Last post of 2014. What a year it’s been. I dove into the deep waters of indie publishing like a newborn babe and emerged…well, still a babe, but with some hair on my arms and chest. Think about that imagery for a second.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first self-published. I knew the boat had sailed some four years before and I was oh, so late to the party, but I also knew it would be an opportunity to connect with readers and writers I might otherwise never run across. On a professional level, the experience could probably best be described as a total failure. A tie in the soup. A shoestring in the spokes. A softball to the crotch. I’ve lost money, failed to reach more than a few hundred readers and increased my workload immensely. On a personal level, it’s been a blast. I had no illusions going in that I’d be one of those windfall writers that somehow catches the mysterious and unpredictable Amazon algorithm wave that vaults me to the top of the charts and a cornucopia of fame and riches. And yet I did think a good story and solid writing would make it easier to draw readers. The problem as I would soon realize is that there are a octillion (1 followed by 27 zeros) other authors out there trying to catch the same wave and only by dogged tenacity (or blind desperation) could I possible hope of outwitting, outplaying and outlasting them all (nod to Survivor!).
And yet, along the way I discovered a curious thing: there is a community of authors eager to share this experience and help others along the way. I’m not talking about the hordes of Twitter who “follow if followed” only to spam your feed until you’re blind with images of nude-covered books of bare-chested vampires. I’m talking about genuinely good people willing to read, constructively critique and promote your work while taking time away from their own. Several of these peer-to-peer experiences have blossomed into genuine friendships and all the advice has shaved decades (okay, months) off the learning curve I might have otherwise been forced toil alone.
Most of the stuff I’ve learned is common sense and I’d heard it all before. But the whip has to crack you a couple times before the truth sets in and those first few mediocre reviews that complained about typos (and only typos) will send you scrambling for a professional editor toot suite! A good cover, good formatting, and professional website also factor in to Author 101, a course I hope I’ll be moving on from soon. I know, I know. There’s still much to learn.
So 2015 is hours around the corner and I’m eager to see what’s next. Publishing book two of the Robinson Crusoe chronicles or trilogy or whatever I’m calling it is set for March, a deadline that ranks just below spending time with the wife and kids and above working out, getting sleep and keeping my sanity. But I’m eager to see if the career takes that next step up. I’ve paid some dues, maybe not all, but I’m ready and willing to do the work. God willing, I’ll find more readers and more friends along the way.
If you find my flavor of smart-assery (TM) entertaining, I might suggest reading a couple of my peers.
John L. Monk writers a devilishly good series about a suicide victim that pops in and out of the bodies of evil men to deliver justice. It’s gleefully good stuff. If you want to check out his work, go to his website here.
Faleena Hopkins is a total badass author of supernatural erotica. If anyone in the world was secretly a werewolf with a monstrous libido, it’d be her (this opinion is based solely on the strength of her writing, I have no personal experience with her lycanthropic or sexual proclivities). Check out her website here.
Will Marck is relatively new to the game as well, but not knowing the rules means he can and will break them, which is why I loved the hell out of the futuristic serial he’s just started. And if he ever gets around to writing a review of my book, I know it’ll sing. (Boom, biatch!). Here is his blog.
That’s it! This year is a wrap. Wishing you all a very happy and safe New Year’s Eve. See you in 2015!!!