Don’t Quit Your Day Job

I thought writing was easy, until I tried to do it. From that first kernel of an idea to the last page of proofreading, it’s a struggle.

If you want anyone to read what you’ve written, there are yet more hurdles to jump. Whether you go the self-publishing route or the traditional one, people have to find your book before they can read it.

Let’s say you’ve written an amazing book, you’ve got it on Amazon. Home free, right? You can sit back, watch the money roll into your bank account, ink a movie deal?

Okay, maybe Netflix won’t be calling you, but you can quit your day job, right?

Not so fast.

  • 50% of all authors are poor, earning less than the poverty level.
  • 80% of all authors earn less than what most people would consider a living wage.
  • Self-published authors earn 80% less than traditional published authors.
  • 2018 saw the release of 1.68 million self-published titles.
  • Statistics taken from an Authors Guild report based on American data.

In the entire history of the written word, it has never been easier to write and publish a book, or harder to make a living at it.

If I was twenty-one, just out of university, these statistics might make me rethink a writing career, but I’m not. Rather than depress the hell out of me, these numbers make me feel better about my not-so-stellar career as a self-publishing author.

1.68 million titles in 2018? The fact that I sold any books at all is a freaking miracle!

Aimer at Amazon

Second Time Around

I self-published my first book in 2014. I thought it was good. I was wrong.

I didn’t know it then, but I’d broken just about every writing rule there is.

To anyone who purchased Fireworks, my apologies. And thank you. Thank you for taking a chance on a newbie author and for giving me hope that maybe, just maybe, I could do this.

Five years on, and I’ve learned a bit. Not everything, not by a long shot, but enough to take a stab at fixing the mistakes I made the first time around.

So, here it is, the new and improved—I hope—version of that first attempt: Daniel Mine.

Aimer at Amazon

Caveat Emptor

Buyer Beware

Is it just me, or does there seem to be more to be wary of these days?

Scams and schemes abound, from the automated phone calls that threaten you with Revenue Canada if you don’t contact them to the truly horrific bogus kidnapping messages that claim they have your children.

And then there’s the people promising to change your life if you only hand over your wallet.

Case in point, recently I’ve been approached by companies offering to promote one of my books. Sounds good, right?

“You’re book has been recommended to us by …”
“We will flog your book on social media daily …”

I don’t know how much money these companies want because I hang up on them before they get to that point. Am I skeptical?

Hmmm… Am I breathing?

The first solicitor didn’t even know the title of my book. The second one sent me an email that could have used a grammar check.

Hmmm…

One caller said his company was based out of Las Vegas. Really?

So many books out there, so many that never get seen let alone read. Every indie author knows this — so do the companies offering to help you.

Caveat Emptor

Aimer at Amazon

 

 

51,510 Words

Four chapters to go on my current WIP … probably. Possibly. Maybe.

Writing isn’t an exact science with me, nothing even as concrete as theory. It’s more of a hope.

It’s magic really, isn’t it? A picture in your mind and then the search for the words to paint that picture.

I won’t even mention things like plot, character development, theme, point of view, setting and (shudder) grammar. These are all tools of the trade. Important? Of course. Interesting? Not so much.

They are the nuts and bolts behind every piece of writing. They bring coherence to the jumble of thoughts that circle your brain, but sorry, they make my eyes glaze over.

That’s not what writing is about, not for me.

Remember Lego? Latching all those tiny blocks together, making cubes that were supposed to be houses?

That’s what writing is.

Words are the blocks we build skyscrapers with. No, not skyscrapers, castles. Castles in the sky.

The wrong words and the whole thing collapses around you, but…

If you get it right, if your words paint your pictures — magic!

Aimer at Amazon

 

Good Enough

While on vacation, I bought a little leather-bound notebook. The leather was soft, the colour was rich, but it was the inscription on the cover that made the sale. It made me smile.

Book 4

Seriously? Incredible thoughts, brilliant mind? What can you possibly write in a journal with a title like that? Do people really go around thinking themselves brilliant? Not in my house, not if you want anyone to talk to you.

At first, I thought I’d leave the pages blank. You know, you open the book expecting brilliant and — nothing. Get it? No? Ah, well, seemed funny to me.

Then I thought I’d pop in a bunch of snarky quotes by Oscar Wilde, but these rough cut pages deserve calligraphy. My handwriting is not an art form.

Eventually as days, then weeks, went by and the journal sat there empty, it occurred to me that I was letting myself be intimidated by a bit of leather and a few embossed words. Ridiculous.

And yet … is that the reason why so few of us write. Do we intimidate ourselves out of even trying? Do we think that if we can’t write something brilliant that we shouldn’t write at all?

What’s wrong with just spilling out the thought in our head, getting it down on paper, seeing where it goes? Does it have to be brilliant?

Whatever we write, however well we write it, it’s ours. Shouldn’t that be good enough?

Book

Aimer at Amazon