I read an interesting post today from Hugh Howey’s website. Now, in case you don’t know who he is, well, he’s the guy who’s just made a load of money out of self-publishing and is having his book series converted to film by Ridley Scott. So, read his blog if you don’t already.
His post, written on Sunday, is a sobering reminder to all of us who get carried away with the success stories. He simply echoes a few voices out there at the moment who are attempting to introduce more realism into the industry. Just because you can self-publish your books it does not mean that you can sell millions.
Whenever I hear of success stories I can’t help but feel jealous, or even frustrated with my own ability, when they say how many books they’ve sold. It’s great that they’re selling so many books but it’s human to ask, “why them?”
Hugh Howey states that in the old days 99% of writers would remain on the slush pile, nowadays 99% of self-publishers will never sell more than 1,000 books. The percentages haven’t changed and it’s normal to start slow.
He’s writing this so that other wannabe authors don’t become disillusioned and give up on their dream just because they haven’t had overnight success. Everything in life takes perseverance. You have to keep turning up and ploughing the furrow, eventually you may reap what you sow but it’s a long road.
We’re all doing what we love and we have to keep at it. The only way to get better at writing is to keep writing. The only way to write better stories is to write more stories. The only way to get one book that appeals to a wider audience and, potentially gives you a platform to build from, is by writing more books.
THERE IS NO SHORTCUT.
There are no quick fixes that will turn you into a bestseller. The exceptional stories are just that, exceptional. Just keep on, keeping on. Hopefully, one day we’ll all get there.
Until next time…