Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Challenges faced by authors

Published:Sunday | January 29, 2017 | 1:00 AMCorine La Font

Over the years-being in the publishing industry as a self publishing consultant, author and coach, I have come to realise that there are some key challenges that many authors face to varying degrees.

Today, I am sharing some of the possible areas where aspiring writers and publishers face challenges and some solutions.

 

Writing

 

Many authors have contacted me on how to get started with writing. They have great ideas but don't know how to put them down or even how to get started. I often just say, "Start at the beginning". There's no better place to start.

Some have concerns with the flow while others feel that they need to cater to everyone's needs in order to get a bigger chunk of the market. Wrong! You cannot cater to everyone. In just the same way you can't please everyone, the same goes for writing. You have to decide who your target audience is and cater to their needs only.

You can, however, have a primary and secondary market. In that wa, you can provide either a different version of the same product or a different product entirely for each market. It's up to you. But you definitely can't, or it's not recommended, have a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to writing.

Writing consistently is another challenge for many authors as ideas to write for some authors come in spurts and at ad hoc moments. To deal with this, I always encourage writers and authors to have their notepad or recording device ready to document their thoughts and ideas.

You never know where, when, and even who may inspire you at the oddest of moments

Some authors try to save money by editing themselves. This is not a good move as you cannot and should not edit your own work. You can't pick up your own mistakes when you are so close to the project. So get an objective eye, even if you have to pay for it!

Don't even mention writer's block! That moment when nothing comes to you like in an exam when you really need the thoughts to flow. In this instance, I suggest taking a break. Do something else that you enjoy like reading your favourite book, watching TV, going out with friends, driving out to the countryside or taking some time away from where you write. Get out of the environment to somewhere new to seek inspiration and get the creative juices flowing again. Don't stress it. Just relax and enjoy the moment. When the thoughts do start to flow, you will not be able to put the pen or keyboard down!

 

Publishing

 

A major challenge in this area is deciding whether to go the route of traditional or self-publishing. I wrote an article back on June 23, 2013, titled 'Traditional Versus Online Publishing' (http://bit.ly/1Mg7RBX). It's worth your looking back at that article online to gain valuable information.

You might want to decide whether to publish in print and e-book. My recommendation has always been to do both, and if you can, also pursue audiobooks, which offers different versions of the same product, capturing a larger market. This is a perfect example of what I was referring to above.

Another challenge is where to publish. Most persons will, obviously, look to Amazon as the largest online retailer of books, but it is worth spreading your wings to places like lulu.com and Barnes and Noble, plus other online retailers who offer other features and benefits that may be of interest to you. So keep your options open.

 

Marketing

 

This is the whopper of all challenges! So you have written your book, got it published. Now, how do you generate sales? This takes even more time, effort, blood, sweat and tears, and financial investment, for while you may be able to get through writing, and publishing, on your own, you need help in this area.

In addition, I have strongly suggested on many occasions that you market even before you start writing or while you are writing. That way, by the time your book has gone through the writing and publishing process, you would have already garnered sufficient interest to be able to get your book sold effortlessly, if done right. Some people don't get this, or don't want to accept this, but this is the model that works!

In many instances, authors steer away from marketing based on fear, lack of knowledge, feeling overwhelmed, and just deciding to focus on what they know they can do best, which is to write, and leave the rest to the universe, or karma, to figure out. They move along with a hope and a prayer and most times are disappointed. Change the approach and you should see improved results.

You can check my website for some free webinars that I will be hosting soon to help with these challenges and more.

I look forward to your interaction and involvement to get you out of your comfort zone and to see you publishing more books in 2017 and beyond!

- Corine La Font is a speaker, online business coach, award winning author and self-publishing consultant. Check out her website at http://www.helpdeskja.com and contact her at corinelaf@gmail.com.