When becoming an author, few 'just want to write a book' and leave it at that. Most of us want to get paid for all the hard work. Get your hands on a book deal with a big old publishing house and that's a distinct possibility at least in the short run.

Throw yourself and your book into the malestrom of Self-Publishing and the outlook can be quite lucrative, but usually isn't.

Whether you're and old hand at the self-publishing game or a newbie sticking your toe in to test the water, you gotta' be aware of the 'numbers'.

I'll spare you the 'dissertation' complete with graphs, charts and spreadsheets on what you're up against going it independent to produce and sell your books. Because that would be cruel. In a nutshell, you'll be competing with other self-publishers who write in your same genre (just for starters.) The more popular the genre, the more authors there will be cranking stuff out in it.

Keep in mind, that also means you're up against everything they've ever wrote that's already out there, what's being published as you're getting your book written, edited and finished, in addition to everything they have upcoming (especially if they have a following.) Just in your genre alone, that is figuratively a 'Metric Crapton' of material you're offering must compete with when you finally publish. I'm not including established mainstream authors because unless you have a big publishing house behind you or an already famous name to give you a boost, you are not in the same 'weight-class'.

Nope, you're down deep in the trenches where the fight for attention, readers and the 'big payday'

                                                        "There can be only one!"

Unfortunately, it's worse than it looks. The odds of you having a breakout book offering are terribly slim. However, lighting has been caught in a bottle on a number of occasions. The thing that will make a difference more so than your book being 'great' or not will be determined by how much attention you can bring to it. There have been some 'butt-nasty' books that never should have seen the light of day, let alone get published and earn authors millions in book sales and movie deals. What got / gets stuff like that over is both word of mouth and damn good marketing / promotion. If no one knows about you or your book(s), no one will buy them.

Even if you do manage to get the word out and make a bit of money, there still may not be a ginormous payday. Here's an example of four self-published authors who got their work noticed to some degree and the numbers aren't pretty.


So, in the face of some pretty bleak numbers should you give up? Yes, if you don't have the desire to push your work out there and recognize that being an author is also a 'career'. If you're just a hobbyist, unconcerned if people read your work or not then yes, giving up is definitely and option.

If you're serious about the work, want to make this a career that can bring in some money and make you and your work a 'household name', then hell no don't give up and don't give in. Know this though, the path will not be remotely easy (if it is you are one lucky *&(&&^**%$@!) Put your best efforts into not just the creation of the book, but the marketing, promotions and monetary generating opportunities which may present themselves that pop up around your work.

Though the 'numbers' are grim, they can be overcome to achieve moderate to great success in self-publishing. It will all come down to your perseverance, tenacity and ability to create work people will want to read and get excited about!

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