Looking back at 2013, it was the year I finally made a little money through self-publishing. I know. I know. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of authors are saying that now, and I’m still a little fish in this big pond, but, after years of the low income and high expenses of my writing career, it’s nice to have enough left over to, possibly, interest the IRS.
Does that qualify me to write a book about how I did it? No. But it would seem lots of other writers are making more money from selling their “how to” books than the fiction or non-fiction they published. It’s always been that way. Back when I was learning about the stock market, I soon realized those who wrote about how to make money were making their own from the “how to” books rather than the returns from their investment advice. But that’s okay. My investment club did very well, and I did write a book. But not a "how to." It was the romance novel ONCE MORE WITH FEELING and one of the checks I cashed in 2013 was for Japanese rights to that book.
I’ve bought and read at least eight books this past year on how to write, market and sell novels, and I’m through doing that. My advice on the subject is to choose books written by authors who actually have impressive credentials. Even then, take their advice with a pinch of salt, because what works for one writer, or genre, won’t necessarily work for another.
The one tip that does seem to work is, “write lots of books,” because this year my total of romance novels listed on Amazon grew to eight, and, recently, a sale of one of my books led to sale of another. Or two. Sure, I’d love to make the kind of money Hugh Howey, Colleen Hoover and E.L. James make, but I’m happy to be in the company of those who are finally in the black, earn enough to pay a few bills and enjoy an occasional dinner at a posh restaurant. Such as tonight.
So thanks Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith for your words of wisdom. I’ll be following it in 2014 and hope to have, as the song says, “A Very Good Year.”