Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IWSG Wednesday: The Best Days are Not Behind Us

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

The best days are not behind us. At times I feel like I missed out on the good ol’ days of publishing. I don’t know if I’ll ever see my books in actual bookstores, but that doesn’t have to be such a bad thing. Online retailers are crushing bookstores one by one. I get to be part of the new revolution instead of what’s being phased out. Some mornings I feel like I missed the self-publishing gold rush of several years back. I am running near the rear of the stampede only to get lost in the kicked-up dust like so many other authors joining the chase. The market is overcrowded now and discoverability is like winning the Mega Millions jackpot. But it’s never been easy. If it was, then everyone would crank out their masterpiece to collect a quick million.

There are a lot of best practices, but there doesn’t seem to be a single secret to discoverability and becoming the next big name. It always comes back to hard work, persistence, and luck. The harder you work and more persistent you are, the luckier you tend to become. But coming back to the notion that the self-publishing gold rush is over, I recently read a blog post by Hugh Howey, who coincidently is one of the self-publishing success stories listing more indie authors able to support themselves on their craft. Go check it out and come back: Defying the Odds (And the Naysayers).

I have to admit, I’ve never heard of the authors he mentions, but I’m not looking to be famous, I’m looking to make a living as an author (a comfortable living if I may be so bold). I found the post very inspirational because these authors really began to make an impact after the so-called gold rush was supposedly over. Granted, they have been writing for quite a few years and have healthy backlogs, but that’s the real key—honing your craft over multiple books, finding your true voice, finding what it is about your storytelling that will connect with readers, and having more titles for your readers to discover, fall in love with, and tell their friends about.

The best days are not behind us. It seems like everybody has a book or two or even three, but the truly passionate authors will not stop there. They’re in it for the long haul—10, 20 books, and more—and will inevitably find their nuggets of gold because more is always out there. More readers are looking for good books every day. I only have two books out so far, but I plan on writing for the long haul. Sometimes I feel like I missed out, but I didn’t—not really. I didn’t miss out on anything because my best days are writing, which can—and should—be every day.


  1. Seeing your book near the top of the charts on Amazon is much more exciting than seeing it in a bookstore - trust me!
    If there's a secret, it's just to write great books and keep producing them.

  2. I had a chance to have my books in B&N, had some successful book signings with a traditional publisher. Financially, I'm doing much better with my smaller publisher and 95% of my sales are ebooks. I agree with Alex. Those sales figures on Amazon feel really good.

  3. I don't believe the best days of publishing are behind us either.
    I think publishing, as with many other industries, will stick around as long as there are consumers. Thankfully, people are always on the lookout for a good story, whether it's found in a book, or a book adapted to a movie, TV show, musical, etc...

  4. I've personally never been on a book tour or anything of the kind, but I do look forward to one day becoming successful.

  5. Only two books out?? That's 2 more than me! ha. I have 12 finished novels (rough drafts anyway), and 0 published. But I am definitely going to change that. It's just taking ages. ;)

  6. I feel what you are saying, and have wondered the same thing (about being lost in the stampede). It's still an exciting time and as a reader I'm so excited by variety of new stuff - but also lost wading though unedited final pieces.

    I think part of the key to success in indy is having more than one book out almost on top of each other.

  7. Michael, very inspiring. I absolutely loved this post. I think you hit it spot on... hard work, persistence, and luck. Really. I believe without a doubt, it's the people who KEEP WORKING that make it.

    Loved this. :)

  8. Thanks Michael - I needed this reminder! You're right; there are lots of great options and opportunities ahead.


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