As writers, we’re faced with constant discouragement—author scandals, blatant plagiarism, poorly written novels with overnight success, the collapse of the small press, he said/she said wars via Twitter, etc. It makes you want to ask, "What have we gotten ourselves into?"
Let’s take a look at what’s feeding this machine:
- The Digital Era
- Writers with different goals
As for the second one, well... I know we pride ourselves on our imaginations, but it’s time to face reality. Hard work does not guarantee success in this industry. Neither does being lazy and not bothering to learn the business. These days, we’re not-so-anonymous gamblers. Every time we publish, we insert a coin into the ol’ slot machine.
It depends (on these convenient generalizations).
A) Do you want to get your name out there by creating a catalog as quickly as possible? Are you ready to generate income now? Then, crank those suckers out. Decrease your turnaround and push titles like it’s your job—because it is your job. Take a gamble, buy your promotional packages in bulk, and hope for viral success. Go, go, go!
B) Or are you more concerned with how you feel about your work? At the end of the day, is your manuscript/book something you’re proud of? Is writing an art form, a way of expressing yourself, that you can’t live without? Take your time. Research every step of the publishing process, and learn from your mistakes. Look at your career—even if it's your second career—as a marathon and not a sprint. (I know you’ve heard that one.) You’re in this for the long haul.
Either way, you could be a great success or an abysmal failure. That’s life. That’s the gamble. So, is it worth the effort? That depends on:
- Your goals
- The path you’re willing to take
- How honest you’re being with yourself.
Question of the Week for Writers: Is writing your hobby, your job, or your career?
Question of the Week for Readers: Do you care which path an author takes?
P.S. If you signed up to help with my cover reveal next week, you'll be getting an email today. ♥ Have a great week, guys!