Self-Published Writers: Should We Be Afraid?


The end of this month is the end of a very long journey for my sister. After years and years and years (one more for good measure), her debut novel, “The Quest for the Holy Something or Other” is being released this Friday.

Can I get a Woop, Woop!

Can I get a Woop, Woop!

Of all the emotions we are experiencing right now, I’d say the predominant one is fear. That’s right FEAR.



And why shouldn’t we be? Most of what you read or hear about sales numbers and the success of marketing is pretty dismal. There isn’t a lot of good news out there for us in the DIY publishing world. And it’s only going to get harder they say.

Here’s the hearsay:

  • the e-pub market is over saturated
  • the novelty of e-books has worn off
  • advertising does not increase sales
  • a social media presence does not increase sales
  • price promotions have become ineffective
  • consumers are overwhelmed with the number of existing e-books on their e-readers, and will be slowing their purchases
  • increased competition from traditional publishers will hurt sales

When the future of e-publishing looks bleak, how can writers not worry about our own future?


When we worry about the future, we lose sight of the present and forget to celebrate the journey. My sister and I have swallowed our fear with a big piece of cake and a shot of Captain. From here on out, we’re going to focus on being positive. After all, there’s plenty of things to feel good about.

  • a box of brand-spanking new books arriving in the mail
  • the launch party at Cook McDoogles
  • the fact that she is a published author
  • being able to find her book on Amazon
  • all positive reviews
  • having her own book on her bookshelf
  • other people have read and will read her writing

All of those items are successes, and that’s not even including sales.

Speaking of sales, there can be financial success for those who sell quality work and work hard. By quality work, I mean a damn good book.The days of writing decent books with good covers and making money is over they say. The key is to write an awesome book that will sell itself, edit it professionally, design a quality cover, and build your platform.

With that said, should we be afraid?

of failure

of not making money

or wasting our time

of negatives reviews

of fear

We can’t even worry about those things until we finish a book, which reminds me of my greatest fear:

never finishing a book

Seriously writers, never NOT be afraid, but don’t let the fear paralyze you. Fear stops us from doing the things we love. You just have to keep writing. As we speak, I’m editing my sister’s second novel and finishing the draft of my first book.

Take heart, take a bite of comfort food, and get back to writing. Never NOT write!


43 thoughts on “Self-Published Writers: Should We Be Afraid?

  1. Jon

    One thing we can never be accused of is wasting our time. I fully expect to sell only penny numbers of any books I publish. Will that mean my writing is a waste of time? Not a chance. It’s not like I had anything better to do with it, anyway.

  2. Behind the Story

    Best of luck to your sister. This is a well-balanced post. As an author several months out from publishing my first novel and struggling to market it, I appreciated your list of the things to feel good about.

  3. Don’t be afraid, enjoy the ride. Having an understanding of the realities of the market is good to tame your expectations, but it shouldn’t stop you from celebrating the success of writing a novel, or working hard to maximise any opportunities that you have.
    Enjoy the launch and whatever follows, but most importantly, don’t stop writing.

  4. Ali Isaac

    Best of luck to your sister, and enjoy the launch! Now the really hard work starts… don’t say the dreaded ‘M’ word, most Indie authors hate it!

  5. Wonderful post. We know all that negative news and yet we have to write. I’ve always written simply for the love of it. I trust that if I “Write a good book, they will come.” I dismiss fear. But sometimes I forget to celebrate! Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Consider this: if marketing and advertising don’t help much, you don’t even have to think about them! Having your writing packaged and available for purchase is an accomplishment to be celebrated indeed. Thanks for the fresh perspective.

  7. The fear that tightens your gut and runs around the hamster cage in your brain never goes away, not even after publishing multiple books. But, you’re right. Keep going. Keep writing. Never, EVER, give up. Congratulations to your sister on her launch!

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