During the weekend I had a spam comment on an old post which prompted me some reflections. Over one year ago my six impossible things were “the usual”:
1) Find an agent
2) Publish a novel (first step of MANY :-D)
3) Start the Silvery Earth web page
4) Become a best selling author in my genre
5) Write and publish all those Silvery Earth novels/stories/graphic novels (for that staircase, the sky is the limit! ;-))
6) Quit the day job and live of my writing (and I’m not greedy, I only want to be able to quit the day job).
What are they now? 1) I’m not interested anymore, not for Silvery Earth (and even for the historical novel I might look for a small publisher who accepts unsolicited submissions) 2) and 5) I’ve done it, I’m doing it, thanks Smashwords, Amazon and Lulu! 3) I haven’t done it yet, but might do it by the end of the year, thanks to WordPress. 4) 5000readers is actually enough for me to accomplish 6), I don’t need to be a best-selling author!
I guess the world of publishing has changed a lot since that post, so if I were to redo this list, what would I write? I have a publication (and writing) plan for the next three years or more, I actually have some kind of five years plan so by my 50th birthday I might be able to quit Day Job. But I still don’t know how to reach out to those 5000readers – I probably have a couple of hundreds who don’t leave reviews, so I have no idea of how good I’m doing, besides, they’re downloading free reads, so I don’t know if they’re actual fans, probably not or they’d have bought the other things as well, sigh. I hate marketing strategies and spamming people with my books, so I’m not going to do much more than what I’m already doing.
I guess I’ll just keep writing and blogging and facebooking and reading other blogs (such as I love Smashwords and Dean Wesley Smith and Joe Konrath and Self-published Author’s lounge, but also other authors who are still on my blogroll because they didn’t quit blogging) and meeting other Smashers (that’s Smashwords Authors for those not in the know) and follow what I feel is right, not what everybody says is the right thing to do. As long as I’m having fun, the passion will come out from my work, I think. I won’t have another writer burnout trying to please everybody, that’s for sure.
On Sunday I also tried to upload a one-shot short comic on Smashwords. There are still errors in the e-pub format, but apparently it works. I am very grateful to Jeff Thomason for giving tips on how to do it. I was also very excited because I had my very first review on Smashwords! With over 500 downloads (full and partial) on 6 titles, it’s the first time I get one… awe! I mean, I know it takes time to read a novel, but all those short stories (over 400 are download of short stories, including the 200 downloads of now 0.99$ Tarun) nobody ever bothered to review… sigh!