Are you a success?

Success can be measured differently for so many people and just because someone makes a bestseller list while you’re still languishing in the high 000’s for rankings does not mean you are not as successful.

In the beginning of 2012, the majority of self published authors were all on an even playing field – except for the big names likeBelle Andre, Barbara Freethy, Amanda Hawking … to name a few.
We were all struggling authors desperate to see our dreams come true. In the beginning, agents and publishers were not looking at the indie books for future clients – in fact, there were posts and tweets galore about the how many books an indie author would need to sell before they’d even be considered by the traditional pub route. Do you remember that? I do … because I remember reading the numbers and being both amazed and saddened, thinking I would never see it happen.

It was all about the money

I strongly remember sitting in Starbucks with a dear writer friend and trying to work up the nerve and ask her how much she made a month. Not sold, but made. In the beginning of 2012 that’s all anyone talked about (if you were an indie author). People were continually comparing notes, trying to figure out what worked for one person and didn’t work for another. The Select program with Amazon was a godsend and author’s who were continually turned down by traditional publisher gatekeepers were now soaring up the charts. Money was being made … almost as if it were falling out of the sky … for some authors. Sitting there at that table, drinking my Starbucks coffee, I remember telling her that it was my GOAL to make the same amount of money as she was a month. I had just quit my full time job to work from home part time…and write. I had a few epub contracts, a few indie titles, but I wasn’t happy where I was at. I honestly didn’t think I’d make that goal (silly girl that I was).

What is success?

Fast forward by at least 6 months (so mid 2012) and you start to notice that more and more indie authors are seeing success with their writing. But at the same time, you start to hear more and more author complaining about their lack of success. The wonderful select program through Amazon wasn’t as wonderful as it used to be and authors were starting to branch out to different platforms. People started to realize they needed to change tactics – what worked for one didn’t work for another but they were at a loss on what to do.

Then the whispers started. 

Authors in the last half of the year started to struggle. Sure – the stigma of self-publishing was dwindling. Yes, there are still authors who are against self-publishing – I read a post earlier this month by a writer criticizing indie books amazingly, but there seems to be a line being drawn amongst indie authors – successful vs non-successful. A line which really isn’t necessary.

Determining YOUR success

Just because one managed to take the leap into being a hybrid author (traditional and indie publishing) while another continues to make their mark on indie publishing does NOT mean that the hybrid author is more successful that the indie author. Or vice versa.

How about instead of comparing one author to another – why not determine for yourself what success means? 

~Maybe you finally finished that book you’ve been toiling at for years?
~Maybe you took the step to write another book.
~Maybe you published your FIRST book this year after trying for years to get published.
~Maybe you are now finally making more money a month in royalty revenues than you did last year or even last month.
~Maybe you were able to quit your job (finally) and write full time.
~Maybe you hit a bestsellers list with a book that you never thought people would love as much as you do.
~Maybe…(fill in the blank).

Did you set a goal for yourself in 2012? Are you still working towards it or maybe even saw it come true? That’s a success. More so than if you didn’t take a step towards it at all. Stop – PLEASE – stop comparing yourself or comparing other authors to determine what success is.

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Now, on a personal note – I want to wish everyone a Happy New Years!

I have a lot of exciting things happening in 2013 and I don’t want you to miss out … because I promise
– 2012 might have been the year of the Indie but 2013 is the year of the Reader (for me at least)

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