From time to time a buzzing mosquito of a thought comes to us, perhaps in the middle of the night: There are so many books out there already. Authors are even giving them away free. How can I possibly hope to compete?
We don’t need to compete. Leave competition to the big publishers to tussle among themselves with numbers. All we have to do is write excellent books and find a readership, for which there has never been a better time. Then, whether we publish independently or through a publishing company, our own particular stories will appeal to our own particular readers.
We are all individuals, and if we write honestly, with passion, accomplished storytelling, and a drive to become our best writing selves, we will write good books.
I’m reminded of the stories of Hugh Howey, who published independently, and when his work turned out to be so good that it couldn’t be overlooked, a publisher picked him up. (He keeps his ebooks independent.) And Elena Ferrante, of the Naples Series, who keeps herself to herself and believes that so long as her books are good enough, they will find a readership.
And if, in the dark of night, the number of authors out here still appears daunting, I always think it’s a happy break for us writers that most of us are also voracious readers.
I hope you’ll have another brilliant writing week.
From @yourwritingmuse: I admire the way you create tough short- and long-term goals for your protagonist.