This is me: a Talented Nobody against an army of Mediocre Somebodies.
Okay….let me break this down before you start thinking that this is a pity-party.
Forty-five years ago, before the birth of the Internet, it was a LOT easier for a Talented Nobody to get published. All you needed was the right publisher who was willing to take a chance on your creativity and invest in your work.
Stephen King. Anne Rice. Alice Walker. Maya Angelou. None of these people had a fan following BEFORE publishing their first books.
In the 21st Century, that is the criteria by which a “traditional” publisher will judge your worthiness to be a published author. You MUST have a social media presence and a significant number of followers. You must ALREADY be a household name, or at least related to one. And you MUST have enough clout to buy your way onto the NY Bestseller List.
That is why Talented Nobodies like me (eventually) choose to self-publish.
Self-publishing, AKA vanity publishing, used to be the kiss of death for anyone who was trained and educated to write. It implied that you weren’t good enough to get published “for real”. It was also ridiculously expensive, because you had to pay out of pocket at every stage of the process.
Times change. Some things don’t.
I am discovering that self-publishing is a trial by fire. Writing the book, which is by no means easy, is the easiest part of the process. Marketing and promoting your book when you are a Nobody is like trying to be heard singing in a room full of yowling cats. My days are spent slogging through a sea of offers to promote my book for inflated subscription fees, trial and error to find the perfect keywords, ramping up my social media posts, and budgeting for Amazon Ads that may or may not bring attention to my book.
It’s an uphill journey.
I was born to tell stories. I have a college degree in English. I specialize in Creative Writing. I have been trying to get my work published for 30 years. This one project will either cost me my sanity or every cent I’ve got left in the world.
Is it worth it? It is to me, because this is all that I have left of me to market. There is nothing left in my bag of tricks. I am fresh out of other options. Either this will work, or I will perish trying.
Here’s to the Talented Nobodies who desperately lead with their true passion.
May we become the Somebodies that we work so hard to be.