February 8, 2014

On not selling much

I don't sell many books, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Sure, I'd love to become the next Amanda Hocking, Joe Konrath, or Hugh Howey, but I realize that just because you publish a book doesn't mean readers will snap it up. What surprised me, however, was learning just how many other authors see the same meager sales figures as I do. It's natural for the stories that you read about indie authors to only focus on the successful ones. Stories like mine don't sell newspapers get eyeballs to websites. Even in author communities like KBoards, you hear a lot about the successful authors and how much they're selling, or new authors bemoaning that they only sold 100 copies of their first book in the first month.

So I felt a bit of relief when I ran across a post on KBoards last week titled "It's normal not to sell a lot." It was nice to see that others were in the same boat as me (and that boat would be the S.S. Don't-Sell-a-Lot), although I wouldn't have minded being in the boat by myself all that much. Like me, many other writers do it because they enjoy writing, and just having books published and read is an accomplishment in itself.

Then, to my surprise, none other than Hugh Howey weighed in on the topic by expressing the same sentiment as me. This is an author who's sold over a million books, and he's telling us that he derives joy from the act of making his book available to the public, regardless of whether it sells. (In his case, it most likely will.) The end of his post summarizes what I believe. Given that most books don't sell, will your reaction be to give up in frustration or to continue on with your next book because you enjoy the process of writing and publishing? You know where I stand. :-)

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