If you are like me, then you are working hard to build a long term career as a published author.
You want to realise your potential and leave a legacy in the world, and build a business from your writing at the same time.
Right now, your work might be a side hustle to your day job, but that is going to change – because your goal is to become a full time author.
Perhaps you want to spend more time with your family or simply enjoy the freedom of working when and where you want and having fun at the same time.
But something keeps getting in the way. There seems to be so much to do that has nothing to do with the creative writing and not enough time to fit it all in.
Does This Sound Like You?
Then you are not alone.
I know exactly How You Feel
In 2002, I walked away from my demanding day job in the pharmaceutical industry to learn everything I could about this crazy business that is writing commercial fiction.
I didn’t know anything about publishing or story craft, but I knew that I had to give it my best shot – or live with regret with my stories burning inside of me untold.
Since then I have been fortunate enough to have published 19 romance novels with Harlequin and Carina UK, and to date about 1.5 million copies have been sold around the world in 23 languages. Some have even won awards.
I am not saying this to brag, but to show you that it possible to transition from someone who loves to read, to being a published author, in a few short years.
My Goal in Creating this Website
As a scientist, I set out to learn best practices and then worked hard to apply them.
Now you can benefit from thousands of hours of daily study.
I want to share with you the clarity, courage, and commitment you need to succeed—in your writing and in life. I call them signposts – and you don’t even have to go to the Alps! Here I am, trying to stay on the right track.
Here I am, trying to stay on the right track.
My intention is to create a catalogue of reference material, eBooks and Online Courses so that I can share what I have learned, and save you time and energy.
Because we all need signposts to keep us on track.
Why is being Prolific so Crucial for any Author?
The answer lies in technology, and the way that you and I have access to, and chose to read, the written word.
Years ago when I started submitting romance fiction the majority of books were sold only in print format – paperback or hardback – from bricks and mortar bookstores.
To reach those shelves in the bookstore, each book had to be approved by two levels of gatekeepers between the reader and the writer. First the literary agent, and then the publisher.
There was a very clear vertical line with the writer at the bottom and the reader at the top.
Online booksellers were new. Digital books were very new.
Self- publishing carried all of the stigma of “vanity press” and was mocked as being the last resort for writers who could not find an agent or publisher who would invest in their work. But it was such a tiny piece of the book world and only their friends and family would buy the book anyway.
Every single one of those facts is no longer true.
There has never been a better time to be a writer. And there has never been a worse time to be a writer.
I believe that statement is true whether you write commercial genre fiction as I do, or any other kind of fiction or non-fiction.
The English speaking world has developed an insatiable hunger for the written word and demands to read those words on every kind of reading device created.
Dedicated eBook readers, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and tablet devices are part of our everyday lives.
Self- publishing has been made respectable by the large online booksellers who sell eBook readers such as Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Apple.
It is in their interest to offer authors high royalties to publish material directly through them – especially in digital format, where they get the cut the publishers used to receive, and readers love them because they drive prices down.
Online booksellers have the complete range or print titles, at big discounts and free delivery to your door.
And with digital eBooks you can be anywhere in the world and as long as you have an internet connection you can download the book you want in minutes and read it on the device you want.
Traditional publishers have introduced digital only, or digital first, publishing lines and many authors are now producing work for several publishers, in several genres at the same time.
In the past ten years, I have recognised the world of opportunities opening up for all writers.
Brilliant! More markets for my articles, short stories, novels and manuals.
And you would be right to think that.
But all of that material creates a very serious problem.
Booksellers of all sorts around the world are involved in a daily price war.
The proliferation of reading devices and content has created such a deluge of material, that the tidal wave has washed away traditional pricing structures for books.
Bricks and mortar bookshops cannot compete with online booksellers who can negotiate huge discounts from the publishers. They are closing. Going. Never to return.
Specialist bookstores with experts are just hanging on, but they can never stock every book by every author in their speciality. And we are now in a global recession where books are a luxury item.
There is a glut of books and readers expect to pay either very little for those books or even get them for free. This is especially true for genre fiction.
The days when an author can write one fiction book a year and generate enough sales through a traditional publishing route are long gone.
Unless you already have a huge fan-base who will pay for a hardback printed book, the income per book will be low and increasingly, the sales figures will not support a publishing contract. And timing and accessibility is everything.
For eBooks, it is now well established that if a reader loves one of your books, then they will want to purchase other books that you have created, especially if these books are linked in some way.
The books need to be Online and available at that moment. Because if you don’t have books available, then the moment is lost, and the reader with a short attention span, will move on to the next author who does have a trilogy or more, all ready to be enjoyed. Right now.
What can we do as Authors to Build Careers as Published Authors?
We need to become more prolific.
I know how true this is, because I am a professional author, who is struggling to write bigger and better books, and more of them, for more than one publisher, while standing on the shifting sand of today’s publishing industry.
It is all too easy to feel overwhelmed by how much we have to know about: Story Craft; Productivity; The World of Self-Publishing -and Traditional Publishing, and How to Become Business Savvy as a Writer Entrepreneur.
My goal is to become more prolific by increasing my skill set in three areas:
The Author-Entrepreneur Mindset, including Building a Platform and Marketing and Promotion. This also includes Productivity.
It has never been more important to consider yourself to be a self-employed, solo writer-entrepreneur who is ready to take advantage of business opportunities when they arise.
We all need the business, social media, marketing and branding skills to stand out in the crowded publishing world.