I wrote this post – The Exhaustion of Self-Promoting – about a year and a half ago. Nothing has really changed. Being an indie author is still exhausting. The work is never done, and sometimes it feels like it’s me against the whole publishing and reading world.
Plus, I still don’t have a publicist. The offer still stands. I can pay in food and free books. Let me know if there are any takers.
It is, without a doubt, difficult cracking through busy-ness of everyone’s lives in order to a new reader to notice an unknown author like myself. But when it does happen, it is tremendously worth it all.
I’ve come to realize that indie authors are paid more with satisfaction than through monetary means. The satisfaction is paid through a good review or a kind word. I’ve received emails from readers who have been touched by my books. What more could I ask for? I’ve received some tremendous reviews that make me shake my head in gratitude, never expecting such kind and powerful words to be used to describe my stories. All of these feed the indie flame and keep it burning.
However, another side of me is never satisfied, and it is easy to become frustrated when a promotion does nothing except thin out my already thin wallet. It’s easy to wish for monetary success, thinking how amazing it would be to be able to write full time. I have found since I wrote that post that sales are hardly a predictable or linear item. Sales are more of a roller coaster – a fast start with a great promotion which slows to a brick wall, and the overworked indie author has to plug away doing what can be done on a weekly basis to push books, promote the author’s platform, or just stay engaged in what’s happening in the industry.
It is exhausting and time consuming when balancing it all with work, family, and other pursuits. So perhaps I should throw in the towel??
Not a chance, and here are the reasons:
- I love to write. (period) Why would I stop doing what I love?
- I’m not writing for the money. And while I wouldn’t refuse the money if it came, that’s not why I started to write. I began writing and publishing to fulfill a lifelong desire which I had pushed aside for far too long.
I just need to remind myself every once in a while of the reasons I began this journey in the first place, and it had nothing to do with success or self-validation.
The simple truth is this: I love being an indie author. Each new reader that enjoys my stories is a humbling experience. I will continue to write with passion and from the heart. Where it will take me, I do not know, but it is the process which has made my life richer. And that’s all I can ask for.