I can’t begin to tell you how much money I’ve squandered from the beginning of my career as a serious author. At first it was for reading material, crafts books and such, material I knew would help to make me a better writer. And I was right. They’re so important.
As my writing progressed, I started entering contests. I was told by others in my RWA chapter that it was imperative to have other eyes read and critique my work. I knew their advice to be true so I sent my - what I thought were - well-edited stories to many contests only to find out that… wait for it… I needed to better my craft. As good as I thought I’d become, darn it all, I wasn’t yet good enough….sniff!
No problem….. sniff, sniff.
From then on, I paid money to take a lot of workshops. It’s easy online and many are well worth the effort. I made sure that I did my homework and got as much out of those lessons as possible. They did help me understand what I needed to do to improve and so I considered that money to be well spent.
Around that time, I received a contract with The Wild Rose Press and I thought – finally!!! I would earn back some of the investment I’d made so far. Not so!
Instead, I found myself spending more. You see… now I had a book to promote. Work I was proud of and wanted the world to know about. I’m sure many of you totally understand this mixed emotion - part pride and mostly frustration. Around that time, I looked up every source of advertising possible and I began to spend all kinds of money buying Coffee Time ads and RT reviews and Romance Sells page space, and, and... Goodness the money rolled out and with no visible return on my investment.
Finally my career took a 180 and I decided to become an Indie author. Holy smokes! If you think my books cost me before, now the amounts were huge and flowing steadily. Book covers, editing payments for two editors, professional formatting, serious promotion like the FreePartays and periodic expenditures for Pixel of Ink, Ereader News, Digital Books Today, and on and on…
But…?? Surprise…!! I was now earning money. Finally all the effort was slowly beginning to pay off. Amazon checks were arriving monthly and increasing with each one. For the first time in my career, I could pay those bills by money earned from my products. Of course, the one book has now swollen to fifteen as of *TODAY* I just released Book #5 of the Vegas Series – “Spin the Wheel”. Oh Yeah!!
To end this rambling post, I will give some advice based on my own experiences.
1. Invest in yourself with money you can afford.
2. Keep track of everything you’ve spent so you know when the budget has been stretched. It's so easy to get carried away.
3. Have faith that your fans will support you if you continue to produce good books.
4. And don’t hold your breath for instant success. For most of us, it’s a longggg haul.