If you live in the United States or you're an ex-pat, it's likely that you're going to be celebrating Thanksgiving in the next few weeks. It may seem like a day dedicated to gluttony and American football, but the idea of recognizing what you're thankful for is still the concept that the holiday revolves around. Independent authors are particularly lucky now to be doing what they're doing. Here are some reasons you should be thankful to be an author in this Thanksgiving season.
- The online community of authors. There's never been a time in history when it's been so easy to find like-minded people to bounce ideas off of. You can find beta readers, researchers, support staff and best friends just by clicking some keys.
- The ability to create your own destiny. It's entirely possible to carve out your own future by planning and executing a career as an author, without worrying about gatekeepers turning down your books before they reach your readers.
- The ability to work anywhere in the world you like. Want to wear your pajamas and work in bed? You can do that. Love the local coffee shop more? That's possible, too. Authors have worked on their books in every conceivable place in the world. All you need is a laptop, netbook, tablet or even a phone.
- The ability to have a conversation with all your readers. In the past, authors had to rely on fan mail, which really didn't encourage too many conversations. Now you can set up your own social media pages dedicated to spending time with your fans, finding out how they think and what they want in your next book. Instant feedback.
- Free advice from industry experts. Traditionally published authors had to hone their craft by studying for years, buying shelves full of books and enduring rejection after rejection. Today, you can find sound advice about every aspect of the business for free, on forums, in articles and in social media conversations. It's all there if you look for it.
- Awesome tools. Be thankful you don't have to work on a typewriter or even pen and paper. Today you've got a computer with, at the very least, a great word processing program. You also have the ability to use incredibly helpful programs like Scrivener for writing, Evernote for notes, multiple dictionaries, thesauruses and character generators, scads of word count apps and encouragement programs all designed to help you on the way.
- EBooks. Twenty years ago, eBooks were a tiny part of the reading landscape, but today it's entirely possible to be a bestselling author without ever publishing a paper book. And that means higher royalty payments for you, because ebooks don't have printing costs.
- Your readers. It all comes down to them. They're who you write for, and who keep you sitting at the keyboard day after day.
Keep the Faith and may the Force be with You!