I noticed about halfway through this morning, in the midst of running errands and nothing much to do with writing, that today is my 3-year self-publiversary. My first self-pubbed book launched on 1 April 2016 (I picked that date for a reason, honest!), and hey, here I still am.
I published a post for my 2.5-year publiversary which was a little summary of words written, books published, and whatnot. If you like, you can read it here.
Today, though, I’m feeling reflective in a different way. Not so much about how far I’ve come, or not, but about the things that continue to happen, or not.
So here are some things I’ve learnt over those 3 years, and ways I’ve developed, in no particular order.
- My best writing isn’t necessarily the stuff that sells best. Some of the stories I’m proudest of, and which have the highest review ratings, are well down my all-time sales chart. But I’m still proud of them.
- In all that time, I’ve never had writer’s block. Sure, sometimes I get stuck, but give me a few minutes with some scrap paper and I can usually work out where I’m headed.
- People I’ve met in the writing community – in real life and online – are overwhelmingly generous with help, advice, and a leg-up.
- When I did my first NaNoWriMo, 2500 words a day seemed like a good word count. Now I would expect to write that in a morning. If not more.
- When I started writing series, I began to see more sales. When I organised myself and did a rapid-release schedule (for me), sales took off.
- It would be nice to have my books in Waterstones, but I’m really not that bothered.
- I make much more money from ebooks than I do from paperbacks, and ebooks are just as real.
- I still get asked if I’m going to try and find a publisher. Um, where would I find the time? And why would I give up a 70% royalty?
- Publishing moves pretty fast. Occasionally I feel like the Red Queen, running to stay in the same place.
- Some of my readers read everything I write. Some read only the Victorian books, some only the Sherlock Holmes books, some only the contemporary books. It’s entirely up to them. All I can do is let them know that the other books are there.
- No matter how many people love a book, some will hate it, or something about it, and express that in a review. And they’re entitled to their opinion, too.
- My first book still sells, even now.
And there you have it. That isn’t 3 years’ worth of learning – far from it – but a few nuggets I’ve picked up as I’ve had my corners knocked off. But hey, it’s too much fun to stop now!
The featured image is by ikon and can be found here. Creative Commons CC0: public domain.