Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Anyone can write a book?

Have you seen a comment or book promo that announces "anyone can write a book"? response is - sure anyone CAN write a book, but perhaps not just anyone SHOULD write a book. 

As a self published author myself - I know how much I value the freedom that self-publishing affords those of us who really want to send our words out into the world to be read, but as I have read other new books out there I sometimes feel like some work is just not ready (and quite frankly some of it may never be ready) to be 'published. 
I don't mean to put down a fellow author but.........I recently ran across a post on Google+ that was promoting a new book, the post said "Do you have a burning desire to write a book, but don’t know how? Have you been thinking about writing a book for a while, but have just never ‘gotten round to it?’ Would you like to get your book completed quickly? Serial entrepreneur & author XXX XXXX explains how to write a book in two weeks (or less). "  Really - 2 weeks or less.....lets be honest here folks - that would NOT be a very good book.  If you really have a 'burning desire' to write a book - you will do just that, and if you have never 'gotten around to it' then maybe its not really your passion. 
Although I have not sold a ton of books, I am extremely pleased to say that almost everyone who has read it told me they enjoyed it, it has many positive reviews ( in total disclosure - there is one review that said my book wasn't funny, which honestly perplexed me since so many of the other reviewers thought it was hilarious).  I know how long and hard I worked on my book - and it was not written in 2 weeks....I can venture a pretty good guess that any of the books on the best seller list were not completed in 2 weeks either. 
Anyhow - Here are some things that I have learned this year as a self published author:
  • I don't have a lot of patience.  I, of course, want my very first book to be read by the masses and be an instant hit, but it takes time and lots of work to get there.
  • Beta Readers are amazing - their input was so helpful and valuable.
  • Book reviews are the most coveted thing in the publishing world.  It is hard to get folks to read and review your book - but it is necessary for a book to be successful.
  • It's hard to be heard above the noise.  According to an article in Forbes Magazine, There are somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year in the US alone.  Getting your book noticed can be a herculean task. 
  • Not as many of your friends and family will actually buy your book as you thought.  They mean to, but its not as much of a priority to them as it is to you. 
  • Authors are really kind and supportive people - I have met so many wonderful fellow authors online & they are very sweet and supportive.
  • Writers (especially new authors and self-published authors) spend as much time marketing their books as they do writing them. 
  • and mostly I have learned, there really isn't any money to be made in writing - with the rare exception of extremely lucky & exceptionally talented writers, the rest of us won't make millions, we will be lucky to make enough to go out for fast food once a month. 
I am not trying to discourage anyone from writing - I plan to continue and I am hoping to be one of those rare exceptions, but I know there is no short cut for success.  I love the idea of sharing my work with others and knowing that people will read what I have written.  Writing is hard work, but if you really do have a burning desire to write a book - GO FOR IT because there is nothing quite like seeing your book in print. 


  1. Thanks for the encouragement. I haven't even started the marketing part but I keep thinking how that will be more work than writing it. I think I wrote the skeleton of mine in two months. I say skeleton because now after almost a year of revision after revision so much has been added and adapted it barely resembles that first version I finished almost a year ago. I'm sure the two week writers forgot the revision process too. As always I enjoy your insight.
    Angela @ Time with A & N

    1. Thanks so much Angela - it is such a learning curve for me too, I am sure I have made tons of mistakes with my marketing efforts so far, but I keep trying new things. Next month I am participating in a blog tour - so that should be interesting.

  2. Yep. I agree completely having followed this path for the last two years. The time and effort needed to do the marketing is key and something I'm not real fond of. Good Luck to you!

    1. Thanks Kenny - I am still very new to all of this, and there is a lot to learn. Marketing really can be tough, I still struggle with how to get my book in front of target audiences. I think its something we all struggle with.

  3. Hey Laurie, great article. What is your book about?

    I've spent 3 years on a book and about 8 months on promo materials and still have tons more to do... all for just one book. It angers me when people try to take the half-assed way out... they wast their time, and the readers time. They will dig their own grave though... so at least we know they are no competition to authentic authors of integrity and passion. I wish you all the best with your book!

    1. Thanks so much Angela, my book is a very humorous look at women's health issues, based on some of my own experiences. I am currently working on a historical fiction novel, but I still have a LONG way to go before that is ready for publication. I have been doing lots of reviews for other authors and most of the books are really good, but a few have been awful, and I am glad I did not pay for them. I think people really rush to publish & when I saw that add for writing a book in 2 weeks I just had to do a blog about it.