Why Don’t Indie Writers Just Shoot Themselves?

As difficult and exhausting as writing can be, nothing compares to the challenges and sheer misery of self publishing. Just the huge numbers of electronic avenues makes this experience quite daunting. (I run into that word quite often). And as many of us have come to realize, it’s not just the sheer numbers of Internet sites, it’s the TIME you need to spend on them to make yourself credible. That’s the REAL killer. I’ll spend at minimum, a full day agonizing over this composition.


Now he will become famous.

And so we Google: “How do I promote my new book?” Up comes millions of sites with easy sounding names, like “How to Sell a Million Books With One Click of a Button,” or “Make sure you become a member of the following 438 sites you can post on to make you book a bestseller,” and “Here’s a complete list of book bloggers that will review your book and make you wildly successful.”

Of course, The “One Click of a Button” leads you to websites that are impossible to navigate and probably useless, but for the sake of just one sale, for the next day or two, down the rabbit hole you go. The 438 sites? Let’s just politely say that it’s not that they are not interested in your life; they are just interested in theirs a little more. And then there’s the bloggers who will review your books – for only $29.99, but it will take about 3 months, and they have so many restrictions, and they always seem to be yelling at you, but that’s OK because most of them no longer exist or they inform you that they are not accepting new submissions until the Fall of 2017.


So here you are, all excited and duly proud of yourself for having completed something that you devoted weeks, months, even years to and you can’t even get your sister to buy one and give it a five star rating on Amazon. You should be having this HUGE celebration with all your friends. Instead, you’re fumbling around like a teenager in the back seat of your old man’s Chevy, trying to add some kind of Pin to a Board on a site that you REALLY don’t care about, and then Googling one inactive “Will review your book for free” site after another.  And it’s TWO O’CLOCK IN THE GODDAMN MORNING!

But you’ve checked your numbers and you’re 497,364 in Amazon’s Bestseller Ranks. So you text and you tweet. You create a fan page. You blog. You Skype. You Pin, You try and stay linked in, and you Tumble. You contact every “friend” you have, and have them contact every “friend” they have, and every “friend” they have, and so on down the line. “Yes,” they say, “I’ll get me a copy of that new book you just published. I’m gonna read it, review it, and give it a whole passel of stars.” Two days later and now you’re 798,621. in Amazon’s Bestseller Ranks.


Perhaps if I make a deal with you know who

And so you text and tweet some more looking for support and ideas. But as much advice as you get; you write. I consider myself a writer. I have stories inside of me waiting to bust out. Having them stay there while I attend to other business only makes them fester and this will ultimately lead to some really bad juju.

By nature I am not a tweeter or a texter, a Pinner, or Tumbler. I don’t try to StumbleOnto anything, and never figured out how to be Lined-In. Don’t much care for Skyping, and I secretly hate all of my “friends” on Facebook.

So here I sit, trying to promote my book on one more site, and it’s now 3 o’clock in the Goddamn morning. I just keep repeating to myself, “I’m a writer…, this will work…, I’m a writer, this will work…, I’m a writer…

Indie-writer no more, Samuel Murphy is the author of Real Advice for the Newlywed and Real Advice for the Unemployed, both published by Relentlessly Creative Books. Murphy likes to think of himself as a raconteur and a rapscallion, only because he likes the sound of them rolling off of the tongue. A holder of a couple of degrees from some colleges somewhere, he spends his time blogging after rolling his own, so clarity and readability are sometimes questionable, but he’s always dreaming of his next submission.

©2016, all rights reserved,
published with the permission of the author

The video is of Ze Frank, one of the most unhinged humans on an inner planet.