So it is no surprise to hear that, about the time I publish my first YA novel on Amazon, the grand announcement comes from every blog, podcast, and writer’s conference podium:
The Gold Rush Is Over!
Thanks for comin’. Last one out get the lights won’t ya?
Not only is the Gold Rush over, but those in the know are relieved to inform us that the e-book fad is coming to a close as well. Readers are returning in droves to paper books, tired of the convenience and low cost of instantly downloading any one of a billion titles onto their Kindles.
For those of you who read this early on this Saturday morning before catching that first caffeinated wave of inspiration and coherence, I speak with tongue in cheek (which is impossible, by the way, go ahead and try).
Not so much the gold rush. Yes, that is indeed over. And good riddance. Know what happens when a gold rush ends? The get-rich-quick creek panners get hungry and go back to their regular jobs. Those left behind are the ones willing to dig deep, work hard, and settle in for long-term, slow growth.
Yeah, just like traditionally published writers when Amazon was a river full of toothy fish and snakes the size of…really big snakes (hey, it’s early here, too). The moral of the story? There ain’t no shortcuts.
Twenty years ago, just before I began this here quest to like Hemingway, except without the booze and sudden departure, you’d walk into a writer’s conference and hear that nothing was selling. Publishers aren’t signing new writers. Agents hate you. Blah. Blah. And blah.
Walk into a conference today, you’ll all of the above plus: indies aren’t selling. Amazon keeps changing the rules. Agents hate you. Blah, etc.
Here’s what all my writerbuds know: successful writers bust their glutes in the same chair day in and day out. They don’t give up until…never. Because even a “successful” writer doesn’t realize it, because by golly she can do better! It’s just how driven people behave. We never reach our goal because we keep moving the goal. If Dante added a tenth circle of hell, it would be full of writers and very slow laptops (and no Novel Rocket).
I almost started a blog titled “5 steps to Indie success!” or some other such nonsense. I have no steps to offer. I’m sorry, life often works in a more circuitous fashion. Here’s all I have for any writer’s success:
Write every day.
Marketing work on Saturdays after coffee.
I’m sorry to be the Jacob Marley on your Saturday morning, having no comfort to offer. Jacob was a sourpuss and so am I. No rah-rah fluff from this guy.
But you don’t need more fluff. You’re all grown up. You know what you want. And you have no patience for the creek panners who upload their NaNo novel to KDP on December 1st and print their official Author business cards.
You’re ready to dig deep. Break some nails. Drink cold coffee.
Join me, my friends, in the tenth circle. We got this. Eventually.
Ron Estrada is the author of Now I Knew You, the first novel of his Cherry Hill Young Adult series. He also writes a regular column in the print magazine Women2Women Michigan entitled Don't Tell My Wife I Wrote This.
He's a regular blogger at Inspire a Fire and My Book Therapy.
You can learn more about his writing at RonEstradaBooks.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.