10 Questions Every Author Should Ask
By Jeff Bennington
Author of The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe
The monsters have been screaming in your head for years, scratching and clawing at your brain until you finally put pen to paper and let them out.
You had dreamed of writing a book or a series until you couldn’t take it anymore. The itch needed to be scratched, and you needed to free the creatures that had taken residence in your imagination before they consumed, devoured, or, worse, possessed you.
So, write you did. You worked for months and years perfecting not only the story but your delivery through study, peer review, and, finally, a professional edit.
You sighed, taking in a breath of fresh air when at last you had a beautiful cover that added color and vitality to your dream.
The monsters in your brain were freed.
You let Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Goodreads, and Smashwords in on your dirty little secret, a secret that only you knew until you finally revealed to the world that you were the next Stephen King, Agatha Christie, or J. K. Rowling.
Screeeeeeech … [enter the scratching record noises]
Now, you know the truth.
Writing is more than tapping your longtime dreams into your word processor; it’s also about running a business, marketing, public relations, and accounting. And much to your dismay, there are hundreds of thousands of other writers just like you with the same vision. You begin to obsess over every new sale. You run a fever at the first sign of a bad review. You notch up your social media. You pay to advertise. You lower your pricing. You write guest blogs. Pant, pant, pant.
You do everything and anything to get noticed, until finally you realize that indie publishing isn’t what you thought it would be.
You walk to your bed, lie down, and wish the monsters were back inside, safe in the cave whence they came.
Of course, you ask yourself a few questions; questions that you should’ve asked before your writing life went from big dreams to tiresome reality:
1. Can I handle subjective opinions of my work?
2. Do I have time to build a platform, market, engage in social media, and continue writing?
3. Is my family prepared and willing to lose a big part of me to a second job?
4. Can I afford to build a quality book: editing, cover, and formatting?
5. Am I in this for the long haul, or do I expect instant success?
6. Do I have time to read and hone my craft?
7. Am I willing to add more friends, contacts, associates, and partners to my already hectic life?
8. Am I ready for the publication marathon?
9. Am I willing to support and promote other authors for my mutual benefit?
10. Which is the true monster, my book or the business of publishing?
After asking yourself these questions, you realize your eyes must have been bigger than your stomach. Even so, you decide it’s a good idea to ponder your next move.
Will you give up? Can you continue at the pace you’re on? Do you love writing and publishing, or are you simply infatuated with the idea of being published?
After much consideration, you shake your head, a few tiny creatures fly out of your ears, and you discover that you’re not done. You seem to have a knack for breeding monsters. You smile, plug the charger into your laptop, and start another pot of coffee.
There’s still one hour left in the day to write, one more beast to command, one more book left in you. Final question: what will you do now? If you’ve read this far, I think we both know the answer.
Jeff Bennington shared an excerpt from his must read book for all indie authors. Jeff blogs at The Writing Bomb.com and is the author of REUNION, an Amazon #1 bestselling supernatural thriller, TWISTED VENGEANCE and CREEPY, a collection of scary stories. He is the founder of The Kindle Book Review. When Jeff isn't writing and blogging, he's busy raising and homeschooling his four children with his wife in Indianapolis, IN.