Okay. I know I’m trying to tackle two pretty big birds with a pebble from a fishbowl in a doll’s house. But I’m gonna do it anyway.
I’m keen to know your definition(s) of success in publishing. I’m also keen to hear about the opinions of self-publishing in your circles.
Last week I published my first book (link takes you to Amazon buy page) on digital platforms, and have made a grand total of US$6.99. This is AWESOME. I’m taking it to mean I am officially an author, and is one indicator of success for me.
The next is having my first reviews all come in at five stars. Sure, they’re from people I know, but they’re also people I trust to give an honest review.
Most importantly, the message of the book is clear. People finish the book feeling good. A reader leant it to her friend who was feeling down, who read it and said she thought nothing could have cheered her up – but this book did. If that’s not success then I don’t know what is.
While my long-term success expectations / goals are obviously a bit higher, these are my baby steps of success. I am proud of my work.
There’s two parts to the stigma. One is the stigma of self-publishing, and the other is of digital books – which clearly aren’t real books.
Now, I readily admit that I far prefer a physical book, especially for fiction. I’ve trained myself to be able to read on my phone or tablet, but for now I can only handle non-fiction in this way. I think it’s because the non-fiction I read is mostly about writing & publishing, so it feels like I’m doing work (which my phone is mostly for. Work and procrastination).
For fictional stories, I like having food or a cup of tea, sitting on my armchair or snuggled in bed, without the screen glaring back at me. It’s also hard to read in the sunshine, and I don’t know if I’d trust myself with my tablet at the beach. I’m working on it, though, cause it will help my bank account out a LOT.
In my circle of friends, there are a lot who agree with me. There are a lot of people who won’t touch an eBook, and it’s the real deal or nothing.
Having said that, it’s been amazing to see that the fact I’m publishing independently is NOT a stigma any more. People are impressed, if anything, that I’ve managed to get my butt in the chair, set a goal and reach it. I’m being called an author.
And that’s kinda awesome.