from the beginning of my career as a serious author. At first it was for
reading material, crafts books and such, material I knew would help to make me
a better writer. And I was right. They’re so important.
contests. I was told by others in my RWA chapter that it was imperative to have
other eyes read and critique my work. I knew their advice to be true so I sent
my – what I thought were – well-edited stories to many contests only to find
out that… wait for it… I needed to
better my craft. As good as I thought I’d become, darn it all, I wasn’t yet good
No problem….. sniff, sniff.
From then on, I paid money to take a lot of
workshops. It’s easy online and many are well worth the effort. I made sure
that I did my homework and got as much out of those lessons as possible. They
did help me understand what I needed to do to improve and so I considered that
money to be well spent.
Around that time, I received a contract with The
Wild Rose Press and I thought – finally!!! I would earn back some of the
investment I’d made so far. Not so!
I had a book to promote. Work I was proud of and wanted the world to know
about. I’m sure many of you totally understand this mixed emotion – part pride
and mostly frustration. Around that time, I looked up every source of
advertising possible and I began to spend all kinds of money buying Coffee Time
ads and RT reviews and Romance Sells page space, and, and… Goodness the money
rolled out and with no visible return on my investment.
Finally my career took a 180 and I decided to become
an Indie author. Holy smokes! If you think my books cost me before, now the
amounts were huge and flowing steadily. Book covers, editing payments for two
editors, professional formatting, serious promotion like the FreePartays and
periodic expenditures for Pixel of Ink, Ereader News, Digital Books Today, and
on and on…
But…?? Surprise…!! I was now earning money. Finally
all the effort was slowly beginning to pay off. Amazon checks were arriving monthly and increasing
with each one. For the first time in my career, I could pay those bills by
money earned from my products. Of course, the one book has now swollen to
fifteen as of *TODAY* I just
released Book #5 of the Vegas Series – “Spin the Wheel”. Oh Yeah!!
To end this rambling post, I will give some advice
based on my own experiences.
in yourself with money you can afford.
track of everything you’ve spent so you know when the budget has been
stretched. It’s so easy to get carried away.
faith that your fans will support you if
you continue to produce good books.
don’t hold your breath for instant success. For most of us, it’s a longggg haul.
Debra L Martin says
Excellent advice. Editors are expensive, but so worth it to put out a professional product. I have 2 graphic artists for my fantasy book covers so lots of money going out the door, but like you said, invest in yourself and eventually you'll start seeing money start rolling in instead of flying out.
Mimi Barbour says
I'm glad you're seeing a return on your investment. It becomes exciting when that happens, doesn't it???
Jodie Esch says
You've worked so hard Mimi and now you are seeing results. Hurray!
Mimi Barbour says
Thanks – all it takes is time – money and time and more time. Did I mention the money???LOL