Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Road Up The Mountain

"The road to truth is long and lined the entire way with annoying bastards."  - Alexander Jablokov, novelist

If you're an indie author, you no doubt strive to have sales numbers like Joe Konrath or Amanda Hocking. What we all must realize is that this whole indie book publishing thing is a marathon, not a sprint.  A long road, for sure.  The annoying bastard part? Rejection, poor sales, bad reviews.

We all want instant success, but building a fanbase and getting your name out there takes time. My father-in-law worked a number of jobs over a period of 30 years. Sometimes two or three at once just to pay the bills. He was in his mid-fifties by the time he left his job delivering linens.  After that job, he started working as an estimator for a commercial bathtub installer. And he absolutely loves it.  Says it's not even like working. And he does well at it. What's the point? At fiftysomething, he found the ideal job.   It's never too late for success, and if you have the talent and don't give up, I think success will come in some form.

So what are us indie authors to do?

1.  Write. Write. And oh yeah, write. Marketing and social media are important, but if you want sales to grow, you must have product. If a publisher only had one or two books to offer for sale, do you think they would make much money?  A thousand words per day (which should take about an hour or so) equals an average-sized novel in three months.

2.  Stop comparing yourself to other writers. Instead of constantly reading blogs or killing time on Facebook, work on your own stuff.  Quit worrying about who has more sales or who's a better writer. Improve your stories. Write more.

3. Give and take. Don't incessantly promote. Offer blog posts that have value. Give advice. Re-tweet other writers' good news. Pay it forward.

As Bon Scott said, "It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock n'roll."  Success as an author is no different. Try and enjoy the journey.  What are some ways you're trying to improve as a writer?

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