Hello Rebel, and welcome back to my life.
Today I wanted to do a rapid-fire Q&A video, inspired by a similar video by Jenna Moreci—link in the description.
Jenna is a science fiction author and vlogger to whom I was introduced by Willow, aka @MindOverMuses on Twitter.
And Jenna’s charming and funny and uses way, WAY more bad words than I do, all of which are good things, so you should definitely go and check her channel out.
All right, here’s some of the most common questions I get asked about writing and publishing, answered rapid-fire style in under four minutes. Here we go!
I want to be a writer. How do I start?
Write a book.
What kind of book?
The kind of book you want to write.
What if I’ve heard my genre doesn’t sell well?
Every genre sells well enough that you can earn a living from it. You can tell because there are at least some people in every genre who are making a living at it. What will NOT sell is writing in a genre that you do not passionately love to the very core of your soul. Write the book you want to write. Everything else is secondary.
Okay, I’ve written a book. Now what?
Write another book.
But my first book isn’t edited.
That’s fine. Write the next book.
Okay, I did that. Now what?
Good, now go back and edit your first book.
Oh, hey! I learned a lot of things on my second book that I can now use to make my first book better!
Mm, that’s not a question, but you’re a figment.
Okay, I’ve edited the first book. What do I do next?
Now you should write another book.
But the second book—ah, I see. It’s like last time.
Again, that wasn’t a question, and your status as a fictional person will only grant you so much forgiveness.
I’ve written and edited several books now. I’d really like to publish them. Should I go indie or traditional?
Indie if you want more control but a LOT more work, and to earn more money per book but probably sell less of them, traditional if you want to earn less per book but probably sell more of them, but ONLY if you first gain the approval of an agent AND a publisher AND an editor AND a sales distributor. It’s super complicated and absolutely no one can or should even try to answer it for you.
That was a lot of information all at once.
Okay this is your last warning. That was not even close to a question and if you do it again the video is over.
Is my cover good enough?
Did you design it? If so, it is almost definitely not good enough. No, not even if you know Photoshop. Hire a professional.
How long does it take to become a full-time author and not have to do anything else to earn a living?
It depends on how hard you work, how much you study and apply marketing, and on luck. It took me more than three years, and I still have some months that feel pretty dangerous in terms of book sales.
Jenna Moreci was able to become a full-time author and YouTuber after her first book. I am not at all insanely jealous of her.
Writing seems like an awful lot of work.
You know what? It is. And it is whether you’re an independent author or traditionally published. It’s a career, just like any career, except there’s no guaranteed paycheck or salary.
Telling stories for a living is hard and scary and might drive you a little bit crazy. It’s uncertain and stressful, and if it’s easy for you to imagine going and something else for a living, I highly recommend it.
But if you’re a little bit obsessed, keep putting down words, keep watching and learning how to make it as a storyteller, and good luck.
Also, that last question wasn’t a question, so this video is over.
Now feels like a good time to mention that I have a video series called Writer Wednesday that is only available to my patrons on Patreon.com who pledge $5.00 or more per month.
For those people, I offer weekly lessons on both the art AND the business of writing, and I answer any questions they might have.
If you’re an aspiring writer, it might be helpful to you, and if not, it’s real easy to cancel. Check out my Patreon if you want to learn more about it.
Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you tomorrow. Byyye!