Stop making assumptions about what you should do and instead focus on making, data driven, strategic decisions based upon your own experiences.
Failing that, if you lack personal data, don’t pick multiple authorities to listen to and attempt to assimilate all their opinions. Instead, focus on researching the authorities and identify the one you think has taken the path you most wish to follow. That’s the “expert” you should listen to.
Decision fatigue (wikipedia article) has become the number one issue for many writers today. Not only does our craft require us to make choices with every sentence, we’re regularly forced to make business decisions.
One of the main ways to improve is to create a project timeline. There’s no reason to think about covers, if you’ve not finished the outline for the book. Contemplate decisions as the need arises and not beforehand.
Build a Team
Stop trying to do everything yourself. You’re an organization and you must have a team to help you grow. Build systems as you succeed to ensure future success. Maintaining your level of success requires more effort than it took to get there. When money comes in, you must invest in your support team this insures continued growth. Attempting to do all the things, only results in burnout.
Caveat is, don’t spend money to hire a team in an attempt to avoid things you can do yourself. That’s the wrong reason to hire a person. You hire when it makes financial sense to have someone else execute the task, freeing yourself up to focus on the core elements you do best i.e. writing.
Patience is a Virtue
Patience is important. This ties back into burnout and frustration.
Building up false expectations in your mind based upon assumptions rather than data, leads to disappointment and lower productivity thereafter. Thus, creating a death spiral for your business and writing career.
Most self-published authors won’t earn a living wage from their writing. Hard work and dedication doesn’t grantee you’ll make a living from your writing.
Elements of success for authors:
- Talent (which can be learned through practicing your craft)
- Luck when it comes to the market (are you hitting a trend?)
- Year of experience (the size of your back list)
- Most of all, Genre! (the number of readers will dictates your potential earnings)
Why are you investing in your business?
What do you expect to get out of your author career and business?
Even if you don’t put in money, you’re still putting in your time; the one resource you can never replace.
The market (readers willing to buy your book) determines your financial success, that’s it. There’s an infinite number of ways to draw a readers attention to your book, but if readers don’t buy you can’t earn a living.
You can’t force a reader to buy a book. But you can control the visibility of your book through marketing and advertising, in the attempt to find the readers willing spend their hard-earned money on your book over all the others vying for their attention.