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Dolcelyn Imperio-Smith
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Story Cartel, Joe Bunting

After talking to thousands of writers over the years, I’ve found that the most disappointed writers aren’t the ones who haven’t published anything yet, or even the ones who haven’t finished anything yet.

No, it’s the published writers who are the most disappointed.
Because getting published alone isn’t enough, right? You also have to get readers to buy your book, and read your book, and tell their friends about your book, right?

You also have have to build an audience.

Have you ever written something, something you were proud of, that you believed in, sent it out into the world to be read by others, and then didn’t get the response you expected? Or even worse, you got hardly any response at all?

I have! Hundreds of times. It’s humiliating. I worried, did I have what it takes? Could I really make it as a writer? And I started believe that no, I couldn’t make it. No, I didn’t have what it takes. I even thought about quitting.

And this is the problem. Because as hard as it is to write a book, as hard as it is get published, finding an audience is the hardest thing of all.

Getting a publisher can sometimes help, but they can’t build an audience for you. In fact, most publishers expect you to already have an audience when you approach them.

How do you do it, then?

How do you make sure more people than just your mom read your writing?
Because, no offense to all moms (love you, Mom!), but that’s not enough if you want to have a successful career as a writer.

You have great ideas. You have important things to write. And you want to share them with the world. Perhaps even change the world (and if it’s not too much to ask, make a decent living at it while you do it).

The problem is that the publishing industry isn’t what it used to be. It might even be broken. Bookstores are closing down. Publishers are publishing fewer books. It’s harder than ever to break into the publishing industry.

Being a writer today is hard.
You not only have to write, but you have to do everything related to publishing, too. You have to write book proposals and synopses. You have to build your platform and network. You have to find an agent and then a publisher. Then, when your book finally is published, you have to do marketing and P.R.

And that’s just if you go the traditional publishing route. If you self-publish, it’s even more work.

How do you make it as a writer? How do you write the things you want, make the living you want, and manage the chaos of the publish industry at the same time?
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