Friday, June 24, 2011

advice from a mistress

I haven't posted on here lately, because I had to put aside the Seikei/Judge Ooka book to work on something that had a better prospect of making money. Actually, my wife is still interested in publishing in the paper/ink format, and I have promised her I'd help on new books. So we're working on a project I don't want to discuss just now.
However, I read an article in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine about Amanda Hocking, who is the most successful person publishing in the e-book format--that is, in e-books only. She sells about 9,000 copies of her books every day, and some months she's sold as many as 100,000.
I'll let you read the article yourself, but there was something there that seemed relevant to an earlier topic on this blog: writer's block. Amanda has written ten novels in the past two years, as far as I can tell. She certainly doesn't have writer's block.
Is that because she was born lucky? No. She had written a book by the time she was seventeen, and sent it out to about 50 agents, all of whom rejected her. After that she took menial jobs (no college for her; no writer's workshops) until she realized she wasn't going to be a writer by waiting for it to happen. To quote from the article, "It was January 2009, and Hocking started treating writing as a job. Before it was 'something I always did--like playing video games.' After, she wrote even when she didn't feel like it."
Read that quote again. She treated writing like a job. She wrote even when she didn't feel like it.
Nobody can guarantee that you (or I) will ever sell as many books as Amanda does. But if you want to write seriously, you treat it like a job. Can't give you better advice than that.

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