It dawned on me earlier today that this month marks my third anniversary as an independent author. Naturally enough, I cannot help but reflect on what I have accomplished over the course of those three years, and what still remains to be achieved. In some respects I am ahead of where I assumed I would be when I published my first book in 2017, but in other respects I am behind. I have subsequently pushed today’s scheduled post back until tomorrow so I can give a brief assessment of where I am presently in my fledgling career, and where I am heading.
First of all, the past three years have been a learning experience, and I’m continuing to learn with every passing week, both in terms of the craft of fiction writing, and the vocation of independent publishing. At present I am happier with my progress when it comes to writing, and consider myself to be ahead of where I thought I would be. However, when it comes to the entrepreneurial side of my job, I still have a long way to go.
When I assess the craft aspect of being an author, I can point to a very clear improvement in my writing since my first foray into self-publishing. Though I was satisfied with the first edition of my debut novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, particularly with regard to its narrative structure, it was by no means the polished product that I would have liked it to have been as it didn’t have the benefit of professional editing, or competent production. These shortcomings were rectified with the revised second edition of the book the following year, which saw a modest improvement in my writing, and a drastic improvement in the production of the finished book. Today, with my second novel only days away from its publication date, I can say with confidence that the quality of my prose has improved greatly, which my editor has also commented on.
The most disappointing aspect for me in terms of writing is that I only have two books to show for my endeavours so far. Back in 2017 my expectation was that this year would see the publication of my fourth novel, yet that has proved to be a pipe dream. I won’t waste time detailing the various reasons for my slow output, but moving forward I know that I have to increase the pace at which I complete my future writing projects.
As mentioned above, the business side of being an independent author is where I am well behind where I want to be. My readership is much smaller than I hoped it would be at this stage in my career, due to low sales, and the principal reason is my failings with marketing/promotion—a discipline that I, as an introvert, will never feel comfortable engaging in. However, I know that if I want more people to discover my work, so I can sell more books and increase the size of my readership, it is imperative that I excel in selling myself and my writing to my intended target audience.
When I began this author journey in 2017 I told myself that I would wait five years before deciding whether I have a future as a successful indie author. With just two years left, I am still a long way from that goal, though I remain confident that I will achieve my objective. Some of the things necessary to make a success of this career are out of my control, but the most important ingredient is something that is in my hands: I have to keep writing and publishing good books. Though I am realistic enough to accept that the imminent publication of my second novel next week won’t decisively change my fortunes, it is an exciting first step that will move me in the right direction.
So here ends my musings on the first three years of my writing adventure. All that remains is for me to let you know that my next release, The Apprentice In The Master’s Shadow is scheduled to be published on Monday 4th May in ebook and paperback editions, with the ebook presently available to pre-order from various online digital outlets, including Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
Thanks for reading,