Indie Guide Prologue

I always wanted to write this post series about going from two bucks and change from my 1st royalty payment to around $2800 for one month in two years. How I did that on a limited income and barely spent any money. I wanted to tell you what I learned about covers and blurbs and promos and book bloggers and the magic 50+ reviews.

And writing. I really wanted to talk about writing. Mostly about attitude and professionalism and taking yourself seriously. Work ethic. IMO, talent isn’t that hard to come by, it’s the rest of this shit that’s hard.

Actually, I had about 4700 page reads in Dec of 2016.

I used KU for this graphic because I make most of my money there and I couldn’t screencap the cash sales part without it becoming too fat. But you can’t see the 4700 page reads unless you’re in KU and mouse over it because the scale got so high. The first time I had a thousand page reads I cried. I mean that was actual people reading my books! Like … like … maybe 5 of them!

But when people are reading 100-200 thousand pages a month and more, it’s just unfathomable. I can’t imagine the million page reads people, except … I was about to become one of them. Holy shit.

I had a quite realistic plan to make about $40k in 2019. Maybe more. I’d learned so much and had these books all planned for and my advertising strategies …

… then the tsunami hit.

I didn’t do anything weird like blow up my success because I was afraid of it or some other bullshit psychological mumbo-blechh.  I have actual psychological mumbo-blechh.

The totality of the Major Depression that struck me down had some very understandable causes. Couple those with the PTSD and I was toast. Only other writers will understand this, but the fact that I managed to write Secret Men and get it out, and have it be a pretty damned good book (regardless of the 1500 typos it had the first few days) is kinda heroic.

(Credit the boys and the readers I love so much and didn’t want to abandon because at that time I didn’t know if I’d ever write again.)

But it was the end for a long time. Right now I have this dreadful WIP that’s gone over 100k words and I can’t find the path to the end. I did manage to put up a couple promos but really don’t care that my royalties dropped into the few hundred dollars a months range. But that isn’t failure.

Because I haven’t quit.

I wrote a short for a new series I might do. And recently Hunt and Cam are nagging me about writing a #7 in the Hunt&Cam4Ever series because, as Cam puts it, “Forever doesn’t mean only one goddamned year.” Hunter doesn’t criticize but he has taken to sitting on the sofa waiting for me to figure something out.

So why this post? So you’ll know. You’ll know finding success as an indie is doable. At least, I was finding it and I will get around to explaining some of this stuff. But also, even monumental crashes don’t make you not a writer.

I have a WIP to finish because Hunt’s way of getting me on track is to give me the first scene and then just be there with his knowing, damn smirk.


Next up: Getting There and Back 1: Do You Belong Here?



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