I’ve entitled this third essay Do NOT cash out, because in the main self-published authors are unlikely to be securing a massive book deal, especially after it has spent months sat on your Amazon page or website.
Yes, there is something to be said for giving it your best shot, building a social media following, firing off subscription letters aplenty, ignoring the ignoring and spending every waking hour pursuing your dream of being a published novelist. Truth is, chasing the cash is not the be all and end all.
Gaining book reviews is difficult enough and that’s just from people who have bought your work, so simply look at the probability of the big money publishing deal rolling in and starting life as the new JK Rowling or some such.
The hegemony of publishing houses makes the chances of getting a toe in the door scarce. Then there is the so called ‘hybrid’ publishing houses, online mainly, who demand ‘money upfront’ for your work, which they will then push to the ‘right people’.
I would never pay for my writing to be published or marketed.
Why would you?
There is an adage that compares the money writers/authors earn, in comparison to musical styles.
Writing returns the same sort of financial rewards as a folk singer.
Please do not get confused, this figure is if you attempt to be a full-time author, not undertake it while you work elsewhere. So, no guitar-shaped pools or limos here, as very few achieve rock ‘n roll status.
Yes, sadly, the general rule of thumb does not feature the Rowling part, it simply entails writing and getting your work out there. Oh, and hopefully enjoying the whole process. There really is no point unless you enjoy it.
This is not as depressing an essay as it seems, but: ‘Where is the payback if it’s not coming in note form?’ I hear you ask. You would be surprised.
For the record, I am not going to focus on the amazing feeling thinking about your book or character development brings personally. I am simply going to look at things that are completely out of your control
I am going to list a few that have happened to me and I can confirm that’s the real reason why I continue to write, aside from a deep love of doing so.
Any positive review is like a sunny morning wake up. It brings a smile and warms the heart, it also has a massive impact on sales.
Now, I know I said I would not mention cash money, but to receive a royalty cheque from sales in Japan, now that is something that is worth the effort.
They are not for large sums, but to think that people in Japan are reading my work, well.
UNEXPECTED LOVE OF YOUR WORK:
This came in the shape of a text message from a friend at 7am the morning after my second book, a collection of short stories entitled: books, bits & bobs, was released.
It read: ‘Mate sorry to text you so early, but the new stuff is f@@king brilliant, I love Your Song, just had to message and tell you’.
I myself was in the bathroom just preparing to have a shave and shower when that little gem came through. To say it made my day is an understatement.
For my first title The Wooden Heart I was given permission to use song lyrics by Bjork, for free. Yes, the Icelandic pop queen and her first band The Sugarcubes. I was also granted gratis use by Pete Voss, the singer of iconic British rock act Campag Velocet, to one of their songs. Each asked to read the novella to gain an insight into their lyrics usage and for a copy each of the finished piece. To have such revered artists allow me such a courtesy is another massive personal milestone, not to mention avoiding a chunk of rewriting, as the lyrics are integral to the piece.
Couple this, with the knowledge that they have copies of my book on their Kindle or some such reading device and it’s a moment beyond money.
Finding a team of friends who amazingly devote their time and artistry for free, to help you out is something special. I have friends who proof my work, photographers and designers who have either given me images that form part or all of the cover shots. There are graphic designers, well one, who I work with on the concept for all the covers.
To collate a fabulous team of people like this, who help you achieve your publication, is not only fulfilling, it is creatively empowering. Of course, you also get the final say on everything as well.
If you haven’t bothered to put pen to paper, you will never know these joys, their true worth is incalculable.
I suppose what I am saying is: ‘In writing, if you are only after the money, you will miss the true treasure.’
Daniel Abrahams has released two eBook titles on Amazon: The Wooden Heart and book, bits & bobs
You can follow him on Facebook at: DPAbrahams or on Twitter @abrahamsdan390.
His new website can be found at: DPAbrahams.co.uk.