Prolificity Be Your Currency

In my bloggy musings I was led to this post by popular self-published fantasy author David Dalglish.

The Triumph of the Dalglish: How I Sold 200k Novels While Not Knowing Squat

His post explains why following the new swarm of authors won't work anymore. You can't win by writing one book, and then chucking links up every day, or even by getting a couple of recommendations on a forum. It doesn't work anymore because everyone's doing it.

The last section of his post enforces my theory of writing a number of good books and being friendly with people. He explains it so well.

Write. And then write some more. You know what’s easier than selling 10,000 books? Selling 5,000 copies of two books. And far easier than that is to sell 3,500 copies of three books.
So many people seem to want to hit the jackpot with just one book. To be fair, people out there do pull it off occasionally. I’ve seen it, even had friends do it. But I’ve seen some of those same people have their sales eventually dry up into nothing, and instead of giving something new for their readers, they keep shopping and pushing that same book, trying to recapture that old miracle.
Stop it.
Keep writing.
And I don’t mean crank out crap. Imagine that you have a fan base out there, one you’re steadily growing. Every book you write, make sure it’s something that audience will love and devour. With each new book, you’ll gather in the new, and satisfy the old.
I’m starting to ramble, so I’ll cut it off here. In short, if you want to self-publish, go in wide-eyed, your pride swallowed, and your ears open. Treat your readers, who are also your paying customers, with respect and courtesy. Don’t make excuses, but instead have the best editing you can have, the best cover, the best formatting, and the best presentation. Most of all, the best story.
And then do it again.
And again.
And again.

This is why, as soon as possible, I want to jump into writing full-time. I'm sure for a long time, I'm going to be doing half-half, working a part-time job while I write, but I need to treat writing as a job as well. There'll be a time frame every day where I just write or edit.

For some reason, I think it's important that I have that experience of the part-time job while writing. Perhaps to help me appreciate writing more when it's my main job?

I'm not prolific by nature; in fact, I'm the opposite. That's why I need the "this is a job" mindset. Only through treating my writing the right way can I turn it into a full-time, or even part-time job.

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Shane Jeffery said...

I agree with what this guy is saying. But how many books are enough? My plan is to release a new novel every six months. I'm not sure if that's enough, but that's what I'm going to try for anyhow.

Great blog posts of late Ryan. It's great to see there are others headed in the same direction at the same time. It wasn't so long ago we were sending off to publishers praying for someone to 'get' your story AND be in a good mood AND have the right timing and meet the guidelines. Indie publishing kills all that. Which is why these upcoming years are exciting times...

Ryan Sullivan said...

Absolutely! How many books are enough? Haha, I don't think it matters, just keep going. The more you have out, the more money you can make. You're only limited by how quickly you can write a *good* book, and I think that's key. :) I write quite slowly, which is why I'm also going to work on short stories and novelettes. :D

Thanks! Yes, I feel very much behind the times, like I've missed something -- I can only hope things get better for indies from here on, not worse.
Yeah, you can even track this blog back to when I was emailing agents just to get an idea of how long a book needed to be for them to even look at it. Now I can make them as long as I want. ;)

mooderino said...

Excellent advice. I agree with you and him.

Moody Writing

Anonymous said...

I was just at a writer's conference where the agents and editors were saying just this. Good advice... now I just need to get writing.

Ryan Sullivan said...

Thanks, Mood and Kimberly. :)

Botanist said...

That sounds like good advice, and well-expressed. I think I heard something along those lines a while back, which is why I'm keen to finish drafting a second novel before considering dipping my toes in the self-publishing pool with the first.

Ryan Sullivan said...

Definitely, David made a very strong point and it really connected with me. It just seems to make so much sense. :)

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Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

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