I love this cartoon by Jim Hines. It is exactly the kick in the pants I need right now. I’m nearing the end of my first foray into self-publishing. I’ve uploaded LIGHTBRINGER to Kindle and Nook and Smashwords. Early next week I’ll be uploading to CreateSpace and hopefully I’ll have books in hand for TusCon . Then I’ll start contacting reviewers. In the meantime, I’m working on my next book, FIRSTBORN.
Or trying to. I haven’t been making swift progress. There always seems to be something else that distracts me. (SQUIRREL!)
The problem is, there are two things alone that seem to have the most impact on growing a career.
- Word of mouth. Multiple surveys of readers indicate that the two things that influence readers to buy an author’s book are previous experience with that author and a recommendation from a trusted source. Thus my interest in contacting reviewers. (I also welcome reader reviews. :-))
- Multiple books for sale. When a reader acts on that recommendation, buys, and loves my book, I want to have something else available for her to buy when she asks, “What else has Frankie got?”
Ideally, I’ll have lots of something else for her to buy, but I only have two more completed novels. John Locke didn’t start his campaign to sell a million copies until he already had five books available. Readers read much faster than most of us write. I have to keep the pipeline full if I want to build momentum. I intend to bring out two to three new books or collections each year, and that will be a stretch for me. Most professional writers have taught themselves to write fast. Dean Wesley Smith writes more than four books a year, and he’s not alone in that. Me, I’m not there yet.
Obviously, to maintain that kind of speed we can’t wait upon some ephemeral muse for inspiration. What we really need is the kick-ass muse from the comic. Until she shows up: WRITE!