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. Continue reading →
The pain of editing is to be welcomed and recently I’ve been in a lot of pain. All my work is being re-edited, often more than two years after it was supposedly completed. That has been a fascinating process. It is astonishing how ones view of ones cherished words change when viewed through so distant a lens. I find I am able to be much more ruthless in killing the babies now. My angel proofer/editor, Miriam has helped that process with her fresh eyes. I cannot over stress how valuable such eyes are. The work has improved hugely . The changes are each small but the difference overall is enormous.
Any Indi author who does not go through this process is doing themselves and Indi publishing a great disservice . When I put my first novel out six years ago, I made all the rookie impatient mistakes and the result was a worthy story let down by poor implementation. I’m now thoroughly ashamed of that and wish I could withdraw it. I have done so as much as possible but there are copies floating about second-hand and in a few shops. So speaks the bitter voice of experience. Please authors, pay for professional editing/proofing and learn to kill your babies. The result is always worth the short term pain.
My new Facebook pages are another new learning experience that is producing some birth pain. It’s so very easy to be discouraged and feel down about the slow start. But I’ve learned my lessons well and now know that patience and diligence is needed. I must not get discouraged and so I will plod on and hope my mistakes are not great. I’m trying to watch how the more experienced do it and will read good advice .
One thing I’ve learned about self-publicity – it is too easy to be drawn into threads on forums that are dominated by other writers keen to give voice. I withdraw from such places as soon as I see readers are absent or are leaving. Other writers are not who I want to reach, but even as I say that, I can hear the hollow laughter. For who, other than other writers, is this blog post addressed to?
It’s too easy to lose track of what ones social media efforts are meant to do.
Sell more books, right?
That and learn how to do it better. The later is what this post is about.
I am open to advice from those who have trod this path before me. So any Bakebook veterans out there with words of wisdom to offer, let me hear from you.