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Enter the Writers’ Gauntlet

Step into the Unknown

I’m not a bestselling author.

 
A libertarian-minded thought criminal who makes things up and writes them down.
Okay, now that’s unique.

 
Do you know what isn’t unique?

 
Negativity.

 
Why?

 
Because the redundancy is real when one reaches a certain age, typically sometime in public school as I highlighted in my previous article.

Kick out negativity. I don’t care if they’re your friends.

 
Why are people so negative?

 
I don’t know, perhaps because we all grow up thinking we’re going to be rich and famous when only a small percentage of the population does so, because the square root per individuals aspiring to be something huge will become something huge.

 
So, per 1,000 people wanting to be bestselling authors, only 31.6 people will become so. And when I say bestselling, I mean thousands, not millions or even hundreds of thousands. But, it is possible.

Be prepared to enter the Writers’ Gauntlet that only the most dedicated writers will make it through.

I’m going to uplift you with positive vibes, but I’m going to be real as hell.

 
The question is this: Why then, per 100 people, will 10 succeed?

 
This occurs in all lines of work, and because it’s the number of people willing to go the extra mile, which if we all want to be rock stars in any field, it’s going to take more work than you’ve ever done in your life, seven days a week, might I add.

Ready to enter the writers’ gauntlet?

 
Everyone who succeeds becomes an overnight sensation, but at the same time, no one becomes an overnight sensation.

 
It takes time to become an overnight sensation and anyone who’s reached such a pinnacle will tell you such, regardless of what the media says. Also, again, it takes a lot of work, grit, and sacrifice to become an overnight sensation.

 
Even those discovered on YouTube still had to go through the trouble of learning their craft, perfecting it, and delivering.

 
Enter the negative people. The 90-plus percent who’ve tried and failed.
It doesn’t need to be this way.

 
We all could and should succeed.

 
But it is this way.

 
Why?

 
Because, most people are unwilling to put in the right amount of time and effort to succeed in their respective craft.

Put the time in.

 
Let me tell you, writing the Lord of Columbia trilogy and perfecting it is far and away the toughest thing I’ve ever done.
Talk about a freaking gauntlet.

From making sure the grammar is as close to perfect as possible, to ensuring I have a hook that will grab a reader by the throat, to engaging characters, to unforgettable plots and themes; nothing I’ve ever done has been more challenging.

Oh, and there’s also the fact if you go indie, you should learn SEO and meta-data, research what types of titles others search for, which genres and sub-genres will give your book a shot at getting discovered, researching marketing and book promotion tools, investing in an eye-catching cover, and of course, building the writer’s platform.

 
So, enter the negative people. Those who may’ve thought if they wrote a book and open published people would find it.

 
I’m not bashing them.

 
This time last year, I would’ve been one of those people had I decided not to go back and edit one final time.

 
Or so, I thought.

 
I did some research and saw everything I wrote was in a style that would’ve suited readers back in the 1960’s, but not in today’s fast-paced world. Also, the work was full of plot and grammar errors. I found at least one hundred.

 
Also, my word count was too high. No one in their right mind would read a 185,000-word novel full of grammar errors and plot holes.

 
So, it was edit and research, until my research led me to an article stating if I really wanted to enhance my writing, it would be wise to invest in paid courses. Invest I did, into the Jerry Jenkins Writers’ Guild.

 
I love the Guild, as I thought I knew how to write until I came across Jenkins. I had a good story with good characters, good themes, and potential, but I didn’t know the first thing about writing.

 
So, I utilized all of Jenkins’ tools and bought a couple books on writing, which further enhanced my skills.

 
Since July of last year, I’ve worked like a madman to bring Lord of Columbia up to par, and now that I’m happy with the product, September will serve as my launch pad as Book One, Northern Knights, hits the online store.

 
So, the positive news is this: If you’re willing to dedicate time and energy into doing this thing right and knowing what being an indie-author is all about, you’re going to succeed.

You’re going to end up in that square root.

 
The reason it’s just a square root of successful people is as such: They’re the number willing to put time and effort into succeeding in their craft. They realize it’s more than just a forty-hour work week.

 
It’s much more than forty hours.

 
It’s twenty-four-seven.

 
There must be sacrifice, willpower, and dedication.

 
You’re a dedicated indie-author.

 
You’re a new indie-author.

 
You’re not going to join the ninety-percent who will use redundant and uninteresting bios. You’re going to be the one who sets themselves aside as unique, as eye-catching, as someone demanding a book be read without even saying so.

 
To conclude, here are a few things I’ve learned over the past year:

 
1) Never say, ‘check out’ or ‘buy my book.’ It’s a turnoff.

 
2) Never say, ‘check out my blog.’ I don’t like being told what to do, and neither do others.

 
3) Don’t publish a book then create a website and social media accounts. Guess what, you’re too far behind the eight-ball. Sure, you have a book out, but you have zero leads.

 
4) Don’t publish a book without researching SEO, meta-data, how to write book descriptions, book titles, and a sound author bio. People aren’t going to magically find it.

 
5) Don’t publish a book no one knows is about to be released. I started talking a little about Lord of Columbia six months ago. Nope, I never told anyone they needed to buy when it came out. Instead, I talked about themes, messages, and why such themes and messages are important to me.

 
6) Never push book sales on social media. It’s annoying and I’ll block you.

 
7) Be informative on your blog. I like to learn, and so do others. Or at least entertain to inform.

 
8) Talk up your book well in advance of its release date. Talk about the message, the characters, and how they relate to your readers. Don’t talk about how it’s the next bestseller, it’s a turn-off.

 
9) Be engaging and informative on social media. Don’t be a salesperson. I’m not investing in people who oversell.

 
10) Use book-buy links, but only on a blog and don’t post them each day on social media unless you want to lose followers. Put them into an image form and don’t even imply it’s a link. People click on images. If they don’t click, they weren’t interested in the work anyway.

 
11) Nothing is more annoying to me than automated Twitter messages asking me to check out a book. I’ll block anyone who sends me an automated message.

 
12) Don’t wish for success as revenge for your naysayers. You’re in it for all the wrong reasons.

 
13) Never use a free or homemade book cover. Indie-Publishing 101, don’t do anything you don’t know how to do.

 
14) The goal is for others to find your book, not bombard their newsfeed with book-buy links. Don’t bomb my newsfeed. Again, I’ll block you.

 
15) Use your blog to talk about themes and genres related to your book, but don’t as for sales. Have the link on the blog so people can click on it as an image.

So, drop your preconceived notions as I had, take a year, learn, learn, learn, and research, research, and research. Give your product its best chance to succeed. Enter the writers’ gauntlet.

I’d like to thank everyone for coming across My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.

 

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