It’s that month again, when the shops are filled with trick-or-treat sweeties and scary costumes, and for once it’s perfectly acceptable not to sweep away the cobwebs. With Halloween on the way, this is the perfect time to share what five things fair put the witchy wind up authors and reduce us to quivering wretches.
Not being read
Whether we’re at the stage of sending off our darling manuscripts to literary agents and publishers or our books have made it to Amazon and the local bookstore, authors around the globe are hounded by the fear that nobody will read our books. We will be ignored, abandoned, and even ridiculed.
We worry that all our time, hard work and imaginative scribblings have been for nothing. Nobody wants to read our book. Nobody wants to take us seriously. Nobody is bothered.
The flip-side of the first fear is that people actually will read our book. Oh no!
What will they think? Will they hate it? Will they think it’s atrociously written? Will they scoff at our plotting and character-development? Will they even like our characters?
Maybe they’ll start reading our book and give up half-way through, tossing our literary darling in the bin.
Worse still, what if they read the whole thing, hate it, and tell the whole world how they feel? One star reviews all over the online universe. What could be more terrible than that?
Putting our faces out there
Oh yes, this could be more terrible. Admittedly, some authors enjoy the limelight but for many of us, the thought of our face on the back of our book, our website, social media profiles, Amazon, in the press, our publisher’s website, or wherever it appears is likely to make us cringe.
We worry that we won’t look professional enough, or literary enough, or just not… enough. How can readers possibly take us seriously once they’ve seen what we look like?
Annoying our readers
We believe in the value of our books, but we don’t want to annoy our readers by asking them to buy our books, or leave us book reviews, read our blog posts, or sign up to our mailing list.
We spend our lives on a constant pendulum swing between ‘please dear reader’ and ‘of course that’s too much bother – I totally understand’.
Disappointing our readers
Once we have an audience of readers who have read at least one of our books, we don’t want to disappoint them with our next book, and our next. We want to create something that they’ll love just as much as the first book of ours that they laid their eyes on.
We work hard to maintain the quality of our work so that our readers will keep on singing our praises, sharing kind words, and buying our books.
It’s a scary business being an author. But do you know what? We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Photo by William Nettmann on Unsplash