So having no income sucks... Before I quit I had a meal delivery service (plated.com),a personal stylist (trunkclub.com), a personal trainer, a therapist, a chiropractor, and a maid. I've had to cut back on three of four. I still have the maid because if playing Sims (1-4) has taught me any life lesson, you always hire a maid. I've had to buy Kroger brand soft drinks and my wine of choice has gone from a $13 bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc to Bay Bridge Cabernet which runs me around $3.
But there are upsides to voluntary poverty... the foremost of which is time to pursue my craft. However in addition to writing books, a lot of time is spent researching, learning and my most dreaded chore.... marketing.
There is no such thing as an "overnight" success in publishing or pop culture in general. Salon has a great writeup on the Hunger Games and how it was basically already on track to be a bestseller based on a four page outline. Stephanie Meyer's writing teacher was also the same guy responsible for Scholastic picking up Harry Potter. For everything that "goes viral" there's usually a story behind it.
As an indie author, my workday comes down to two things:
- Building an audience in Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and email lists. Yes, apparently people still sign up for mailing lists. Generally I think of email lists as a form of internet STD, a recurring nuisance that is best avoided at all costs. But they're effective. For the rest of the social media stuff it means picking active communities and joining the conversation in an intelligent, meaningful way that often has nothing to do with my book. (You can only scream "BUY MY BOOK" once or twice before people get pissed and start ignoring you.)
- No one makes money with one book. My sales have picked up recently but it's simple math that I'd make twice the money with two books rather than one.
Book two is almost done and I will need to assemble a design team, hire an editor and all of that exciting stuff. First step is going to be getting a cover made so I have something to put on kickstarter. It's a very small business, but it's a business and I have less free time than you'd think. In fact I probably put in more hours doing this than I did at my old job. The difference, and challenge, is that I have total independence.
My savings may run dry before sales completely replace my income. My goal is not to make overnight money but to get out three books and build the foundation for an audience. I won't be able to be this productive working a 9-5.
And who knows? I could get lucky. 😉
Mike bode is the author of The Queen of Lies, the first installment in the ongoing series, Architects of the Grand Design. His next book comes out September. Sign up for the mailing list for more info.
Mike bode is the author of The Queen of Lies, the first installment in the ongoing series, Architects of the Grand Design. His next book comes out October. Sign up for the mailing list for more info. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest . (You can also follow him on Goodreads and even Amazon)