the author world. I’ve also been part of Facebook groups where authors (some of which are very successful in their endeavors) are some of the rudest people you would ever meet and can’t even answer a question without giving you an attitude.
5. Not Everyone Will Support You
When I first published a book back in 2011, a lot of people were happy for me. A few bought copies of the book to show their support. And then there were a couple of people (mostly former coworkers) who mocked me. There was an incident of someone actually editing one of my covers with an inappropriate image and sharing it on their Facebook as a mean-spirited joke.
There are going to be people who won’t take your work seriously, and there will be people who will go the extra mile just to make you feel bad. I don’t have much advice besides ignoring it. Going back to my earlier point: you can’t please everyone. Fortunately, many of the “haters” who go out of their way to mock your career are typically insecure and jealous, so you can relish in that fact and use it as fuel to continue your work.
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