Updated: Aug 2, 2022
Hot take -
nounUS noun: hot take; plural noun: hot takes; noun: hottake; plural noun: hottakes a piece of commentary, typically produced quickly in response to a recent event, whose primary purpose is to attract attention.
I usually don't do hot takes, I mean...sure I have my flash reactions to the bull#@$ that seems to permeate society but normally, I keep 'em to myself. But there is this one particular aspect of being a self-published author that pisses me off.
I am tired of not being taken seriously as soon as I say, self-published.
First of all, I knew going into this that self-publishing still carries a bit of a stigma; people won't give you the time of day if you aren't backed by a big-name publishing company. I also knew that my not pursuing a traditional publishing contract would lead some to believe it was because my writing wasn't "good enough". I knew that not writing trope-filled stereotypical "urban" fiction would make it more difficult to catch new readers' attention; that I'd have a harder time finding my ideal readers. And finally, I knew that not duplicating popular trends on socials would mean a low follow/like count, thus limiting my street cred. I thought I was prepared for how long it would take for my outside-the-box-bass-ackwards way of doing things to net my desired results.
Here I am at:
self-published book number seven,
year 14 since the first book hit the streets,
over 100 workshop attendees,
over 100 books sold,
a few internationally broadcast interviews,
over 500 blog posts on three different platforms,
and 8 successful clients,
and I'm still a virtual unknown and thus, still being dismissed as a legit, worth the chance, author and new writer's coach.
It's like applying for jobs when you don't have "5 years' experience". How am I supposed to get the experience if no one will hire me? How am I supposed to gain street cred if you won't buy the books, leave reviews, book the sessions, or hire me to do the workshops? It's so frustrating!
When you're looking for a new author to read, a new coach, a new speaker or workshop facilitator...flash, fame, and likes don't always mean quality, just as a lack thereof doesn't automatically mean 'trash'. Yes, you want to spend your coin wisely, get the "bang for your buck" as they say. Do your research for sure so you don't get taken obviously, but don't discount the little guys, the so far as yet unknowns. Quite often they're hungry for the sale and will over deliver much to your delight. They're prepped and ready to entertain, to wow, and impress. And most importantly, they're really good at what they do, aren't driven by likes and follows, and therefore won't be basing the level of service they give (or their pricing for that matter) on how much recognition they can squeeze from working with you.
I tell a good story and self-publish books that would look good on any store bookshelves. I work with non-writers who have a single, small, book they want to put together, up to skilled writers who produce epic fantasy tomes of over 100K words. So what if you haven't "heard of me" yet, take a chance, see if we're a good fit. You really might be pleasantly surprised.
Here are some other relatively "unknown" folks I think you should check out:
Willmetta Owens, Fantabulous Words. Fiction and developmental editing.
Kate Bailey, Play Big Queen. Women's empowerment coaching
Raenetta Whittington, Are You Whitt It Consulting. Financial empowerment & Credit Repair.
Colleen Watson, Century Plant Publishing. Content strategist for entrepreneurs.
Jennifer Cole, Write for Your Brand. Content editing for greater impact.
Check them out please :-). Tell 'em I sent you!
Until next time, as always, sending light and inspiration,