Back in high school, I never would have seen myself starting my own business.
So, what possessed me to do it?
In my previous post, I talked a bit about my experience working in publishing as their unpaid Marketing Assistant intern, while juggling book writing and a day job. I didn’t necessarily think that running a business would be easier, but I did feel that it would be:
- More fulfilling than working in insurance.
- Better suited to what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go in life.
- A great way to combine all the things I was doing at the time regarding my publishing job and my writing.
So, I finally decided to jump in and give it a go.
Four months later, Paperback Kingdom is steadily growing traction and helping authors to build their careers. It’s a space where I connect readers to indie/small press books through our Monthly Reading Challenge (hosted in our FB Group) and blog, and it’s also where I help authors with all aspects of writing, publishing, and marketing, through live trainings, printables, and online courses.
A while back, a few people told me I should be a teacher, but I couldn’t see myself having enough time to teach and write books (because if I was going to do it, it was early childhood teacher all the way 🙌). But when I self-published Stuck on Vacation with Ryan Rupert, my love for all things entrepreneurial bloomed, and that led to me consuming and binging on every piece of ‘biz advice’ I could get my grubby hands on.
Paperback Kingdom was the perfect way to bring it all together, because anything I implemented, I would be doing for myself. When I teach authors about branding, I’m learning how to brand myself too. When I do a marketing workshop, I’m picking up tips to market my own books when I research.
This, along with the need to find a viable freelancing outlet, was ultimately the driving factor that led to me starting my business. Four months later, it was also what made me realize that I don’t want to work in publishing (or at least, not at this point of my life). Yes, I want to work in the industry, but not necessarily in a single department, and not necessarily promoting other people’s titles.
What I wanted to do was support other authors and make lifelong connections, but my focus and priority will always be my own books, because I am an author and it’s what I’m here to do. And unfortunately (even in my case), nobody cares about your book until you give them a reason to, so that has to be my first focus for the sake of my own book’s success.
But, I realized that I love to teach and share, and that the things I learn are things that every self-publishing author will need to learn too. So why keep it to myself, when I can make a living from just sharing my knowledge? I figured that if I can lead by example, it would lead to other author’s success as well.
The industry is competitive, but I truly believe that community trumps competition. Authors who work together get better exposure, and build a better rep, because readers love discovering books and they love finding genuine, amazing authors. If you take the time to contribute to the community and build friendships, instead of cutting off support and opportunities, you will see much better results in your author career.