When I was ten, I announced that I was going to grow up to be an author. Unlike a lot of “I’m gonna be -this-” statements of children, I never let go of mine for a more practical decision. Writing is one of the few constants I’ve had in my life. It has gotten me through some dark times, and it has given me a safe way to express pent-up feelings. I’m not arrogant about my abilities, but I do believe that I have a gift when it comes to creative fiction and it was always my intent to be published.
I looked into many different options when it came to publishing. There’s traditional publishing of course, but I was put off by the idea of a publisher controlling your content and, in a sense, “owning” you and what you are doing. There are many benefits to this type of publishing as well, but as far as my individual goals and desires, ultimately the “commercial” route wasn’t for me.
I looked into smaller publishing houses and even had interest from more than one publishing group, but I realized that if I went that route, I’d still be left to my own devices when it came to marketing.
Ultimately I decided to self-publish. I answer to no one. I write what I want, how I want, and at my own pace. I make every single decision independently and no one can ever control my content or anything else about my writing.
These days, indie authors can make it “big” if they persist. I’ve never really had dreams of making it “big.” Would it be awesome to hit a best-seller list one day? Sure it would, but ultimately all I’ve ever wanted, as an author, is to gain a loyal group of readers who enjoy what I write. I write for myself before anyone else. I write for the experience of writing. I live in the moment when I’m weaving a story, introducing a new character, or uncovering a plot-twist that even I didn’t see coming.
I published my first novel in early 2016, my second late 2016, and now my third will be released on March 30, 2018. There will be three MORE books in the series, plus a lot of bonus content.
Through 2016, I tried my best to throw my debut novel out to the public. If I worked hard at marketing, I sold a few here and there. If I slacked, my sales page was dead.
The climb of my sales has been slow, and yet, steady. Until today, I hadn’t checked my sales since the end of December. I discovered a few minutes ago that throughout the month of January, I’ve sold a handful of books every single day. (With only two days of no sales.) I didn’t burst into tears or anything, but I feel accomplished. It’s exciting to discover that the characters that came out of my brain are being given the opportunity to speak to readers on a daily basis, that they’re “alive” in other people’s minds on a regular basis.
I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m going to continue to focus on my writing first, and marketing second. The readers will come if the characters are compelling. A handful of sales every day is a vast improvement from where I started, with just a few sales per month. I feel like the vision I had of myself as an author is becoming my reality, and I couldn’t be happier about that. With a smile, I will keep moving forward.
Did I mention I’m REALLY excited about the third book in my Dark World Series being released in just over two months?? This will be the best installment yet!