This past year has been one heck of a ride. I’ve learned a lot, failed a lot, succeeded a lot, cried a lot, smiled and laughed a lot, and now I have a hopeful game plan for 2014. I’m excited for a new year and new opportunities, testing new ideas, and taking the next step in my writing career. I have four solid books out now. I feel ready.
Please learn from me
In preparation for the new year, I’ve been doing some research in regards to book marketing. I’ve read a few ebooks, met a handful of helpful people, and learned from my mistakes. New mistakes are more than likely, but it’s all about the journey, not the destination.
Books you should read that I should’ve read sooner:
(read the second one as well)
Please note that all these books are geared more towards nonfiction categories. When it comes to writing fantasy and such, a good chunk of their advice doesn’t fit the genre. Also, don’t forget to go to bookstores and talk to booksellers. For example, I considered changing the title to my trilogy but a bookseller friend of mine was like, no wait! Don’t do that! Why? Because it’s annoying to readers to buy the newly titled book, only to realize they’ve already read it under a different title. There are tons of great tips in these books and many others, but the only piece of advice you can take as gospel is to KEEP WRITING.
Embracing the Journey and Releasing My Death Grip on the Destination
If you find yourself super stressed at the moment, and maybe even feeling hopeless and daunted, you might want to take a moment to look within and reflect on what you’re focused on. Are you taking things day by day, one step at a time, or are you constantly longing to be at the finish line and dreading every step you might have to take to get there?
“Life is about the journey, not the destination.” It’s one of the greatest pieces of advice anyone can give to another, yet one of the most difficult things to embrace, especially if you’re a control freak like me. I want everything to happy my way and when I say it should. I’m ambitious. My logic is that hard work pays off. In the past, that also meant that when I felt like I’d worked hard enough, things should start falling into place right then and there. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I humbly admit that was my mindset. I created so much unnecessary stress.
I still teeter towards that mindset, but every time I start feeling myself tilt, I reflect on what I’ve done thus far and what I hope to do next, and that my final goal simply takes time and effort. I want to be a best-selling author. I’m bypassing nabbing myself a literary agent and going the self-published route. I’ve found a quicker way to getting published; however, I haven’t made it any easier to achieve success.
Technically I’ve already hit success. I’ve got four books out and I’ve begun to make blips on the literary radar. I have people friending my author ego on Facebook, honest, positive reviews crop up on amazon.com from time to time (and of course with some blah ones; no author can please every last reader), and with each book published, a decent chunk of books get sold across the board. Every time I put forth effort, I see direct, encouraging results.
Sales don’t last, though. They need constant stimulation via marketing and book releases. You can’t just set the books there and forget them. On top of that, I’ve come to not only accept but embrace that it’s probably going to take a good ten books before I can make a modest living off my writing, and I mean just modest. Any writer who attempts to make a career out of writing doesn’t get into it for the money. There are far better and easier ways to make much more money. So, for those of you who may be discouraged by such a blunt truth, please don’t despair. Always write. If you’re like me, then you need it to preserve your sanity and provide yourself with a mental release. Whenever you have a day where you find yourself at a loss as to why you should keep writing, remember that and keep going!
The thought of it taking ten books to make any headway used to bring me to tears. I didn’t want to wait that long, didn’t want to stress over finances for that many more years, wonder if I’d ever make it, etc. Now, it’s a case of accepting that ten books may simply be what it takes, unless I get lucky and strike gold.
The positive reviews, the friending of my author ego, and the local support I get keep me going, and my blah days are more like blah moments. I can shrug off negative reviews and ratings. I know my books are good. I’m proud of what I’ve produced. I’ve learned a lot and my writing will only get better from here.
I’m gonna be testing out trying to get independent bookstores to sell my books for me in Phoenix, bookstores in airports, and buying ads in newspapers. I’ll keep you all posted on how things go, and if anyone reading this has tried and succeeded at other ideas (or even failed horribly and you learned why), please share the knowledge. The more all us writers help each other succeed, the richer everyone’s bookshelves.
And on a personal note, I boasted that I could read Atlas Shrugged in 10 days. My brother said it took him over 20 to complete the ponderous tome. I have two other books queued up before that one, so we’ll see if I can meet my own challenge. My goal for this year is to read a book a week, give or take a few, depending on length.
Happy reading and writing!