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6 Myths Holding You Back In Your Writing Career

By Leslie Sartor

#1   I have to be traditionally published to be a ‘real’ author

I’m amazed that after over ten years of self-publishing, I still hear some authors say this. It depends on what your definition of a “real author” is, but if you want to write well-written stories and sell them on national/international platforms to rabid readers who crave their next book, then you are in luck!

  • You don’t have to wait on an overworked agent who is looking for something particular to catch their eye, ignoring all the other fabulous books that have crossed their desk only to be ignored.
  • You don’t have to wait on a big-name publisher who is the gate-keeper of the business, also ignoring the possibility of your great story just because they aren’t in the market at the moment for what you’ve written.

You can write what you want, find editors to polish your story, find graphic designers to create a cover (or use Book Brush Cover Creator to create your own cover), and find readers on-line who are interested in your work.

You are in charge of your business. You are a real author.

#2   I have to invest a lot of money if I want to self-publish

Like any business, it will take some money to start out, but there is much you can do on your own. The most important thing is to not cut corners where it really matters.

For example, you can create your own book cover even if you aren’t artistic and have a working knowledge of a program like Photoshop. You can use a much simpler program, such as Book Brush Cover Creator.

With Book Brush, you can create covers, teasers, ad images, box covers, and a multitude of other graphics.

The Cover Creator

A good editor is necessary for releasing the best version of your story, but editors come at many prices.

  • Certainly, at the very least, you would want to use the editing portion of your document creator.
  • Having several readers (who will give you their honest opinion) read over your work to make sure you have covered your plot points and beats.
  • Find another author to become a writing critique partner with you.

#3   I have to follow a certain path to become successful

Like any business, there are individual ways to create your own path.

While there are certain aspects of being a successful author that should be followed (i.e. write a well-written story that has been edited), there are a multitude of ways to create your own path.

  • Plotting or pantsing
    • Plot your book or write as the story comes to you
  • Buying your own ISBNs or using the ones given by the publishing platforms.
  • Using beta readers. Giving away advanced copies.
  • Publishing one book at a time or writing several and releasing closely.
  • Having a website/FB presence/social media accounts before publishing.
    • Again, Book Brush makes it easy to create graphics that make promoting and advertising your book.

Book Brush

  • Releasing your book to a wide array of platforms (Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Amazon, etc) or just to Amazon (and use Kindle Unlimited)

These are just a few of the individual decisions you can make along the way. Not everyone will follow the same path to success.

#4   I can’t make a living being an author

Hobby or business?

That question is up to each individual writer.

  • Do you desire to write occasionally, release your story out into the world and hope someone buys it?
  • Or do you desire to write, market, promote, and actively sell your books with the goal of making enough money to consider being an author your full-time career?
  • Many writers make four figures per month, enough to consider making the change to being a full-time author. And the potential to make five figures per month is there for many writers, as well.
    • One of the keys is to write as often as you can, produce as often as you can, and stay consistent.
    • Readers want to know that they can rely on you to produce the next book.

#5   I missed the chance to make it big with the early advent of ebooks

While selling books today is definitely different than five or ten years ago, the market is constantly changing, and opportunities are around every corner!

This is your year

Most readers are used to ebooks (they read on tablets, phones, computers, audio).

  • The market has expanded to include multiple platforms, all having made it easier to upload a book to sell.
  • The genres are wide and varied. (cozy mysteries, romance, sci fi, paranormal, i.e.). There are readers constantly looking for their next book.

You have the opportunity to learn from many authors who have been around and are willing to share their experiences (both what worked and what didn’t).

  • There are numerous classes offered by seasoned professionals (some are free) that will assist an author through the various aspects of the business.
  • Don’t forget about blogs, including those at Book Brush, geared toward authors that offer information on a plethora of subjects.

#6 I’m not sure I’m good enough

Every writer, no matter how prolific, famous, or educated will feel at times as though their words are lacking… the struggle is real.

  • Read. Read the books that make you feel. Learn from the authors that you are reading.
  • Write. Write every day. Write what’s in your heart.

image created in Book Brush

  • Create. Create characters that are real. Give them personality. Give them dialog that makes the reader understand what they’re thinking.
    • Give them backstories (who are they, where did they come from, what do they do, what do they think, what are they looking for, etc).
  • Study. Study books on craft so that you are writing a well-written book.
  • Polish. Edit your books and get others to edit so that the reader’s experience is the best it can be.
  • Discover. Find affordable tools that help make your author life easier.
  • Learn. Learn from other authors. Learn from trying. Learn from your mistakes.

Article by Maryann Jordan

USA Today Bestselling and Award-Winning Author

I have always been an avid reader. My early memories were of my mother taking me to the library and allowing me to check out as many books as I could carry. My favorite books were checked out numerous times and read over and over. I would use my Barbie dolls to play out the scenes in books (such as Nancy Drew!).

I joke that I “cut my romance teeth” on the old historical romance books. In 2013, I finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created. I now have over sixty books published.

I worked as an adolescent counselor and was involved in education for almost thirty years until retiring in 2015. I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for thirty-nine years, who is my biggest supporter. I have two adult daughters and three grandchildren. When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!

I love to hear from readers, so please email me at! You can also find me on Facebook or my website.


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