Guest Blog by Christina McMullen
Everyone has advice for aspiring writers. Established authors, not so established authors, readers, and even folks who wouldn't know a book if it hit them in the face have something to say on the subject. And that's great. Many of us could use all of the help we can get. Much of this help comes in the form of blog posts and online forums. You know, the internet. That magical place where everyone is rational and level headed.
Uh oh, that took a dark turn. No, this is not going to be a blog post about the perils of navigating overblown egos and self-importance in the virtual world. Nor is this going to be a thoughtful and well written list of dos and don'ts for the aspiring author. I've read lots of tips and tricks to being a successful self-published author. Some, I've taken to heart. Others, I've outright ignored. The results? Your milage may vary.
There is no simple solution to being a success and what works for one may not work for another. Keep this in mind, aspiring authors, because what I am about to reveal to you is very important. Ready for this? The secret to becoming a successful author is...
...redefining your definition of success.
Am I a success? According to most answers, no, I am very much not a successful author. I am barely recognized, I'm not yet a thousandaire, and I am not a bestselling author by any lists out there. But I would beg to differ. I have successfully published six books in two years, four of which are a complete series, all of which have landed in the hands of readers across the world. I've got a handful of glowing reviews from people who liked my books enough to tell others. While I don't sell every day or even every week, I've yet to have a month where I've sold nothing (knock on wood). Pretty impressive for a nobody without a marketing strategy, don't you think?
Will I try harder someday? Perhaps, but for right now, I'm more concerned with building a nice catalog of quality books that people may or may not read.
Now, let me tell you what does bother me: Seeing others in the same situation I am in getting upset and jealous of authors who are more successful than they are. I've seen too many and it just makes me sad. They think that other indie authors are their competition.
Seriously. Apple and Samsung are competitors. Honda and Toyota are competitors. Saying other authors are your competition is like saying corn and peas are in competition. No one eats just one type of food and no one buys just one book out of a particular genre. For that matter, tons of people buy books in many genres. Fellow authors are not competition. We are all in this together. Whether you make ten bucks or ten thousand, remember that.