“Now I’ve been travelin’ all around, I heard trouble’s come to your town, I’ve got a little somethin’, guaranteed to ease your mind…It’s called Snake Oil y’all, it’s been around for a long, long time” ~Steve Earle
I began writing my first novel in April, 2007 and by January, 2008 I had a completed manuscript, but no idea what to do with it.
Naturally, I googled publishing and found a plethora of information about the publishing world, and after more than a year’s worth of research my novel, Living the Dream, was released in August, 2009.
All’s well that ends well, right?
For me – yes, but only because of my innate lack of trust in sales-people…for among all of the information which helped me take my dream to the next level, there was also a…what’s bigger than a plethora?…a glut of web sites and blogs offering…no – promising…to give me what I needed to become a successful author.
It was overwhelming.
Depending on how much money I was willing to part with, I could have access to secrets, tips and techniques that would have me on the couch with Oprah, hanging in the Hamptons with Nelson DeMille and playing poker with James Patterson before I could dot an i.
At first I was tempted, and, I admit, I did click through on some of the free ones. There were some that offered legitimate writing tips about story structure, editing, formatting and such which I bookmarked and still visit.
However…there were many (and I do mean MANY) that made some pretty big promises, such as;
For the bargain basement price of $179 dollars I could learn what it takes to become a best-selling author.
For only $349 I could hire a marketing consultant that would promote my novel to tens-of-thousands of potential readers.
These are only a few of the hundreds of sites I encountered and I’m sure there are thousands more. Fortunately I was skeptical enough to avoid them.
Why did I avoid them, you ask?
Well, as I said, at first it was tempting, but then I remembered something my mother has been drilling into me since I was old enough to listen…If it seems too good to be true, it is.
It’s perfectly natural for first-time authors to believe that they will not be able to spend their royalty money fast enough, and I hope every one of you, regardless of how many books you’ve written, enjoys such success, but remember one thing…in the words of Ringo Starr…It Don’t Come Easy.
Unless you hit the cosmic lottery, you will more than likely make little more than gas money for several years, most of which will be reinvested in your next book. Many of you will lose money; this is a cold, hard fact.
Surely, if it were that easy to become the next Stephen King, there would be dozens of Kings, and probably some Queens, out there already.
Allow me to give you a nickel’s worth of free advice…when you see those google ads promising to make you an instant success…ignore them. There are plenty of free blogs and websites for authors that will offer legitimate advice on everything from punctuation to promotion. If you want to spend money, buy a reputable book or look into classes at a bona-fide educational facility.
If this hasn’t convinced you to save your money…I’ll be glad to sell you a copy of the Blindogg Method for Overnight Sensations for only $249. Guaranteed to make you rich and famous, cure irregularity and get your teeth whiter than the driven snow.
Call now…operators are standing by.