On August 14th, 2017 I launched my first five books. Green, uncertain, excited, and overconfident, I made myself the promise to give this writing thing two years. Time’s up!
The desire to throw in the towel is strong, and I came very close to quitting. Being an indie author takes more time, money, and skill than most people realize. The never-ending list of things I still need to learn remains ever out of reach and I am tired of the fight. Amazon has a death grip on indie authors, and I resent having to play their games. It is very difficult to remain motivated and productive without getting something in return – yes, I’m needy! I could go on and on, but you don’t want to hear it and it’s discouraging to lay it all out here.
While I am very tempted to chuck the whole dream, I’m not going to – yet. Honestly, I wish I could pull the plug for a couple years, write like crazy without the distraction of publishing and promoting, and come back with a vengeance! If I did that, I’m afraid of losing what little knowledge and skill I have, and starting over from scratch is not an appealing option.
The biggest reason to keep going is because I enjoy writing so much. I may be a failure on the business side of things, but I’m a good story-teller with tons of great ideas. I still have an awful lot to learn about the craft, but the readers I have are asking for more despite my shortcomings. How can I possibly disappoint them?
So, what’s next?
The money crunch means I will be doing more writing than publishing for the next year or so, but there’s no way around it. I intend to focus on shorter works rather than novels, and will probably set aside romances for more sci-fi and fantasy. In addition to improving my writing skills, I want to set up my backlist for print-on-demand and build my blog readership. I’m also considering a withdrawal from KDP Select and returning to D2D as a distributor. Once I have enough new material written, I need to work on building a newsletter email list and possibly open a Patreon account.
The short-term goal is to make enough from my books to keep writing and publishing. Long-term, I hope to generate a modest income to support me in my retirement years. If it all falls apart, you will be the first (and last) to know, but it won’t be because I haven’t tried. If it were possible, I would write myself a HEA and call it good! Too bad the real world doesn’t work that way.
2 thoughts on “My Publishing Anniversary”
It was nice to see “Expectant Moon” on the “Home” page! I recently re-read it & enjoyed it even more than the first time!
It’s too bad that you’re struggling to publish your books. I have enjoyed them all & am enjoying your Draman stories, too. You ARE are a good writer & I, for one, would hate for you to quit! Keep your chin up, you never know what’s around the corner. Just keep writing, if not to publish, just do it for yourself. Do what you love, no matter who reads it!
Expectant Moon is one of my favorites – so glad you have enjoyed it!
Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m hanging in there for now, but on a restricted basis. It will be a balancing act to only work on what I can afford. The truth is, I may be a good enough writer, but I am fairly useless on the business side of things. Unfortunately, indie authors have to excel at both!
I have an interview next week for a second job, so we’ll see how that affects things. Financially it will be very helpful, but it’s going to leave me very little time for writing. Maybe by the time I retire this will all work itself out!