Friday, 5 October 2012

The long game

I have had seven(7) sales now. I know they are mostly family and friends supporting my venture. Many thanks to you all; it makes me feel good. I am a published author now. Those sales make me a professional; albeit that I have made more money in five minutes washing dishes in a restaurant.

I know that Indie publishing is a long process. The race is a marathon; it is a journey of a lifetime. There is no real marketing I can do that will make me stand out of the crowd. I am in the ‘noise’, and with just the one title, that is where I will remain unless extraordinary luck changes my fate.

The 1st novel is the planted seed. If you have ever plant a seed, you will know that it takes time to germinate. It has to have the right conditions; it has to be in the right place to grow. Once the little emergent seedling breaks through the soil, it sits there for such a long time. Doing nothing. Well, we cannot see it doing anything, but I am sure beneath the surface a lot is going on. Roots are spreading; seeking water and nutrients vital for growth.

However, for the longest time, seedlings just do nothing... much.

You cannot rush them. If you water them too much, they die. Too much sunlight, they die. Too much plant food, they die. The seedlings need to be left alone and given time to do their thing. But, eventually they do begin to grow. Every new leaf becomes a new power source, a collector of energy from the radiate sunshine; and then growth becomes exponential.

Novels planted in the ‘noise’ of the Amazon eBook lists are like the seeds. A farmer does not stop to watch the single plant. Hoping and waiting; expecting all the bounty from his harvest to come from the one source. They plant many, and they plant different types to cater for the various demands of consumers.

The Indie author has to keep planting. Drop the seeds into the potentially fertile ground and keep moving. Of course, you have to do the best you can to give the seedling the best start. The seeds have to have come from sturdy stock, a good quality variety that will produce a result that will be appetizing to the consumer. You cannot pick it too early, or try to disguise any blemishes. The savvy consumer will always know. You might as well spend the time producing the best quality rather than wasting time marketing a bad one.

I imagine that being an Indie author, my chosen career path, is NOT for the impatient. Neither is farming crops. So how do I keep going, after seeing only 7 sales? How can I be expected to keep churning out the books, that take so much of my time and effort for such little return?

Because eBooks are forever. My children will benefit from what I do today. It’s a long game. I’m happy to play this one because I have confidence from knowing the universal truth – it is from the little things, that big things grow.

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