First we need define what is meant by ‘success’. I think we can say there are two measures. One do with the quality of the work and the other more quantitative measure – sales.
I have been reasonably satisfied with the quality of my work. They have been well received by readers and well reviewed. I have an editor I trust and who has improved my early work hugely. She says I am a ‘consummate storyteller’ and I’d agree, I am. That aspect of my work is easy. I do struggle with the pull to conform to genre limitations and commercial viability. I have leaned towards keeping my original voice, which is not mainstream as it does challenge and take readers on journeys into exotic worlds. Most have said they enjoyed the trip and they come back for more – so the quality is there.
Now we come to quantity – sales and branding. This is an area I am weak and I know it.
Because I’ve been concentrating on the writing for five years during which I’ve completed twelve novels, I’ve found the progress slow and painful when it comes to selling the resulting work.
I am aware I needed to learn and not make mistakes that would damage my prospects so I’ve been careful and have not gone for the hard sell or used all the social-media as fully as I could. I dipped a toe in twitter and withdrew confused and bewildered. But now I’m back.
I have film being professionally edited that will push the individual novels in short films and readings and two or three longer films about myself and the locations featured in the novels.
In stages over the next six months I will begin to put into practice what I’ve learned from those who have made a success of social media selling.
It remains to be seen how successful this will be but I do know one thing. I absolutely know the one thing I and any other writer needs. I now offer that as my one piece of sage advice to anyone wishing to follow this hard writers path: determination, dogged never-say-die persistence.
My beloved B calls it my ‘terrier mode.’ Once I get my teeth in a thing I never quit.
I’m not sure one can learn such a thing but I can say you must try. Never stop believing in your self and never give up. Keep learning and keep trying.