As an indie author….especially a new indie author it’s important that we do our research into the business, the life. To have any chance of success in the business (as in any other) you need to know as many ins and outs of the writing and publishing world as you can so you know what and what not to do. In an effort to lay out a plan that hopefully will lead to some sort of success.
I follow many authors on various blogs, twitter and FB. They all give their own unique and often copied advice. Quite often, you see the same ideas and trends over and over again when it comes to suggestions on how to succeed in the writing and publishing world as an indie author or otherwise. How do you know who to listen to and who not, whose advice to take and not…Truthfully you almost never know I do not think. I read one blogger who said “what works for one author might not work for another”, I think that hold true in life anyways.
However, I think as writers our job, our goal is to improve as writers, and grow as a writer so we can become better. We write a book and publish that book but the next book needs to better or at the very least equal to the first in quality. It seems like one of the biggest subjects on Amazon.com that I’ve noticed lately is books on “how to be a better writer”, “how to improve your writing” “how to get published”, “Writer guide to bla….bla….bla….bla.”
Now I’m sure these are great and all and helpful to some in some ways but the only books (4) I would ever really take advice seriously from when it comes to writing and improving as a writer are:
Stephen Kings book On Writing, which I am working my way through slowly (one of my personal idols)
Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury (because I highly respect the man and his talents).
I am sure there could be others but I like advice from people with long-term experience.
Nevertheless, if you go to amazon.com and type in WRITING you get 466,421 entries…wtf I am not going there sorry but I will not get anything done…EVER.
Then there is blogs wonderful blogs….hundreds and thousands of blogs about writing, how to improve your writing, being a better writer. Then indie writing and publishing, the publishing world, advertising and marketing….and so on and so on…………………………………..FOREVER!!!!!!.
I have read a few blogs by writers giving advice to other writers about how to do it and what to do and the mistakes and occasionally some are helpful. However, the fucky thing about some of them is that the writers of these blogs have not even published a book themselves apparently…a few are not even done writing their first book let alone getting it published. Some have only published one book. Maybe they should write more instead of giving crappy advice about things they have no real experience in. Now I am sorry (No, I’m not) but I don’t think most of these people or ones like them are qualified to give credible and knowledgeable advice on any aspect of writing other than relating their own issues and experiences with the process. For them to have the balls to offer other authors and writers advice about how to do things would be like me giving free fucking legal advice because I’ve watched nearly every episode of Law And Order. Or me giving sailing lessons to people based on the fact on stood on sail boat once (that never moved) and drank mojitos wearing a sarong.
Now I could write a blog or a book about owning and running a coffee shop because I’ve done that and been successful. I’m divorced so won’t be writing a blog or book called How to Make a Marriage Work because I’d be full of shit beginning to end.
I do not get reading these weird random books or blogs that give the idea they will help you succeed as a writer and author. They remind me of the late night TV ads telling you how to buy foreclosed homes and sell it for so much money and you can go and buy a GD Mercedes and pay cash while wearing cheap knock off Italian suits.
Now I know the trick though, the point of these blogs and that is to draw traffic to you and your site to get you “out there” as a writer supposedly it gets your name known…expanding your base. And yea it’s all great and fine but maybe just maybe these “Writers” should try writing and working on their own books instead of writing bullshit advice. Because if I see some person giving out all this advice that I should take as a certainty and that person ends up writing a shitty book that doesn’t sell or doesn’t get published…well then I’m gunna wanna beat some ass for wasting my time and their awesome advice means nothing. It is a good thing I can discern good advice from bad advice.
Now I do share writing blogs by others on MY BLOG that I think are helpful or relevant to me and that others might but I do not take any of them as the Rosetta stone of the writing world. If I want advice I will get it from people who have many years of experience in the writing and publishing world and have wrote at least 3-5 books in the last 10 years. Agents and mid to large publishers I feel should never be listened to for writing advice for indie authors because well…they don’t really like us and don’t let them tell you otherwise. The status quo is fucked up now in their world and they know it. They are losing the control they once had. They are not making money off us indie writers and screwing us to the wall (not all agents do this I know) so they have no real interest in helping us succeed. If you can prove me wrong on this, go ahead and try.
I prefer the advice of book reviewers personally (bloggers not newspapers). They are usually normal people who love literature and are honest and sometimes bluntly honest which I appreciate because I don’t like sugarcoated Politically Correct bullshit. In addition, usually they are not paid to write a review like a journalist in a magazine or newspaper sometimes yes but in my mind, there is a difference.
You want some real cheap advice without having to run and buy some writing guide from some self-imposed writing guru? In addition, not waste your time pouring through BS self-help writing websites……
Sit your happy ass down with ample amounts of coffee, tea or other legal substances. Open your lappytop, turn on your desktop or open that pad of paper and grab a pen or pencil and JUST FREAKING WRITE. That is how you become a writer and eventually a better writer by writing…YES….BY WRITING…not reading about writing but WRITING. I know it sounds too easy but it is the truth. Look into the publishing stuff later once you have something you are ready to publish. And if you love it don’t give up….
And if you’re bored and want something new to read pick up the 2nd edition of my novel Running Northwest on amazon.com .