How Healthy is your Author Ego?

Written By: Jackie Weger - Dec• 08•14

What are you moaning and groaning about?

Jackie Weger

Jackie Weger

Since we indie authors must network to learn our industry, what works and what doesn’t, I am in touch with authors at all success levels daily.  I have noticed this phenomena:  An author publishes one book, and next starts feeling less than because a colleague has published two.  An author with no book in a series starts looking askance at his or her own body of work, because she doesn’t write  series. An author with less than three titles than can be combined into a boxed set suddenly starts feeling he or she is behind the times and will never be successful.  This phenomena of comparing your place in our indie universe with another indie author is a kind of author depression. It is a deep pit and an awful trap.

This is nothing new to authors. In my gloried past I attended major writer’s conferences in New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, L.A. and the UK. I attended dozens of small regional conference all over Florida, Alabama, California and Texas. Without fail, one or more authors in our group would start to sag once she started hearing other author’s success stories. Get this: Would you go to a conference headlined by a failure? Heck no.

Success stories are fabulous. We learn from them. Keep in mind your path to success will not be the same as the next author. I am a slow creator. I type thirty dang words a minute–all misspelled, too. No way in heck am I going to churn out a book a month. I am in awe of writers who can do that and I buy their books.  I wish my favorite authors would churn out a book a week! When I was under contract, I had deadlines to meet, two book a year was my limit–sometimes only one. Now, I’m an indie author, and two books a year is still my limit. I don’t go near NaNoWriMo because I would just be setting myself up for failure I ain’t going there. I do admire those authors who manage 50,000 words in 30 days. It is critical for your success as an author to recognize your work patterns and how you approach creativity.

2015 is just around the corner. I do not make New Year’s resolutions. I have a To Do List. I started it December 1st. On my list are small steps to success. Master Twitter. Improve my Webpage. Write at least a blog or two a month. Review my Amazon Author page. Tweak it,  if necessary. Reread my published books. Do any need revising? Do any need a new cover?  Shall I freshen book descriptions? I have one book, The Reluctant Hero that just flat does not have an audience. That poor book is my stepchild. It is a cute story, well written, professionally edited, and formatted with a cover built by an award-winning artist. I have yet to discover this book’s path to success. I may never. But, I’m gonna try. The key to your success as an indie author  is what YOU can do for your book or books–not how many books the next author has.

Julie Whiteley

Read The Good, The Bad & the Ugly article by Julie Whiteley

I often hear advice suggesting that if you only have one book, you can’t be successful. It is true you help your career by writing more books. But! You wrote one book and published it. I say: Don’t let it sit on a dusty cybershelf.  Promote it and keep on promoting it until you have a second book published. I do not see any value in waiting until an author has two or more book before starting promotions. That first book can be building you a readership. Go for it.

I hear this from authors: Nobody likes me? Huh?

Get this:  It ain’t about YOU. It is about your BOOK. Julie Whiteley, a TOP 1000 Amazon and Goodreads reviewer made this observation about author egos: “When I’m stuck in traffic or at the dentist, I don’t take an author ego out of my purse. I take out my Kindle.”

Donna Fasano, USA Today & Amazon bestselling author

Donna Fasano, USA Today & Amazon bestselling author

Does luck play a role in success? Yes it does. Two authors I know had great good luck and perfect timing: Donna Fasano and Martin Crosbie. Both ran free book campaigns when Amazon was still counting a FREE download as a full sale–not in $$$ but the book’s placement on best seller stats after it returned to priced.  Amazon change that algorithm so that a down load only counts as one-tenth of a priced sale. Here is the kicker. Both are still best-selling authors today because they adjusted their marketing strategy. Donna markets her books on every sales venue. Martin stays exclusive to Amazon. You can do it either way.

If you focus on your book and what you can do for it, you will not fall into that horrid pit. Network with colleagues. Learn patience. Every single successful author I know faced a blank page at the beginning. And does so on every new endeavor. And for some of us, those first dang blank pages were rolled into a typewriter on a platen.

