Something special I'd like to share with you today: an article on Forbes.com that interviews me about my experiences self-publishing.
Before you get too excited, the headline isn't referring to me. I come in about halfway down the second page, but there's a good few quotes from me. It's an interesting read if you're interested in publishing and its future, and I think probably a well-balanced look at the different results self-published authors are experiencing.
I wouldn't particularly agree with McGregor's comment that Jack Burroughs 'hasn't seen much success' - there are more kinds of success than purely financial, and the fact that I've got a book that has been read by so many people is more success than I ever honestly expected when I started on The Two Empires. But the interview with me is I think a fair reflection of my thoughts on what has happened so far and what the future might hold.
It's also encouraging to read about other self-published writers who have been able to make a living from their writing, and particularly interesting to see how it is they've got to that position. I think there are some useful lessons there, even if none of it is particularly unexpected. As in most aspects of life, it takes hard work and self-promotion to get anywhere. There are certainly some useful things in the article to consider, though.
Am I ever going to be the next Mark Dawson? Who knows. I doubt I'm going to release six novels in the next two years. Thankfully I don't have a four hour train commute every day; in fact, as of last week I now have a fifteen minute bike commute, which is far preferable. However, I'm in no great rush. If I can continue to complete books over the next few years at a similar pace to The Devil's Gate I'll be quite satisfied.
As I said in the interview, I'm hopeful that my audience will grow as it has done so far through satisfied readers recommending the books. I'm very much aware that without a massive marketing campaign behind me, by far the most significant sources of promotion are you lovely people who tell your friends and leave reviews for the world to see, and I'm hugely grateful for that. It doesn't take complex mathematical modelling to grasp the potential for growth if one person tells their friends, and a couple of those friends read it and tell their friends, and so on...
Is this 'wishful thinking'? Quite possibly. But hearing from those who have read and enjoyed my work for me more than justifies my continued writing, and in any case I don't think I could ever stop even if I wanted to.
If you're interested, I previously wrote this about the mechanics of self-publishing.