- Be realistic about what you can achieve. I have over the last year published three novels and a novella, which by most people’s standards is not a bad achievement. However, at the start of the year I thought I could write and publish a whole other novel, a couple more novellas and a collection of short stories. The lesson here is that you can achieve a lot when you put your mind to it, but you can’t achieve everything.
- Marketing is the big beast which needs taming. I’m probably a bit behind where I should be, but I’m now signed up to Mark Dawson’s course and working my way through the lectures. But there’s a lot to master (the Kindle course alone has given me hours and hours of work to do) and it will take time. Once again, I am setting my expectations in the knowledge it will take six to nine months to get on top of it. I will get there though.
- There are only so many hours in the day. When I used to write my weekly writing diary (which I’ve let slip because, well, there wasn’t enough time in the week), I used to write a lot on the subject of time management. This may be the most important skill of all for an indie author with a full-time job. Between the actual writing, the marketing, the admin, there is a hell of a lot to do. And working out a system where you can get it done in a reasonable time frame is hard. If you dedicate yourself to it, make lots of little sacrifices (I read nowhere near as much as I used to; watch far less TV than I used to) then you can get there.
- But you need to take breaks. Essentially, I am starting a business while also working full-time and not neglecting my family. There’s a lot that needs to be done and if I let it, it would be on my mind every moment of the day and night. But working so hard means I get physically tired and mentally exhausted. (As I type, I feel utterly run down.) I have to look after myself and make sure I take breaks, as if I don’t, I will crash. And if I crash, I won’t be any use for my family, my job or my indie author career.
- I still want this! I’m ignoring comparison-itus. I don’t care, and am not disheartened if there are people who made enough three weeks after publishing their first book to buy their own Caribbean island. I am on my path and my path will be what it will be. Absolutely I will write the best books I can, learn as much about marketing as I can, and try to make a good income from them. Undoubtedly, I will endeavour to give myself the best shot. But whether it’s my fifth book that’s successful, or my fourteenth – or if none of them break out, but all end up selling enough that I earn a decent living – then so be it. I am doing the best I can, learning as much as I can, and I am not giving up. I know this is the life I want, and I will do all I can to try and get it!
If you’re interested in finding out more about my writings, SOMETHING WENT WRONG AND OTHER STRANGE TALES – my must-read collection of scary and quirky short stories is available for free now!