Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Six problems with being a Self published Author and / Or Freelance Writer

Being a self published author or freelance writer can be hard at times. There is no doubt about it that sometimes the world just doesn’t understand about what it is like being a writer. There have been times when I feel that I am just pushing back against them to legitimize what career I have chosen. There are many problems as to why people think that self-publishing and freelance writers are badly portrayed but most of them aren't true.

Here are six problems with being a self published author / freelance writer:

1.    Friends and family call it a hobby

My writing is by no means a hobby. A hobby is something that costs you some to partake in which you enjoy. Although I will admit that I enjoy writing, the end result is to earn money from it. I also have to cater for client needs and often have to negotiate price, deadlines and content. This all makes it a business and career rather than a hobby.

2.    You must be raking it in

At the other end of the scale are those who remind me that J K Rowling and other famous authors who make millions from their books. Therefore according to logic; I must be making a comfortable wage each month. This is not strictly too. I am now freelance writing, which divides time from writing creatively, but that is paying me regularly. But I am not making an excessive amount – but within a few months enough that I hope to call it a full time wage.

3.    I am lazy

Writers are lazy??  I’ve heard this one a lot. It is very funny to hear this one because people are very quick to judge your career based on misconceptions from a society stereotype but are not so happy to have hear their own career’s negative stereotypical description. Just to set the record straight I am up at 5am working and go to bed about 10pm after finishing work. Most of the people who say this to me aren't up at 7 am and are watching soaps by 7 pm.

4.    Self publishing is expensive

Without considering marketing costs, self publishing is expensive. Cover art, editing and formatting can all cost you up to about $500-1000 if you want to have the job done right and then you have the costs of the print proofs. When you add in marketing your costs can spiral out of control. Self publishing is not for those who want to be cheap.

5.    Self publishing is lonely

It certainly isn’t. I have met some wonderful people throughout my writing career and struck up some wonderful friendships. With those friendships I have learned a lot of new things and been steered in the right direction in many cases.

6.    Writing take no skill

I’ve had this said to me often. But I always respond with the same question: “how many books have you sold?” Writing a book from start to finish is not easy. Freelance writing is not easy. That is why companies will pay writers good rates for writing their content whether an e-book or blog content. Just because it takes no skill to tap on a few keys on a keyboard, does not mean that it takes no skill to write something coherent.

I hope you have enjoyed my article and I hope you come back for more.

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