Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TUESDAY TIP: Call Me a Tortoise Anyday!

ETA: Not sure how I did this but I scheduled this to post on Tues. at noon and discovered Wed morning it was still waiting to go--I'd put the right time and wrong date. Ooops. Technology, gotta love (since we can no longer shoot it (<g>)

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Every eBook discussion board from Kindleboards to Nookboards is filled with hopeful eBook authors, vying to be the Next Big Thing. They throw around names of authors who've made six and seven figures and attempt to dissect the process as though there's a secret. There is. It takes a lot of hard work and a really great book--or rather, several. It also takes a bit of luck and timing.

And guess what? All of that was and still is true of the traditional publishing path as well.

There's no secret path or system for getting rich quick. The fact that people still faithfully pursue this holy grail is the basis for success of all of those scams coming out of Western Nigeria and the means by which Chinese money launderers are able to steal western identities with relative ease.

I quit work in 2005 to be a writer full-time. I learned in the short year and a half that I had to learn and try my hand at writing novels full-time, that I can, in fact, write a book in 3-6 weeks and edit in another 3-6 weeks, so I could, theoretically, turn out 3-4 new books every year. I definitely am not at a loss for ideas for new books. That's not the problem. Time is. Since I don't have the financial means of support available, I cannot write full-time. Erego, I creep slowly along in my current WIP (the Lacey / Rainey Story). It's very frustrating but it's the path I've chosen.

I can hear some of you now: "But, Sarah, that's what an advance is for!"

Yes, you're probably right, but advances for new, unproven authors aren't really sufficient to live on so I'd have to keep my day job for a while anyway. Instead, I'd rather find that "happy medium" where I chug slowly along, making steady progress, like the tortoise and not try to be a hare.

I don't need to finish overnight or sell 1000 books in the first 30 days. I need to finish. Period. I need to sell 1000 books. Eventually. Maybe just to my 1000 True Fans. If you're not familiar with that model, please do click through, it's a great model that totally applies to self-published eBook authors, far more than it ever could apply to traditionally published new authors (and it simply did not work for self-published authors in the DTB world of Lulu and vanity presses). In the eBook market, obtaining the 1000 True Fans model is "tortoise" approach to financial independence and ultimate success.

As I was reading this Publishing Perspectives blog--loosely, about becoming one of the new overnight successes by slow and persistent plodding along--I kept seeing the analogies to the 1000 True Fans model. I don't know if Sullivan simply hasn't heard of it or didn't realize how similar her argument was, but it's obvious to me anyway that she is preaching the same path.

I'd really love it if I could find some way for someone else to pay my rent and utilities, for me to do nothing all day but write, write, write, but I don't have that luxury. I think that makes it all the sweeter when I complete a book or ultimately, see it succeed financially. One of these ... years *g*

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