Having returned from the helpful & inspiring Writers Conference in Nottingham and the Fifth Self-Publishing Conference in Leicester, I feel it’s my duty to list Six Reasons Why (I think) New Indie Authors Fail:
1: They haven’t adopted a Workaday Mentality
This is about failing to work to deadlines and not setting themselves SMART objectives. There’s nothing wrong with writing for fun, as an amusement, or for leisure. But it won’t make them rich or famous. To become successful they’ll have to remind themselves that it’s a business of work.
2: They haven’t gained the necessary Skill-Set
This is about admitting to themselves that they haven’t gained the knowledge needed for success. They will have to learn that writing is a constantly changing business. So they’ll have to keep their knowledge current. They’ll need to join groups & associations. Get guidance, and read about the experiences of others.
3: They embark on fruitless Flights of Fancy
This is about being led-astray and putting time, money & effort into less important parts of the project. And that’s because they haven’t learnt all that there is to know about their market nor learnt how to work within a limited budget and use precious time efficiently. They should target funds and energy at those areas that are deemed most important to the successful outcome of the project. [This means they’ll need to invest in the right skill-sets, see above and also build supportive relationships, see below]
4: They’re timid about forming New Relationships
This is about failing to understand the notion that their activities will almost always require them to go out and meet people. Real people. They’ll have to be open to the idea of social networking too. And they ought to get into this mindset right way because these days authoring isn’t a “stay-at-home job ” — it’s about “going out and meeting folk.”
5: They’re poor at Teamwork Planning
This is about failing to build a strong team around themselves. They’ll need to get away from the notion that they’re all on their own. [see above] They’ll need to identify who is on their team… then get them working alongside. They ought to start building a team right away, beginning with family & friends, adding any supportive writers, then identifying and sharing with reader-fans, adding professionals to the team, then building themselves an email client list.
6: They lack the Talent
This is about failing to face the possibility that they’ll have to hone their writing skills. They will need to face facts — there’s a constant need to develop, improve and practice the craft of writing … They can do this by attending creative writing workshops, writing groups, classes and /or any other stimulating sessions. When they complete workshops they’ll marvel at the results. So will their readers.
Words: author @neilmach
Currently editing: The Bedevilment of Bertie Lunn. Due September 2017