My career is in a good place. I’m blessed to have incredible readers. Sure, I work incredibly hard, but then I feel like I’ve always worked incredibly hard. It’s just more focused these days. I read something online recently about becoming an “overnight success” and that made me wonder if new writers or those thinking about becoming a writer really understand how long it takes.
For instance, while I’ve written all my life, I started writing with the goal of publication in 2003. In 2005, I finaled in the Golden Heart. In 2006, I got my agent. In 2007, I finaled in the GH again. Then in 2009, my first sale to Samhain happened. A few months later, I sold to Orbit Books (Hachette). That book, Blood Rights, didn’t come out until late 2011 because they wanted to release the first three books in the series back to back to back. (And I had to write them!) In 2014, with 8 books and one novella written for Orbit and one book and one novella for Samhain, I decided to go full indie. I spent the rest of 2014 and half of 2015 doing nothing but writing so that I could launch my new series back to back to back.
13 years after I started writing for publication, I finally feel reasonably established. I’m at last making a good living as a writer, I have a solid (and amazing) fan base and a clear career path. But the sucess certainly didn’t happen overnight. There were times along the way I thought about quitting. Times when there wasn’t any real light at the end of the tunnel. Obviously, I’m very glad I didn’t give up, but man, this is a hard job. It takes perseverance. Or plain stubbornness, which I definitely have. lol
It also takes money. My dad always taught me that scared money never wins, so I’m always willing to take a risk. And that’s what indie publishing is, a risk. Each one of my indie books costs about $1800 (or more) to bring to print. And that doesn’t include any of the promotions I do.
And there is no guarantee that you’ll make that money back. None. But the chance is there. And it gets better with every book in a series that you put out. Indie publishing is absolutely a volume game. Series that seem dead can take off with the fifth or sixth book but many give up before that.
If you’re just starting out, it can seem daunting. I get that. But we were all there once upon a time and you need to know what you’re getting into before you dive in.