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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

One Year On, and How I Judge Success.

I passed my first year anniversary on Monday, and I have to say what a year it has been. Never before have I worked so hard in my life, and I am pleased to say it has worked out well.

My figures show I have sold on average just under one book per day. I know many writers who sell at least ten a day but they're the ones who usually have that many books out. I am happy with how my first year has gone but that's not to say I keep my ambitions low. I keep my expectations low as I think it is important to remember I am an unknown author with only one book out. But expectations and ambitions are not the same thing. A person with an unrealistic high ambition is more likely to give up sooner than someone who keeps their feet on the ground. Remember that saying: 'Slow and Steady Wins the Race.'

I also think it's important not to measure your success on the success of others. A new writer cannot possibly compare themselves to a writer who has been writing for twenty plus years in several different genres under several different pen names. Of course they'll have sold more books than someone who has only been in this industry for the past six months, it's almost impossible for them not to.

But quality and professionalism is the one thing I think we should all keep at the top of our agenda. This is a matter that no amount of time can compensate for. Producing poor quality books is bad form, and it doesn't matter whether you've been doing so for the past twenty or five years. A shoddy book is still a shoddy book.

During the past year I haven't done much active marketing - maybe I would have sold more books if I had. I have tried to focus on networking with people and sharing relevant, quality information, especially on Twitter. But my confidence in my writing skills has improved vastly as I have been honoured to receive some brilliant reviews. And some of these reviews have come from people who live overseas - another remarkable thing about being an indie author. If I had been signed up by a small UK based publishing house I doubt my audience would have reached this far.

So my first year has passed and I have to say the decision to upload my hard work on to Smashwords, Amazon Kindle, and all the other major online retail stores has probably been my best decision yet.

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