EDITOR’S NOTE: This entire series uses the word “fuck” in many ways. If you can’t read the word fuck without complaining about it, please move on. It’s not often that I swear on this blog, but for this series, it’s necessary. “Not giving a shit,” “not giving a flying frog,” “not giving a hoot,” etc. do not convey the same meaning as “not giving a fuck.” Such is the nature of language.
Hi! And welcome to being an author in the 21st century. I’m your host, S. J. Pajonas, and I’m just like you. I’m a new author in the age of self-publishing. I have a few fiction books under my belt already, but I’m just at the beginning of my journey and career. How do I know I’m just like you? Because you’re here today. You come here because you’re a secure and best-selling author (or maybe you are and you don’t think you are? That’s imposter syndrome, my friends! I can help with that too). You’re here because you’ve published, or are about to publish, a book, and you’ve seen the lack of sales, the bad reviews, and the rejections, and you’re wondering how to cope with them all. That’s me, too. Don’t worry. You’re not alone.
And that’s one thing you always have to tell yourself. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. In this business, it’s easy to struggle alone. As authors, we work alone most of the time, unless you count your characters as coworkers (I do sometimes), and that alone time can bring you down if you have no one to sympathize with. Many of us do this online with fellow authors through Facebook, message boards, or Twitter, or maybe we have an in-person critique group we attend once a week or month. Regardless, it’s not the same amount of time most people get in an office with coworkers they see every day. Just remember, though, you are not alone.
What are you going to learn from this blog series? You’re not going to learn how to be a best seller. You’re not going to learn how to market your book successfully. You’re not even going to learn how to write the book you’ll fail at (let’s save that for all the other writing craft books out there). If you can learn anything from me, you’re going to learn how to just not give a fuck about anything but your writing. Your writing is where all the fucks will go. Anything else, doesn’t deserve them. Your fucks are sacred, and they should be held to your chest like a straight of aces at a poker table.
But whatever you do, you’re not going to take this series too seriously, okay? I’m here to show you how I deal, and you can take it or leave it. You can think this is all complete bullshit, or you can maybe try a few things and see how they work for you. These ideas have helped me, and I tend not to give a fuck about a good long list of things when it comes to publishing, so I suspect they’re working. Fingers crossed!
Throughout this series, I’m going to give you pointers on keeping those fucks and not giving them away. I would love it if you chimed in in the comments and shared with us your techniques. Also, if you try any of my suggestions, please come back and tell us how it went! It’s my intention to grow this series over the course of the next 12 to 14 weeks, so I can point other despairing authors here and give them a shoulder to cry on, brush it off, and keep going with an arsenal of techniques in their back pocket.
I know it’s rough out there. You are one of a million other authors trying to get noticed, and within a short span of time, it’s either do or die. It used to be that you could publish a book a year or less, and everything would be fine. But now the stakes are higher if you want to succeed. I have news for you. The odds are NOT in your favor to be the next hot ticket, the next New York Times Best Seller right out of the gate. Your book is awesome, and you are awesome, but the market is crazy, and publishing a book is like a drop in the ocean now.
So now that you know the truth, let’s learn how not to give a fuck.
Let’s start with the physical things…