It’s #writerwednesday, let’s talk writerly things.
I’m about to publish another book. So, it’s time to stop talking about the Lone Prospect. The picture on the left is courtesy of my Aunt Mary, one of the two people I know of that has bought my book in paperback. When she posted this picture on facebook, my heart actually felt warm. There was my book in somebody’s hands (a person I love no less) and not only did I feel warm. I felt proud. I felt, there, that is success.
You might be going, “Man, you have low standards of success.” I know right now, my book has no reviews. I’ve sold under ten copies between the paperback and the e-book. When I was a fan writer, I had hundreds of reviews and thousands of views on my stories. I also had over 50 of them published. Many shorts, a few series, some finished, some not. And that was a different type of success. In fandom, it can be relatively easy to gain traction. People already like the canon and the characters. You just need to write something they want to read.
It’s different with original work. I still hang out in a few fandom spaces. It’s depressing how many times I see that people don’t read original property books anymore because they don’t feel or want to spend the energy into getting invested in a new world. Or, just as depressing is how they say they want to see such and such in an original work but when you point them to what they want, they don’t want to pay for it. And guess what, no one is obligated to read original stories. (I guess that is why we have so many remakes and reboots of late. Maybe people are just too stressed by life and our political system.) No is obligated to pay money they may not have for new books.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay. We as writers get to determine what success is. We get to determine if we’re chasing Amazon chart numbers or numbers of books sold or a monetary goal. We get to decide how best our energy is put to use in pursuing our goals. Do we join facebook groups? Do we spam twitter? Do we use instagram? Do we write short stories? (I refuse to call anything that is 20,000 words a book if it is for adults.) Novels?
The Lone Prospect is my first book. I never had high hopes about it being a runaway bestseller. (I don’t have the marketing budget for that.) It’s the first book in what I hope is going to be a long series about family, adventure and yes, love. I’ll always be proud of it. I’ll always be happy when someone buys it to hopefully read it.
Chasing fame on a first book is an exercise in futility. Something about dropping rose petals in to the Grand Canyon.
Tomorrow, I’ll post the second chapter of Dawn Warrior. Then Friday, I put The Lone Prospect to bed advertising wise. (With a super adorkable picture also courtesy of my Aunt Mary.)
If you want to read the Lone Prospect. There is an ebook and a paperback. And if you are a book reviewer and would like a free book in exchange for a review, it’s osburn_g at yahoo.com. I’ve got a mobi, a pdf and an html file.