A Year Off
Have you ever made a cup of coffee while half asleep and you take a sip of scolding hot liquid thinking it's had a few minutes to settle when in reality it's still the temperature of molten lead?
Yeah. I might be speaking with a lisp today.
At some unknown point in the next few months I will be leaving the drudgery of working for someone else behind and experience the crushing doom of being a full time author.
(And with coffee-tongue activated, it sounds a little like, 'ethperienth tha kruthing doom of being a ffull time awtha.')
Or maybe it will be a kickass time! Who knows? Future me knows, but he's being a tight-ass when it comes to hindsight.
So here are some of the challenges facing me right now. If you have any insight, corrections, tips, or wads of money, send me an email! There's a little icon up the top of my site. Or there's Twitter. Or Facebook. Or Goodreads. I am surprisingly contactable.
Problem 1: Not enough books.
A lot of writing bloggers seem to blog about things they've seen on other people's blogs, using the same sources and presenting it in their own words. What they all seem to agree on (because they're reading the same single source) is that financially successful indie authors have an average of 13.75 books published compared to not-yet financially successful indie authors who have an average of 7.4 books published. Where do I fit in?
I have 4 books published and 1 short story. So, I'm in for a challenge. I do have 1 zombie book almost published (covers are pending), Broken Toys is being beta read at the mo', and the final Kingston Raine book was mostly beta read and then put on hold for a year as burn out took over (courtesy of working on 5 books in 2 years featuring the same characters). So by the end of the year I might have 7 books published. Can I get 7 more published in 2017? I'm taking bets now.
Problem 2: Not enough time.
The more financially successful authors have been publishing for 3+ years. I'm clocking in at 2. Why does that matter? Less time to build a readership, less time to learn how to promote your ass off, less time to figure out what works and what doesn't. And I've only really been promoting myself for 6 months, and not even all that effectively. I'm still very much in that trial and error stage.
Problem 3: Not enough money.
I guess there's never enough. I began the year trying to figure out how much money I was willing to throw at promotions. Then I doubled it. Now I'm thinking I might have to double it again. In 6 months I'm willing to bet that I'm going to need to spend $1,000 on every book I publish just to give it a fighting chance at being recognised.
Problem 4: Not enough reviews.
Reviews sell books. I have almost no reviews. Guess how many books I'm selling? Admittedly, I'm getting better at getting reviews, but I'm still in that trial and error stage of knowing where to go and who to talk to. Time will tell how I go with that.
Problem 5: It's all up to me.
Even as supreme poobah of motivating myself, I'm going to have off days. I could probably work 80 hour weeks and not see any difference for years. The whole 'did I do everything I could do?' is going to weigh heavily on me and the simple answer is: no. I'm running a small business here by myself and trying to learn how to master a whole lotta skills that people go to university for and spend years honing in a workplace. I have to teach myself how to do that and pass myself off as a pro within just a couple of months. Even so, there needs to be a balance between life and being productive. I'm exactly the type who, at 10pm and after calling it a day, wants to get back to writing and editing because there really is just a little more I could do. But if I'm taking a year off from working for other people then I'm going to want some decent memories out of it, not just, 'I sat in my office staring at a computer screen for 12 hours a day.'
Of course, if you feel like helping a brother out then I'll just leave this handy little link to a book down below. It's 99 cents. And if you happen to feel like dropping a review, that would be mighty nice of you. :)
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