You're new in the writing business.  Or not new so much as being, worse yet, unknown.  You decide to self publish and go via the epub route.  Bigger audience. Better potential in keeping your work out on the market for longer periods of time.  Maybe eventually a bigger payday all away around.


You've read all the accounts of how other writers have done this and the successes they've had.  Not forgetting they are/were a known product . . . and you're an unknown product . . . the decision has been made.  Screw tradtional publishing.  On to that bright, undiscovered country!


And then stark reality slaps you in the face.  How do you become known?  Why would anyone want to buy your works over, say, ten million other scribes?  What do you do to separate you from the growing crowd of other struggling writers?


Got any ideas?

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You'd be surprised how many successful (traditonally published and otherwise) authors ask the same thing. I did eight mystery conventions in two years, and that is the number one topic in the bar. How do I rise above the crowd? The next book. The big agent. The right promotion. An editor to really get behind my work. Maybe the only way to separate yourself is to write a giant bestseller, which has to entail luck as well as talent or mass-appeal subject matter. But I bet even those people worry about what they're going to do next, or how the critics perceive them.


Face it: Winning recognition for your art has always been an extremely difficult thing.

Oh, I agree Jack.  And don't forget luck.  I really believe you need a huge helping of simple dumb luck.

You're big break will happen the same day you win the lottery and a meteor lands on your house.


It's just dumb luck.


Going further, it's the dumb luck of having that one person find your book, someone who can get 1,000 more people to do the same.


Sent you an email . . .


Shoot, used the wrong "your." Please don't boot me from here!

About that dumb luck factor.  Here's a story about a writer who had it.  In spades.

Much like Rowling.  Did this success follow Rowling's?  Mind you, I do think Rowling deserves tremendous praise for the concept of the harry Potter series.
Self-published; hawked his wares to every little group he could find.  And then, out of the sky blue, a major novelest picks up Paolini's novel while browing thru a used book store.  Think's its the greatest think since sliced bread and contacts his publisher.  Famous author's publisher get ahold of Paolini.  And a super star is born.

What's your goal? How much money do you want to make from writing books? What percentage of writers does that put you in?


I've just gone through all of this with my publisher. I'm struggling to finish a fourth novel after the first three received good reviews but very few sales. I say, 'what's the point of adding a fourth to the pile. I don't feel like I'm building a foundation I feel like I'm digging a hole," and my publisher says, 'you're doing good work, keep doing it and it'll pay off. Or it won't, but at least you'll have done good work.' (he's a funny guy, my publisher)



For any writer to expect to be as successful as James Patterson or Cristopher Paolini is asking for trouble.  But to know you're successfully building up a loyal following--and it's growing--should be a reasonable goal.


And . . . maybe . . . being rewarded financially enough to pay a few bills.  That'd be helpful.

Wow!  That's a great publisher.  That's not been my experience -- very far from it. And it really is the way it should be.  They should build on their strongest authors (not the ones with the biggest sales).
A regular barrel o' laughs, that publisher. Does he do private parties?


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