I'm coming to realize the writing is the easy part. As a young writer, and by young I mean beginning, I had some really great influences around me. They taught me about the craft, about the importance of words--about the beauty of it all. They taught me about the seriousness you must approach the keyboard with, and that sloppiness isn't acceptable. They taught me how to write, and while I may do it poorly, it certainly wasn't for their lack of teaching. These people though, all of them, focused not one wit on marketing.
The more I move into the marketing role of an entrepreneur (which self publishing authors most definitely are), the more I realize it's all about relationships. Even this run away best selling bullshit of a book, Fifty Shades, is about relationships. Women's relationships with their own sexuality or lack there of it.
I have a goal and I'm afraid to actually say it out loud, because that means you're held accountable, right? No one wants to be accountable, not when the fucking coin is still flipping in the air and it's probably weighted so that it's most likely not going to fall on the side you need it to. Still, time's running short. I'm 25, been writing since I was nineteen, and it's time to get serious. My goal is a 500,000 books sold in five years.
That's half a million relationships I have to build. Build them strong enough so that they feel spending 5-8 bucks on a book isn't a waste. Relationships are best built face to face, hand to hand, and all rely on trust. I've got maybe one hundred people right now I can count to buy my book; that might even be a stretch. So all I have to do is find the other 499,900 that are looking for something to read.
That's daunting and I used to think it was out of my control. I used to think I do the work of writing and the writing will do the rest of the work for me. That's not true. Work your ass for twenty years at work and neglect the politics, see how far you rise. The same is true here. This is in my control, not in an agent's hands, not in a publisher's. It's up to me, and there's something about that I like. When you read about artists, or even business men--people are constantly fucking up their work. Not getting the intricacies and not caring about the brand as much as the creator does. Dave Chapelle hated Half Baked, thought it was movie for kids about smoking pot. He lost his creative control and then lost his movie. With the route I'm choosing, I don't lose the creative control. Everything, from the first word to the cover, is in my control.
I'm already shopping around for editors, trying to find someone who fits my style--I wouldn't be able to do that with any other route. That's power there; that's the ability to shape the world as you want.
People shirk from that power because it's also the power to fail.
I think you either shape your world or someone else shapes it for you.