The commitments you make as an indie author matter. They matter so much, I could leave this blog post at that sentence alone -- there's really nothing more to be said. You can't blow them off, you can't pass them off, you can't change your mind. I don't even have to tell you a bunch of reasons why your commitments matter...there's just one that trumps them all.
Ready for Commitment
I got an email recently, and it got me to thinking about the commitments we all make as indie authors.
Commitments you've got to follow through on, when you make them. It doesn't matter if you're busy, or if you're tired, or if you're hungry and cold and you haven't had any free time in weeks. Because as an indie author, all you really have is your name. Why associate it with someone who disappoints, and back peddles, and fails to follow through?
If you agree to review it, review it. If you agree to be there, be there. If you say you're going to write it, then that's what you do. I've been reading through my TBR list very slowly, but I'm working on it. I'm not going to write to those authors and say sorry, I've got too much work and I can't even write my own books right now. And no one is forcing me to continue blogging Writing 101 tips, but I committed myself to a certain (insane) posting schedule.
The commitments you make, and break, could break your reputation. Any little thing can actually affect readers, and as an indie you can't afford to alienate even one. I got an email from another author asking me to review a book they agreed to review. I saw that same author asking for help at large on a popular authors' forum (clearly, this author doesn't read the blog or they would know all about me and the author forums). And it looks pretty bad, I think. No excuse can be good enough for failing to meet the commitments you make.
Because as an indie, your name is what you have.