Posted on October 13, 2022 at 9:00 AM by Guest Author
Every author struggles with book-writing fears, especially in the beginning. Discover how to conquer those fears so you can turn your passion into a career.
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If you’re an aspiring or first-time author, you probably feel a little apprehensive about putting your work out there. After all, there’s no turning back once you release your book to the public. At that point, your dream becomes a reality. And it may not meet your expectations.
With so much that could go wrong, it’s tempting to let your book go unfinished (or unpublished). But you shouldn’t let your book-writing fears stop you.
You have something worth sharing. Whether it’s a piece of nonfiction with valuable information or a fictional story meant to entertain, someone out there wants to read it. So, you owe it to yourself and your potential fans to move forward. Otherwise, you’re doing yourself — and them — a huge disservice.
Then here’s something to consider: Every author experiences book-writing fears.
Every. Single. One.
Even those who have been writing steadily for years can get hit with a sudden burst of terror when starting, finishing, or even promoting a new title.
The difference is that most seasoned authors have learned how to overcome those fears. They don’t let anxiety or doubt get the best of them. Instead, they take a deep breath and push through. And you can too.
It’s just a matter of doing the following:
Remembering why you wanted to write the book
Reminding yourself that you have what it takes to be a writer
Understanding that you can’t please everyone
Following others’ advice for first-time authors
Taking the right steps to set your book up for success
Writing a book, publishing it, and putting it in front of readers can be scary. But if every author let that stand in their way, there wouldn’t be any books at all!
So, if you’re passionate about your craft and want to pursue writing as a career (or even a side job), don’t let your fears hold you back.
Knowing you’re not the only one to experience book-writing fears can be reassuring. But chances are, you need a little more help to shift your mindset and put yourself in the best position for success. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of common fears authors experience, along with practical tips on how to conquer each one…
FEARING THAT NO ONE WILL LIKE THE BOOK
Perhaps the biggest fear authors have is that no one will like a book they’ve written. The last thing you want to do is to put effort into a title that people don’t enjoy or find valuable. And it can be tough to silence the voice in your head that says your book isn’t worth reading.
How to Conquer: When this fear pops up, it’s important to remember why you decided to write the book in the first place. There’s a story you want to tell or a topic you want to cover. If you focus on that and aim to write a book you’d like to read, you can trust that others will feel the same way.
The world is a big place full of readers with varying interests. As a result, there’s sure to be an audience for your book. You just need to know whom you’re writing for (i.e., your ideal reader). That way, you can speak and promote directly to those most likely to love your book.
FEARING THAT NO ONE WILL READ THE BOOK
Many authors fear that people simply won’t read their books. With millions of books published every year, it’s easy for yours to get lost in the crowd. And if there’s a possibility that your book will go unnoticed, you may wonder if you should even bother releasing it to the public.
How to Conquer: The key to overcoming this fear is preparation. The more work you put into making your book stand out, the higher the chances of your ideal reader taking notice. To get people to read your book, you need to grab their attention and prove your book is worth reading.
Here are some basic steps to take:
Craft a solid title
Design an eye-catching cover
Write a compelling blurb/description
Choose the right retailers
Select appropriate categories
Apply relevant keywords
Promote it on other channels
By following these steps, you can enjoy greater confidence and less fear.
FEARING THAT IT WON’T MAKE ANY MONEY
Another one of the most common fears among new authors is that a title won’t make any money. No one wants to imagine putting all that work into a book only to get few to no sales. It’s enough to stop you from putting anything more into your book. After all, what’s the point if there’s no return on your investment?
How to Conquer: You can address this fear by examining the facts and adjusting your expectations.
Research shows that $1.25 billion worth of self-published books are sold annually. However, the amount a self-published author can make depends on how much work they put into their book and their marketing. A well-written book marketed to the appropriate audience in a strategic manner yields better results.
Further, it takes time to build a fan base and see significant book sales. So, you need to be patient and adopt the right mindset. According to bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, writers who fail typically lack the necessary attitude — a combination of optimism, pragmatism, and cynicism.
FEARING THAT IT WILL BE SUCCESSFUL
It sounds strange, but the idea of success is also one of the biggest book-writing fears new authors have. If your book becomes a hit, it can bring you a lot of attention you may not be prepared to deal with. Moreover, a successful book could change your life as you know it, which may leave you feeling anxious.
How to Conquer: You can face this fear head-on by examining what exactly you’re afraid of. What is the reason you really fear success? Simply jotting down your thoughts can make it seem much less scary. It can also help you brainstorm ways to prepare for specific situations (e.g., public events) that may arise in the future.
FEARING THAT IT WILL RECEIVE NEGATIVE REVIEWS
Negative reviews are another fear shared by first-time authors. Just the thought of people publicly stating everything they hated about your book can be terrifying. You may feel like you’re better off leaving your work unpublished than facing harsh criticism.
How to Conquer: Overcoming this fear involves accepting the reality that negative reviews are unavoidable.
Not everyone will love your book, and that’s okay. In fact, constructive feedback can help you become a stronger writer. If multiple readers mention something they weren’t happy with, focus on improving in that area for future books.
Of course, there are quite a few trolls out there too. And when you run across reviews that merely bash your book rather than offer constructive feedback, you just have to brush them off.
It’s normal to experience book-writing fears. The important thing is not to let them hold you back from putting your passion project out there. If you’re in the process of writing, publishing, or promoting your debut novel, apply the tips provided here to conquer your fears.
(Want to set your book up for success? Receive the marketing advice you need to boost book sales by downloading our guide!)
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