Okay, you did it. You sat your ass down in front of the computer, spent hours selecting just the right font, spent weeks coming up with the perfect first sentence, tortured yourself over the title then you actually sat down and wrote it. Hours upon hours, weeks upon weeks, weeks turned into months and still you kept going. You finished it. You wrote The End. Then came the real painful part, you edited until you turned it into something people would actually want to read. You made the hard decisions and cut the perfect scene that just didn't fit. You found the cover artist, you went back and forth and then finally it was done. You have an actual fully formed book and now you upload it to Amazon and you just sit back and check your bank balance because it was fucking awesome and everyone who reads it will be touched and excited and tell people they know to read it and it will sky rocket to the top of the best sellers and you'll be rolling in it.
Have you made the list already? You know, the one on what you'll spend your millions on first. A new car, pay off the house, buy a house, a trip to somewhere exotic? Did you pick the date when you're going to quit the day job you hate? Are you going to be civil and put in two weeks or just flip the bird and walk out?
I hate to burst your bubble but that isn't going to happen, not yet. Your mind flashes to the lottery winners that have been touted in the press, and those who like to brag themselves. The first big name was Amanda Hocking, USA Today even came calling, flashing the lottery winner across the internet and people took notice. But too many forget that she had three books, a trilogy that had the hook of the first book just 99 cents and the rest at 2.99 and it was at the start of the YA craze. Potter was over, what was next? Then came Twilight, now this book came out and hey, the title even sounds like Twilight. It was also when the Kindle was coming down in price and more people could afford them, so what were they supposed to buy? Ninety nine cents is pocket change, you can't get a candy bar for that, so okay, sure. (personal note I am a bitch, I know that, I've made peace with it, if you've been reading this blog you should have figured that out and made peace with it too.) Seriously, the books were nothing great, I read the first one and had no desire to continue and I swear that the success of those books stun me even today. Still, she did it, she put in the work, she had a product and she pieced it out and even if it leaves me wondering apparently it was good enough to push people to buy all three.
Three, she had three books that fit a gap and had a hook. Konrath had a back list and I don't care what he says, having once gotten past the gate keepers that said you're good enough meant something to readers who were willing to pay for his books, at some point he had been pre-approved.
So don't put the down payment on the house yet. Keep at it, build your list of books so if someone likes one they can move onto the next. I had a plan and I stuck to it and finally it's going into motion. Someone I know died, very young, I had slipped into a depression even before that and just going through the motions physically hurt. Then the person died and I realized that life is too damn short, there are no guarantees and there is no return policy. Stuck under fake lighting, dealing with fake coworkers and bullshit company lines that changed from one quarter to the next wasn't how I want to spend my life. But there's this thing called cost of living. So as I watched the book I had written that didn't fit any cute cubbyholes languish, I sat down and I made a plan. I went over hours of blogs and sales figures and I found what sells. Okay, I've read romance since I was twelve, I can do this. Six seemed to be the magic number, so the plan was for six. I had three half-written, dust them up and change them and go from there.
Those three turned into two and a year later I had seven. They are up and live and now I'm ready for my million dollars.
Not so fast, not yet. There's this thing called marketing, grabbing attention and getting the books in front of the readers. Of course they are all so fucking awesome that any person who is scanning through Amazon sees it and just knows it will be the best book they have ever read and will tell all their friends and on and on and they will sell themselves. (bitchy sarcasm can even be directed at myself) I would say the hardest part is over but there will be other hard times, my first 1 star review, the first time someone wants to talk smack, the days or weeks when none of the seven sell. No fucking joke, I have an appointment to go up from Xanax to something stronger.
Then there will be the next books, I wanted a break but they have other ideas on that. How to keep the new ones fresh while still delivering a good story. I swear sex scenes are the hardest damn things to write. Those are concerns for then and I'll deal with them as they come.
Right now I'm keeping my head down, focusing on the now and trying to work out how once again I start a damn story in third person and now I have to change to first person. I won't lie, am thinking of a new car but only because mine is nine years old and it started making a new noise when it idles, and no I wasn't thinking of a Merc, I was actually thinking of a Prius.