And finally – you have got your killer content out there, you’ve got your book uploaded, you’ve got stuff on your site to promoted it, you have got good visuals and let’s say you’re picking up a few hundred, maybe even a few thousand, a week – great, that’s brilliant but now you’ve got to maintain that. You can’t just drop off and this is where you get to the stage that writing starts to become your job, even if it is still isn’t earning you enough money to live comfortably on. This is the point where I am now and I feel it is the most difficult because you haven’t got enough money to make a proper living from it but you feel like you are on the precipice and taking that leap into the void and this is where my advice starts to dilute as I’ve not crossed into that yet. I feel, I’m hoping, that in the coming week I can tell you guys what it’s like, how I’m doing and try and help more of you catch the golden goose but at the moment I’m only on the threshold – I need you all really to push me through.
It would be amazing on so many levels for me to be a professional writer and being paid for doing thing I love would be amazing. I would also love to have the chance to share with all you guys what it’s like running through the full three stages – to write about from humble beginnings to being able to fight with the big dogs and have this to remind me of my time in the trenches. I couldn’t ask for anything better really. I think a good way of viewing this is noting that the more I’m getting in to this the more emotional I am becoming as writing is a passion and if I can connect with people and it gets passed on then the dream becomes a reality!
I think a lot of people can write and I think a lot of you guys out there do have a shot. You just have to find something you’re passionate about and not write for an audience or a demographic as such, but write from your heart and hope for the audience to come to you as they will be like minded folk. If that audience does come and does seem to enjoy your stuff then you get a boost and feel really positive about everything. I did when my first book sold so many copies but then it is crushing almost when you do get to a point and it fizzles out – you just have to prepare yourself for that which I think is the most difficult stage. You have to have belief and be optimistic or nothing is going to work but you also have to keep yourself grounded. There is always the chance that some won’t like it, for harsh comments to be made – I have been lucky so far and everyone has been kind but I have seen what some reviews say to other folk and that is hard. I can imagine how devastating it must be to have your work dismissed. That’s why I won’t bad mouth anyone’s work – I would try to be balanced if there is a need to be critical as there is always good stuff too. This is the case for all real entertainment from writing to movies and this is why I don’t particular like critics – it is always easy to criticise but to be creative in the first place?? Not so easy.
But, you have to be prepared for the knocks, and be realistic. Don’t quit the day job and then start writing because this is a very fickle game and definitely a roller coaster. I felt I was really cracking on and was almost out the door and into the big leagues and then I just kind of tailed off after Christmas quite badly really went from 7th placing to 60,000 in no time. All you can do to keep yourself sane is spend the money you do make on something positive like I’ve done with the helicopter lessons and the motorbike stuff. At least then you have something to show for all your hard work; every time you got on your bike or you go flying you can think ‘I paid for this by writing!’ which trust me is amazing, Don’t get disheartened and try not to blame the world I mean a big thing I did after Christmas and the start of this year was I got quite down quite depressed because I like to be analytical and I looked at what I was doing on the site and everything else and didn’t understand why it changes, tried to work out what happened and interrogate the data. This is worth doing to help in your next set of decisions. My site was still getting thousands of hits a week but I wasn’t selling any books which is devastating. I dropped my activity on Twitter and Facebook so lost some followers and the whole kind of drive started to almost come to a stop is devastating and it is a dark hole to start down if you start comparing yourself to the big names on Twitter and so on – no point. All you can do is examine the facts, reenergise and refocus – I delved into writing some big pieces which needed research and began working on my next idea – and it kept my sanity and now my next book is out I feeling more positive about everything again. I see it as a climb and realise now that so long as each book does better than the last then I am making progress.
So don’t get down and rage at the world, don’t get annoyed with celebrities and your pillars not reaching out and helping you, tweet then by all means but if they don’t respond then they don’t respond, just move on, you’ve tried who knows. Keep writing, maybe write articles too, like I have, and who knows what might happen if you enjoy it and just keep going. Maybe Simon Scarrow or Harry Sidebottom, even JK, might be reading this right now and if they just decide today to say something nice about it then their audience is going to take notice and you are guaranteed to sell a lot more copies but you don’t know until you put your stuff out there – so just keep going, have great ideas, have a clear mind, a clear and realistic target and work towards that. But most of all enjoy it. At the end of the day we need to remind ourselves that 20 years ago this would be impossible for you and me to do – to write, have an audience and it’s lucky we live in an age where technology makes this so accessible.
So I hope you enjoyed my second series on how to get your book out there. If you enjoyed this then please let me know. And your support for my books would be amazing – leave a nice review on either or both of them or on my site and pass my links on to your friends and family as seeing folk enjoy my work is uplifting hugely and would be such incredible. Always happy to hear from you via comments my site, tweets or even instagram these days. I just want to bond so thanks for everything so far and keep posted. Have a good week.
Don’t forget – if you want to help me with my book launch then do pick up a copy on any of these and share with your friends and colleagues Kindle http://goo.gl/8sRWMA Lulu.com http://goo.gl/vkU0FQ Kobo https://goo.gl/lSye4X ibooks https://goo.gl/LD0Sr4