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.

  1. 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…
  2. Story is king. It doesn’t matter how slick your cover is if you don’t deliver the goods.
  3. 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.
  4. Consistency is key. Every day I take off from writing has a cost. It feels like starting over every time.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Not every one will read your stuff. This is okay.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

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