No one cares about your book.
You might feel that you’ve written that next bestseller, but let it sit on the shelf for a week before you start worrying. Chances are no one is going to read it anyway. It’s difficult to get anyone’s attention these days, with everything coming out, people only have so much time and money to spend on entertainment or learning new things. A quick look at what people are reading will tell you there is no need to write another teenage vampire romance novel that has already been done thousands of times before. Especially by yourself, since all books are essentially copied from another one, right?
Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, originally written as Twilight fanfiction. Fanfiction can do excellent practice for writing your own stories, but it’s important to note that no one outside the fandom will ever read it. The story is already out there; why write another? If you are looking for practice, try something completely original.
Here’s what you should do instead: Read. A lot. If there is any time left over after this, then take up an activity that deals with creativi ty in some way, like painting, sculpting, or playing an instrument. The point is to keep creating things and not just sit around when you could be doing so. Just because you wrote a book doesn’t mean it’s worth anything; in fact, most books aren’t worth much at all outside the author’s head. Before you even think about writing another book, go out and read what other people have written. You might discover something new or meet someone new who shares your interests.
No one cares about your book if it is not unique; it will never be unique enough to earn its keep without being truly outstanding, so stop putting pressure on yourself to write something others would want to read and relax for a bit.
However: if you’ve got a burning desire to put more words onto paper, then go ahead and do it. Just don’t expect it to be a huge success overnight because that will not happen. At best, it will have a small group of followers who enjoy your work, and at worst, it will just gather virtual dust on the internet.
You, as an author, are as important as the book.
Most people seem to think that writing a book is all about them: what they want to write about, how they feel about things, etcetera. It doesn’t work like this for two reasons: firstly, you can never please everyone with what you write (the more specific you get, the less general appeal there is), and secondly, every reader has their expectations when they pick up a book. As we all know well, books and their covers make promises about what’s inside – even the title – and if those promises aren’t fulfilled, the reader will feel cheated out of their money. All you can do is write exactly what you intended to write and hope for the best.
You as an author don’t matter at all; well, not once your book is published anyway. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t write your heart out or try to give every piece of wri ting everything you have : only that it isn’t worth trying to please everyone and everythin g.
Here’s what you should do instead: Think about your readers. If someone picks up a copy of your book, they want to be entertained by what’s inside; they want to learn something new or at least be reminded of the familiar. Publishers aren’t interested in your book if you don’t write something that will appeal to readers, so make sure it does! Once this is done, your task as an author becomes easier because it doesn’t matter anymore how you feel about things, only how you convey those feelings to your readers. Your idea isn’t worth anything if no one appreciates it, but once someone likes it, then the world is yours.
You’re not an expert on anything.
One of my biggest frustrations with independent authors is their insistence on writing about topics they are not qualified for. Some try to sell books about science and medicine even though they know next to nothing about either subject; others try to write books on things like finance or historical events when they know next to nothing about those too. In an ideal world, this wouldn’t be a problem since the author would be qualified for whatever they are talking about, but our society doesn’t work that way.
Here’s what you should do instead: Be honest with yourself. If you don’t qualify for something, don’t include it in your book unless that’s the whole point of your story – there are plenty of examples of authors doing exactly that. The point is not to deceive potential readers because no one cares about your book once they realize you’re out of your depth. Readers will move on to a better book by a more qualified author.