On October 31st, Halloween, I was notified of my second Royalty Payment ever from Amazon, and then on November 2nd, today, I got notified of third Royalty Payment from Smashwords dot com. This is my first payment from them. All said and told I have made enough off my books to take my family to a fast food restaurant for dinner! I could be depressed at how I am not getting double or triple digit sales of my books, but I had thoroughly researched the book industry and the publishing industry before I jumped into this mess. Very few people get rich from being a writer. Honestly the best you can hope for is to eventually make enough money to stay home and write for a living full time.
In the current realistic publishing market, with the advent and rise of self publishing, and it is rising like a tidal wave, if you're noticed at all in the onslaught of new titles hitting the market everyday you are lucky. If you have any sales to speak of what so ever, you are doing good. In time if you build a following of readers, and that's the KEY, you will generate more sales with each successive book you publish.
So the goal is to build a loyal following of readers who like your work. Write series of books. Readers like series because it is like a homecoming when you get the newest book with your favorite characters and you get to not only spin a new tale, but continue the ongoing drama of the characters lives. Strive to write better books. Edited Better, more polished, and find your stride and style as a writer. That is why the big time authors say that until you have written your first million words you are just spinning your wheels. I am NOT saying your first works will not be great, but the first five or six shouldn't be able to hold a candle to your seven through ten books.
You can't even say that after ten books if your sales aren't there you will not make it. Read my review of the Great Gatsby on Goodreads dot com, and you will see that even this classic was not breaking any records at the time it was published. It didn't hit the big time until almost thirty years after its initial publishing! Of course F. Scott Fitzgerald was dead and gone by the time the Great Gatsby became to be considered a Great American Novel.
I didn't become an author to get rich, and if I never replace my day job with writing full time, I can live with that. I write because I get the same excitement I get when you read a great book by writing my books. I know when I can get excited and get that feeling while writing it that my readers will get that feeling when they read it. The feeling lasts much longer with the writing process than it does the reading process, so it is fantastic. The rewriting and editing stages of the books development totally squash that excited feeling! But this process is necessary to improve as a writer, improve your book, make it more professional, and more enjoyable for the reader.
Never ever forget it is ultimately the readers of our works that will determine our success or failure. This will be based of course on the time, effort, love and mostly the hours of work you put into the book before releasing it.
Want Better Sales, Write Better Books! Improve your Craft, and Your English Skills.
For me, I am a published author! That was step one. For good or bad my first two books are out there. I am writing everyday! I am improving my English skills, my vocabulary, my writing ability, and that can readily be seen in my writing. That my books are selling, in a flooded market that is expanding at triple digit rates, is AMAZING! I am living the dream, and enjoying the success of my journey towards my goal. Success is the Journey, not a destination.
When I get to stay and write full time because I have been fortunate enough to replace the income provided by my day job, or because I am retired from my day job, either way it will just be another milestone in my career!