I'M EMBARKING ON A NEW CRUSADE: SELLING MORE BOOKS
That is my armor. Imma red, bloody bird. Fear me! cackles
Well, actually, this whole crusade thing is not new but rather forgotten. I've gone full circle from firmly believing that to make money writing books you have to sell them (when I started writing five years ago, fresh from working on my start-up and surviving by selling my product to everyone left and right) to believing that well-written books will sell themselves (when about two years ago I retreated from selling into learning the writing craft) to finally believing again that no matter how well-written your book is, if you don't make an effort to sell it, it will linger in all its well-writtedness in obscurity. And yes, in two weeks, on May 15th, it'll be five years since I started writing full-time. And yes, I'll write a post on 25 things I learned from writing full-time for five years. But this is in two weeks. Right now I'm preoccupied with this realization that self-publishing is a lot like having a small business. What do you have to do to survive? Sell. What happens if you don't sell? You perish.
And so, starting tomorrow, I'll dedicate one hour each day to selling my books.
I don't know yet what that will look like. I'll have to shake off the cobwebs from my selling mindset and remember what l I did when startups folded around me and I was closing my biggest clients. I only know that I have erroneously thought that art is exempt from such loathsome, petty, primitive type of thing as standing on street corners and telling everyone passing you about your art and asking them to buy it. Well, I was wrong. I was under the impression that art was divine and somehow above such needs as eating and paying rent and bills, and taking your kid to a movie, and so on. Only it's been five years since I started writing, and I'm still not supporting myself financially by writing alone.
Yes, I know what you're thinking. Many of us writers are making money by doing other jobs, sometimes several at once, carving out time for writing in the evenings and on weekends. I've been privileged to be able to write full-time for this long. It's a miracle, really, and it's thanks to Royce's support that I continue to be able to do so.
In these five years I've been making money in all kinds of ways (besides selling books and getting support from my Patreon patrons)—by consulting, editing manuscripts, ghost writing, getting paid for speaking gigs, selling articles to publications, and so on. One thing I learned, though, is that none of those side jobs are making me happy, but writing does. And reading. Writing and reading. Yet the better I get at doing those other things (like editing, for example), the bigger the demand is, the more money I'm offered, the more I take on, the less time I have to do the two things that I love very much: writing and reading.