Sometimes you can sidle up to luck from behind. I adore Bingo. It costs. To afford it, I recycled aluminum cans. Picked those suckers up every Thursday until I was about to fold in half. Went to Bingo, won a jackpot and spent it on a Bookbub  promo slot for my first indie release.  I still recycle, but I don’t have to run around parking lots and road verges anymore.

I will leave you with this adage. I made it up. I say it out loud every single day.

I release the need to poor mouth.
Money flows to me freely.
The wealth and kindness of the indie universe flows through me
and there is always an abundance of it. #eNovAaW.

 I’m Jackie Weger. Ya’ll have a good one.

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  1. Mimi Babour says:

    Gosh, Jackie! This blog makes so much sense. I’m sure every one of us has had a niggling, gut wrenching comparison experience, it’s human. But you’re right about shaking it off and getting on with your own future.

  2. KJD says:

    So true – another great blog, Jackie.

    I’d add to it by saying that an author should be the best they can be. The quality of the book is the key, everything else flows from that.

    Keep up the great work, Jackie.

  3. Amy Vansant says:

    Hey, I think I resemble this article! Sometimes. Other times I am the picture of optimism! Getting better at staying level though… really… I am… 🙂

  4. Pete Barber says:

    You’ve excelled yourself with this post, Jackie. “Every successful author I know faced a blank page at the beginning.” very inspirational. I shall go forth and write :-).

  5. Bob Rector says:

    One very basic fact: you can’t win if you give up. Don’t give up.

  6. This is a very inspirational post. You made some fine points. Quality over quantity, be patient ( maybe the hardest thing of all to do), promote always!, never give up. This article should get you motivated for the week!

  7. Cogent points, Jackie. I agree with KJD: I’m trying to become the best writer I can. If I find an audience for my books, fantastic! In the meanwhile, I plan to explore, learn, grow, and enjoy the journey.

  8. Very good points. Thanks for the encouragement.

  9. Mike Markel says:

    Jackie, you usually write nuts-and-bolts posts about the craft of being an indie writer, and I try to learn from them. This one is different: really wise, and truly inspiring. I’m going to try extra hard to incorporate your insights this time. Thank you–again.

  10. Dale Furse says:

    I loved this post and especially your affirmation, Jackie. Thank you.

  11. Jackie, thanks for this great post. I felt like you were talking about me, and right at me. Keep writing, because it’s what I love, and keep promoting.

  12. Susan Tarr says:

    I suspect I was at the brink of author depression. I don’t blog. I have 3 books out but so different from each other as to not form a boxed set. Others have 4+ books out, but not so long ago, I only had one out, so I guess I’m all good on that front. But then I wondered about changing my covers. Would that improve sales or would that elusive buyer not recognise my book? So I’d lose that sale. Hmmm… And there you were, Jackie. Thank you!

  13. How inspiring, Jackie! Thank you so much. And the whole point you make about not competing but focusing only on ourselves ties so perfectly with your inspired affirmation right at the end. Only poor minds spend time comparing and competing. It’s because they have no idea how disastrous this practice is. Strong minds build their world from within and as one of my fave affirmation goes, ‘Nothing stands between me and my goal. There is only me and the universe.’ God bless!

  14. I love this post, Jackie, it is true and well stated. And I love your adage. Beautiful. I’m not plagued with the emotions you speak of, probably because I was a theatrical producer before I was a writer and I had to get used to failure and figure out how to rise above it. But I have observed the reactions of authors as you described. I think the most important thing you stressed was to never compare yourself to anyone else. So true. We each have our own path. And I for one am inspired by the one you’ve taken.

  15. Jenny Harper says:

    Great post, Jackie, thanks for sharing your experiences and enthusiasm with us all. You are truly inspirational. I wonder who else has paid for a BookBub with recycled cans?! I’m off to raid the local recycling skip right now…

  16. Julie Frayn says:

    I am a Nano nut (emphasis on nut). It gets my going and gives me lots to edit. Love your adage at the end. May the Indie Force be with you, ObiWan Jackie… 🙂

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