To be clear...
…about my motives. In all my time spent in undergraduate studies and also in my time learning about the backgrounds and lives of men and women all throughout English and American literature, one thing was evident: as great an author as many of them were, they were broke.
I have no preconceived notion that if I write I will automatically make money.
With that being said, publishing is not what it used to be, either.
When I was coming along in my childhood, I was the bookworm hitting the library and the book fair whenever possible. I could get lost for hours in our library at our small rural school. I can’t tell you how many times I began to write...something. How many times I would get on a Radio Shack PC at the library or on my mom’s typewriter and just start typing. I usually would get several pages deep before I ran out of steam (direction).
One of the things that kept me from doing much more with that 10,000 word start to my novel almost a decade ago was the sad fact of who in the world would want to publish this book? How would you get an agent? How in the world would you get this manuscript, whenever it was finished, on the desk of a publishing house editor – only then to be put in another stack that would be narrowed down from there.
Independent publishing has changed all of that. Anybody can write a book, regardless of how poor the Story is and regardless of how good the Story is, and get it published. Not entirely to the credit of Amazon, but they do deserve a lot of applause, and among many others in the self-publishing world, anybody can publish a book. That doesn’t mean anybody will buy the book; that is where the rubber meets the road. In 2012, was it possible to earn a living writing books? Yes, but much, much harder than right now. The market has been absolutely turned on its head. The author is now the marketer. It can be done, but it does take Story craft and business savvy marketing. The good thing is that there are those who have gone before me.
My expectations are best set at not what one book can do for me, but what a series and several novels can do for me. It will not be overnight. Most successful authors write anywhere from two to several books per year and this is the goal.
At the end of the day, the goal is to “write for yourself.” I should write as if nobody is ever reading, but myself. I know if I never sell a book, I must do this for myself.