I’ve been doing this writing ‘thing’ for about eight years now. I’ve worked mostly as an Indie author, but I’ve had, (and dropped) an agent, I currently have a publisher for one of my titles, and 11 other books I’ve published on my own. That isn’t the secret.
I hire cover designers and editors because I know my creative limitations. I come up with the idea, they make them look better. Also, not a secret.
I’ve been to dozens of book signings, made many thousands of bags of swag to give away to readers. (Vista Print and I are in a serious relationship together, and it’s complicated.) Not news to anyone who follows me, though. Swag Addict.
My secret, dear readers, is that after eight years and twelve books…I don’t actually turn a profit writing. Hell, some years I don’t even break even. After paying for said designers/editors/swag material (that I do get cheap) and marketing…the return is, well nill.
SO WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS TO MYSELF?
Easy. Apart from the fact that any writer will tell you, that it’s in their bones. We write because we have to. But the main reason I keep putting books out there, is well, YOU. Yes, you.
My fan base may be small, but they are the world to me. Their messages, their reviews, their tears, and laughter it all works as fuel for a writer. It provides the motivation for me to sit back down at the keyboard and come up with another story.
I can’t tell you the number of times a reader has actually pulled me out of thoughts of failure with a note or review out of the blue letting me know how much one of my books meant to them. There are fans that became readers again only because they picked up one of my books. I have young adults who have creased the spines in some of my titles so badly that they need a second copy just to display.
I have inspired authors and readers alike to write stores of their own because my books brought something to the surface for them. I’ve made my readers feel something they weren’t expecting in most cases. I’ve made people miss meetings and forget to feed their kids because they were so lost into one of the worlds I created. I’ve inspired my own daughter to try her hand at writing a novel.
THAT is my secret and my greatest accomplishment. I may not make money doing this writing ‘thing,’ but I’m reaching people. Moving them. Making connections. And isn’t that what it’s really all about?
So thank you, dear reader. If you have ever left me, or another author a review, or reached out and messaged them with your kind words, thank you. We read them. We need them. Your words of support are all the motivation a writer like me needs.
If you need me, I’ll be in self-editing hell of book number 13.