By Melody Peronette
Hello everyone! I'm so excited to get to be on Brittney's blog and talking to all of
you. Thanks so much for letting me come on here today Brittney!
So, I thought I'd start with telling you a little about myself. I'm 21 and am an indie
author (hence being a part of Brittney's indie author guest post series). I write young adult contemporary fantasy and science fiction. Right now, I have a science fiction duology out,
but I plan to release Wayward the first in my St. Croix Falls series in September. I'm an avid reader, tea lover and I love blogging as well.
When I first started my self-publishing journey, I was eighteen. I wrote Weapon Icean as my
2015 Nanowrimo novel, spent a year revising and editing it and then publishing it December
2016. Since I was little, I've always wanted to be a writer and a published author. I always thought I'd spend years querying agents and get traditionally published, but then by the time I was old enough to write real books and seriously consider publishing a book, self-publishing had become a thing. I spent a lot of time researching the pros and cons of traditional
publishing verses self-publishing and what that journey might look like for me
before deciding to choose the indie author route for Weapon Icean. For me, it fit my life style and who I am as a person. I like having complete creative control over my books and over the years I've grown to really love the community that
comes with being an indie author.
But, there's a catch. Going into this, I knew it would be hard and a lot of work. I
would have to do everything myself. There would be no agents, no editors, no publishers to help. Just me. Even knowing that though, I still feel like I went into publishing Weapon Icean blind. I had high
expectations and a blurred image of what indie publishing looked like. For
some reason, I thought I'd sell lots of books without having any sort of audience. Well... after the initial two months of (mostly) family and friends buying my book along with a few random sales, the sales dwindled considerably. Now I'm lucky if I sell one or
two books a month. I'm always worried to talk about this, about my book's lack of sales because I'm afraid if people hear that no one’s buying my book, they'll think that discredits me as an author. But I've come to realize over the past few months that its important to talk about the fails along with the successes. If I didn't get to hear some of my favorite indie author's stories of their fails in self-publishing, I would feel pretty lonely and discouraged. So, I know its important to talk about these things, especially since I've made leaps and bounds in the right direction since 2016.
I knew it would be hard, and I knew it would be a lot of work, but I didn't know what kind of
work. I didn't know what to do with my books, how to promote them, how to create a brand for myself or build community. Seriously, I've been floundering and stuck for the last four years. Just kind of doing my thing, chugging along and blindly hoping that something would come of my books. It was only this year that things really started to change. I did Katie Phillip's five-day Author Branding Challenge and it changed everything for me. I honed in on my niche genres, I learned so much about myself for a writer and coming out of it I challenged myself to change things and take the next steps in my author journey. I started a newsletter, I got myself a genuine author website with a domain and everything and I revamped my social media and blog presence.
I don't just want to talk about my journey, though. This post is meant to be an encouragement to all of you are just starting out as indie authors or who have been stuck like me and don't know what to do next. Over the past month, I've been feeling varying degrees of self-doubt, imposter syndrome
and discouragement. I'm scared to death that the book I'm planning to publish in September is going to flop just like Weapon Icean. Doubts are roaring through my head constantly right now and there have been more than a few times where I've thought
maybe I should just stop. Maybe I shouldn't go through with this. What
am I thinking? I can't do this. I'm never going to get anywhere as an indie author. I'm not cut out for this. But then I have to remind myself of the why. Why am I doing this? Why am I working so hard to publish this book? And that is what I think is most important for indie authors. To know your WHY. Your why is what is going to get you through your entire journey. Your why is what is going to get you through the darkest times when your stressed out and seriously doubting yourself. Why are you doing this? Why did you write this book and why do you think this
book should be published? For me, the reason I write, the reason I want to
get published is because this is my dream (I know, that sounds so simple and cheesy but its
true haha). This is what I want to do with the rest of my life and I want to share my stories with others. I want my stories to be a source
of hope and an escape from this crazy world for other people, just like other books have done for me. I've worked on this for too long, invested in my writing and myself as
an author for too long to just give up. It's hard but it’s worth it and I have to remind myself
every day that I'm playing the long game.
Being self-published doesn't guarantee success over night, but I promise you, if you do your research, write a fantastic book, build community and have a whole lot of patience you will be a success. Even if it takes you months or years. It will happen. That is what gets me through the hard
times. Because even if it doesn't happen this year or next year or even the next year, eventually I will succeed. If you keep the mindset of being willing to learn, to grow, to challenge yourself and be patient with yourself, you will succeed too. Don't give up because I promise all your hard work will be one hundred percent worth it in the end.
If you'd like to know more about me and my books you can go to www.melodypersonette.com and you can also find me on Instagram at @_melody_author_. Thanks again for letting me share a little of my story and some insight on your blog Brittney!