What I’ve Learned in Twelve Months
Today is the one year anniversary of the the day I published my first novel, Regulation 19. Here are twelve things I’ve learned in my first twelve months as an author/publisher.
- The details matter. Things like cover, editing, marketing, etc. Today’s audience is savvy, and you can’t find them if you don’t have a professional product presented in a professional manner. But…
- Story is king. It doesn’t matter how slick your cover is if you don’t deliver the goods.
- There is no one path. Some things about indy publishing are awesome. Some things about traditional publishing are awesome. People like fighting about these things. I find it’s better to keep my head down and keep writing.
- Consistency is key. Every day I take off from writing has a cost. It feels like starting over every time.
- There are a ton of awesome people in indy publishing. One of the coolest things about this year has been the friends I’ve made.
- Sometimes great stories find their audience. Some of my friends have found great success this year. This is well deserved in every case of which I am aware. Every one of these people is extremely talented and hard working.
- Sometimes great stories take a while to find their audience. Other equally talented friends haven’t found an audience as large as they’d like. Yet. I firmly believe they will. The combination of talent and hard work win out in the end. Sometimes it takes a while.
- Not every one will read your stuff. This is okay.
- Not every one will like your stuff. This, too, is okay. Bad reviews are inevitable. Read them, digest them, and forget them. Better yet, don’t read them. But that’s asking a lot, so if you can’t follow the latter advice, follow the former.
- Sometimes bad reviews contain incorrect information. Still okay. Annoying, but okay. You can’t control reviews. Even the ones with poor grammar and misleading information. See above.
- There are things you can control. How hard you work. How much you put your heart into your work. How you react to your readers.
- Readers are awesome. It humbles me each and every time I consider all the strangers who have taken a chance on an off-beat, creepy story about a small town in Tennessee by an author they’ve never heard of. Thank you, one and all. My life is better because of you.