We all have limited resources. When we stare down at what little we have and look up at how much we want to (or think we have to) build, it can all be very daunting and very overwhelming. It might just be easier to throw that manuscript in a box and move on to something more practical, like building sand castles. Then again, you might be one who just can’t throw your dreams in a box.
If you’re like me, then your dreams are with you morning, noon, and night. Sometimes they might be satisfied to hum in the background of your mind, like a tune you can’t quite get out of your head. If you ignore them, however, then they’ll start to scream bloody murder, “You’re killing me, you’re killing me!”
No, I’m not psychotic, but thank you for asking. I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. Tsk, tsk. But really, the point is that, whether we like it or not, there are those of us who are called to write. Having accepted this calling in some fashion, it will not leave us alone, even when we have no idea how to fulfill the calling we’ve been given with what we’ve been given to fulfill it with. We write and craft and polish and we end up with this manuscript.
Ideally, of course, you should be marketing your little heart out all the while. Then, by the time your manuscript is ready to be published, you’ll have an audience awaiting its release with bated breath. Ideally, it wouldn’t matter whether it’s published in traditional fashion or via independent distribution, because it will sell either way.
But, what if you didn’t know that? What if you didn’t do that? What if you’re not ready, from a marketing standpoint, even if your manuscript is? What do you do?
The answer is two-fold:
- If you want to write and sell your manuscripts via traditional publishers, then you need to turn your attention to marketing and build your reading empire, because, if you don’t, you could spoil your career by releasing a “flop,” which is defined as a book that doesn’t sell well enough to make you worth a publisher’s while.
- If you don’t care what traditional publishers think of you, then you can release your book independently and then turn your attention to marketing, building your reading audience slowly while selling a few more copies of your book every month or every week or every day.
Either way, you should also start your next book. Once that first one starts selling, your readers will expect the second one (and the third, the fourth, the fifth, etc.) snippety snap. They want all you could ever produce and more right now!!! So, there’s no time to waste. Take a look around. Don’t get caught up in how little you have. Instead, see what you can use and start building.