As an indie author, I have had to learn a lot of things through trial and error. I have done more than my fair share of research online into the whole “self-publishing” gig and read all the “How-To” articles that are strewn all over the net. The problem is, unless you have actually handled your own independently published project from start to finish, all the “How-To” articles in the world will not adequately help nor prepare you for the adventure that will sweep you up in its wake.
Unfortunately, all the freelance projects and years of “on-the-job” experience that I have accumulated since going indie author cannot really be included on a resume. These days employers want to be able to go to an ex-employer and ask them all about your work ethics and abilities. To add insult to injury, a lot of them won’t even consider your years of actual on-the-job experience if you do not have a college degree to back it up. For whatever reason, they seem to think that someone coming fresh out of college knows more about a topic than someone who has spent decades or longer learning the trade from the ground up. It is this mind-set that often have employers passing up some very uniquely qualified, and oftentimes extremely creative, employees that could have knocked them out of their chairs with all the knowledge they have accumulated over the years. It is also this mind-set that keep a lot of businesses from realizing their full potential simply because more often than not, the best person for the job, the ones with creativity to spare, are left to languish in a mindless job while those less-qualified individuals are left in charge.
They say that success is 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration. What most business managers fail to recognize is that, until they implement that 2% of inspiration, that creativity, it does not matter how hard they push on that other 98%, they simply will never hit on the 100% that they are capable of.
Most managers run a business straight-forward, when, in reality, business is about as non-straight-forward as anything gets. It’s not about business at all, it’s not about numbers or pushing harder or trying to work more efficiently. What business is ultimately about is marketing, and in order to give any marketing campaign its due, you are going to have to be creative. This is where 99.99% of your average business managers fail. They are like men standing before a great brick wall with hammer in hand. They think that if they keep hitting away at that wall, if they hit it long enough and hard enough, it will eventually come crashing down. What they like is the creativity, the ingenuity to look around to see if there is a door or window into the building. They lack any type of creativity, any type of ingenuity, and fail to see the big picture, they fail to see that there are other options. They are like horses with blinders, they keep plodding along, doing the same old tired plan that has failed them for years. But as I said, they are so single-minded that they think if they just keep going, it will all eventually work out. That simply is not the way business, or the real world for that matter, works.
Being a successful author works in much the same way. It’s not always about how good of a writer you are, but how well you market yourself. Doing this on a shoe-string budget will prove to be even more challenging. And again, reading all the “How-To” articles and books you can get your hands on will not always do the trick. You have to ultimately remember that what works for one person will not always work for you. Just because Amanda Hocking made it big doesn’t mean that following her plan to the letter will result in you being just as successful. Chances are, you simply will fall far short of your goals and expectations. As with any business, you must be flexible, and, above all, you must be creative. And never be afraid to change your plan of attack if something simply isn’t working. If networking on Facebook isn’t getting you the hordes of readers that you want, then toss it out the window and go back to square one. Try something else, or try lots of something else. Don’t be afraid to walk on your own path, and, above all, don’t be afraid to deviate from that path if it’s not taking you to your ultimate destination.