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October 2, 2013 / anthonykzullo

The Greatest Enemies of a Self-Publishing Author

In this post, I wanted to talk about some of the internal things that can cause the self-destruction of  your career as an indie author.

1. Impatience

Impatience is the self-publisher’s enemy number one. Don’t try to sell your novel until you are 100% sure that you have something sellable and awesome.  I know this sounds horrible, and you’re probably thinking, “well my book can be decent, right?”  Wrong.  If you’re choosing to self-publish, you’re choosing to go around the many, many gatekeepers of the traditional publishing route, which means you can’t be sure of quality.

If you disagree with me or you just want to share your book without worrying about making a profit, then go right ahead and settle for decent.  Other people will recognize it’s only your average attempt just like you do.  And that is what they will think of you:  an average writer.  Sorry, but readers don’t always purchase books if they think you’re average.  Then instead of being given that opportunity to make a stunning first impression, you’re going to have to fight your way into changing their minds.


Patience is a virtue.  If you’re in this to make your dreams come true, wait.  No matter how long.  The value of a first impression is so important.  It’s already hard enough getting people to actually spend their hard earned money on your book when your as famous as your grandma.  Don’t turn them off by being impatient.

There are a lot of things that go into building a good book.  Here’s a few, but not all of them:

  • Writing Your Book
  • Rewriting Your Book
  • Editing Your Book
  • Getting Beta Readers
  • Getting Your Book Professionally Edited
  • Formatting Your Book
  • Getting a Good Cover
  • Publishing Your Book
  • Marketing Your Book

These aren’t simple things; they take time, effort, and energy.  You want to succeed, right?  Well, be patient and create the very best book that you can create.

How can you tell if it’s ready?  Let your beta readers read it.  Make sure they read the kind of genre your book falls into.  If you get enough positive feedback, it’s ready.

If not… wait.  Even if you’re sick of the story, it’s better to not publish and have something worthwhile than it is to publish something you would have wished you had waited on to begin with.


2. Pride

Don’t take reader criticism to heart. Most people don’t intentionally try to hurt your feelings. They just have their own opinion, and their opinion is important to them. And to you. If it helps your writing, don’t dismiss it. If it’s plain rude and mean, don’t reply.

It never looks good of an author to belittle anyway. You are building your online reputation, and you don’t want to be seen as an asshole. Only dildos and dicks like assholes, and sometimes, they don’t even like them. Be the bigger person and say nothing. Even if someone is intentionally trying to hurt your feelings, you shouldn’t give them the satisfaction.

Change your book and improve it.  Make yourself like it more.  You don’t have to necessarily follow everything everyone says, but when a lot of people tell you the same thing, they probably have a point.

And take it from me, sometimes negative criticism can really improve your work.  Really!  That one bit of negative feedback can make you really tighten up your plot.  It has for me.  Honestly, good critiques are awesome for your self-esteem, but not necessarily the best thing for your story.  You can’t improve something unless you know where it’s broken.

Don’t be prideful.  Fix it!

3. Procrastination

Or laziness. Self-discipline and passion are the two enemies of procrastination. Fight fire with fire and motivate yourself whenever you can, and when you can’t, just write anyway.  The best way to write and be successful as a writer is to write/edit everyday.  Do it and overcome procrastination.

It’s not an easy feat, but if your passion and your drive are stronger than procrastination, then you’ll accomplish it eventually.  Start out small with 100 words a day, and then next week do 200 words.  Keep going until you reach 1000 words.  Then 2000.  Or however many you feel you can commit to.

The difference between a professional writer and an amateur is that the professional keeps showing up.

4. Fear

This is the biggest enemy of all authors. Be brave. Write with all your heart and never look back.  No matter how scary it might be.  No matter what it takes.  Just show up.  Fear is evil.  It stops you from achieving your dreams before you even put pen to paper.  It causes doubt, worry, depression, and self-loathing, but it can always be overcome with will, bravery, and passion.

Believe in your dreams.  They are possible.

Here’s my list.  Do you think there are others?  Comment below with your thoughts.

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.



Leave a Comment
  1. Wright Forbucks / Oct 3 2013 2:03 pm

    Great advice. When I started out impatience was my biggest problem. It caused me to publish at least one bad book… W4$

    • anthonykzullo / Oct 3 2013 4:29 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad you think it’s useful ^__^ Impatience is evil!


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