When you launch yourself off on a career as an indie author you need to have expectations of what you would like to achieve.
It’s good to have dreams but a dash of reality wouldn’t go amiss.
Writing a book takes a long time. Marketing a book takes a long time. Building a career as an author is a marathon not a sprint and anyone who expects instant results is likely to wind up disillusioned and disappointed.
Houses that are built to last have strong foundations. Create your brand with the future in mind. I was given some sage advice when I started out. I was told to assume it would take three years and/or five books to reach a point where things were ticking over career wise. The smart money seemed to be on two full length novels and one set of three novellas to spread the reach as broadly as possible so that is what I am in the midst of aiming for with that three year target in mind. We may live in a world where instant gratification is the must have but as a writer you need to think long term.
While it’s good to keep your feet on the ground you do need something to aim for so that you know where to direct your energies. Are sales the most important thing? Are reviews? Are you motivated by how many friends/likes/follows you have? Some of these things are more important than others and it is easy to be dazzled by social media and spend all your time in the places that won’t necessarily move your career on instead of doing the spadework on the things that will.
It is very hard for one writer to compare themselves with another writer as there are too many variables involved to make any comparison worthwhile. Don’t do it. Set your own targets – the ones that you think, with your business head on, are achievable and the ones that you dream about. It’s okay to have the latter as long as you also have the former. Then make them happen.
Writing is a slog. So you need to be able to celebrate the little victories along the way. As you hit your targets give yourself a pat on the back and then set new targets, moving the goal on a little higher each time helps keep you motivated.
As a writer it is one of the best feelings in the world when you beat a target you have set yourself. It is an even better feeling when you achieve success in an area you had no target at all because it wasn’t even on your radar. I had no idea how The Flower Seller would perform on Goodreads and so I set no target for the book on there. This week I achieved 100 ratings on Goodreads for The Flower Seller, the majority of them positive. Here’s to 150 before The Flower Seller’s first anniversary.